BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR - There's excitement in the air at Candor as the Indians look to rebound from a 4-15 season. With several returning players and graduates from a strong JV team, you can't blame them.
"Last season was great for our program," said head coach Nate Thomas. "Our JV team won the IAC South Small School division and our varsity team turned the corner in how competitive we were in every game.
"Our record doesn't show how competitive we were. Of the 15 losses, nine of them were by three possessions or less."
Fortunately, the Indians' graduation losses were minimal.
"We graduated a great program kid in Steven Kern that really turned our program around by showing the younger players what hard work looks like," Thomas said. Kern averaged 18.5 points per game, as well as 3.1 steals and 3.2 assist per outing.
Back to boost this year's teams are Shawn Watson (4.7 ppg), Caleb Vaow (1.7 ppg), Bryce Barnett (4.7 ppg, 2.6 rbg), Kevin Cotton (7.1 ppg, 3.8 rbg), Daniel Thomas (5.8 ppg), Kolden Foster (6.3 ppg, 5.8 rbg) and Nick Thomas (4.7 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.3 spg).
Up from last season's JV squad are Brayden Krebs, Marcus Rypkema, Lance Jensen, Alex Doucett and Brandon Hoyt.
Thomas looks to be competitive with this group of returnees and newcomers.
"Our program expectations are always the same, don't get outworked. Some teams will be more talented than we are but if we approach every practice and game with the mindset we will outwork teams we have a chance."
The Indians (1-1) opened the season with a third-place showing in the Bradford Tip-Off Tournament, losing their season opener to tournament champ Avoca, 64-51. To put that in perspective, the Tigers (3-0) went on to win their next two games by 35 and 33 points, respectively.
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