Questions plague PCM boy’s basketball for upcoming season


Gabe Graber

Junior Jack Jungling (left) guards August Stock on Nov. 17, the first week of official practice. Stock has not played since his sophomore year due to a torn ACL from football his junior year.

Last week was the first week of PCM boy’s basketball practices and this year’s team will no doubt be facing adversity throughout the 2022-2023 season. When the class of 2022 walked the stage at the graduation ceremony, so did 79 percent of the Mustang points scored throughout the season. Last years starting five included four seniors. This left plenty of room for new faces to step in this season after PCM lost to Des Moines Christian 58-47 in the district semifinal on Feb. 22 to end last year. 

Head coach Fred Lorensen admitted he doesn’t have all the answers for the team this year, but he can think of some players that will have important roles this season. 

“This year there are many players that will have much bigger roles,” Lorensen explained. “I think of guys like Grant VanVeen, Jacob Wendt, who is our only returning starter, and then there is Kaleb DeVries and Gavin VanGorp. Other than them, everyone else is new to the varsity level.”

One of the spots to fill is that of the starting center. Last year’s team had Durant VanDyke, a three year starter who led the team in rebounds and scoring. Lorensen is confident that senior Grant VanVeen will fill the spot well. 

“The player who makes the most difference from last year to now will probably be Grant VanVeen,” Lorensen said. “He played really well over the summer practices and he has gotten better. This year will be his chance to show that.”

With the six seniors gone from last year, it opened the opportunity for younger players to shine. The one thing that most of the new players have in common is their height, which will likely lead to good things in the long run.

“One thing we should be good at is defense and rebounding,” Lorensen said. “We have the size to do it, too. We need to be good at that because there will be some nights when we struggle to make baskets, but we can always play good defense.”  

Senior August Stock will likely start this season, which will be interesting as he missed his junior season due to a torn ACL from football. Stock talked about what he thinks the season will look like. 

“Our season will be good. We have a new offense now and we have all been catching on during this first week of practice,” Stock said. 

Another big factor this season is something that all teams are dealing with this season: the 35 second shot clock. It will force the game to move a little faster and every team will have to adjust their offense a little. 

“In practice, we have been incorporating the shot clock a little bit,” Stock explained. “We always try to get shots up quickly but efficiently.”

Stock also is confident of who the starters will be. 

“Our starters will probably be Grant, myself, Jacob Wendt, Gavin VanGorp and Kaleb DeVries,” Stock said. “We have been the starters in practice.”

All in all, the Mustangs are confident in their abilities to make a good season out of what they have. 

“Hopefully we can have fun and make it to about the top two in our district,” Stock said. “From there, hopefully we make a run in the playoffs.”

The 2022-2023 boy’s basketball season will tip off on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Knoxville.