2011-12 Record: 18-4
Conference Record: Big East: (6-1) Lake Central Conference (6-1)
Head Coach: Eric Bass
Years at Flandreau: 6
Assistant Coach: Jacob Shoup
Years at Flandreau: 3
The Flandreau Flier boys’ basketball team is returning a lot of experience for the 2012-13 season. They will be looking to use that experience during their efforts to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2004.
The Fliers had to say goodbye to two very vital parts of their team after last years season ending loss to Madison in the District 5 tournament in Sioux Falls. Nic Behrens and Joe Parsley were major players during their time at FHS and last year was the culmination of their hard work.
Parsley, who was fourth on the team with 9.9 points per game (PPG), was Flandreau’s go to guy in the trenches. Parsley shot more free throws, 71, than any other player on the team last year. Those are free points that the Fliers will have to make up in 2012-13. A lot of those free throws came because of his hard work in the low post. Parsley led the Fliers in rebounds with 130 – 56 more boards than the next guy on the list.
The biggest hole the Fliers are going to have to fill in the stat book is caused by the departure of Behrens. Behrens was FHS’ leading scorer with 13.4 PPG. Although those numbers are going to be hard to replace, the biggest question will be who will take the shots that Behrens would have otherwise taken. He was Flandreau’s biggest deep threat. 70% of his shots came from behind the 3-point line. His 166 shots from behind the arc will be hard to replace but this year’s team may just have the right guys to do it.
The Fliers will turn the ball over to senior and three year starter, Jacob Patterson. Patterson is coming off a season in which he averaged 12.9 points per game. He is one of Flandreau’s most efficient scorers, shooting 50% last season in just under 200 shots. Patterson is considered one of the top players in Class ‘A’ and the Fliers will lean on him to continue his productivity.
Joining Patterson as a returning starter is Mitchel Foster. Foster also averaged double-digit PPG for the Fliers last season but one of his biggest attributes is his ability to create shots for others. Foster dished out 51 assists last year, second to the aforementioned Patterson. Foster is probably the most all-around player on the Fliers – his stout defense is hard to ignore. Foster averaged just fewer than three steals per game as a junior last season.
David Parsley is expected to start at a guard position again for the Fliers after doing so in 2011. Parsley stands at six feet tall and will be looked on to crash the boards as well as make key shots late in games as one of the more veteran players.
The Fliers have a luxury that not many other teams in the state can say they have. FHS has 11 players with varsity experience returning for the 2012 season. Guy Zephier and Geno Taylor-Burshiem saw minutes in all 22 games last year while playing key roles in the teams 18 win season. Combined, the two players scored over 300 points for the Fliers. Senior, Mitchel Hansen is expected to play a key role as a big man down low for the Fliers as well.
FHS is going to be able to bring some size off the bench with three six-footers expected to play a big part for the Fliers but size is one of the teams down falls. Flandreau’s tallest player is 6’2” junior, Dylon Armstrong. The lack of size by the Fliers means they are going to need to be physical down low as well as take high percentage shots to avoid a landslide in the rebound department in favor of the opponent.
Their opponents are no joke either. The Fliers play in the LCC with Clark/ Willow Lake, a state tournament team from last year who is led by South Dakota State commit, Skyler Flatten. And then there is the team that ended the Flier season last year. Madison was 19-4 last season and always plays the Fliers tough. Flandreau will again have to go through them in order to advance in the playoffs this year.
There is little doubt in Coach Eric Bass’s mind about the type of team he has.
“We think we have a solid group who can play with the top tier teams in Class ‘A’. It will be an exciting year.”
The excitement is set to get under way December 7th on the road against Chester.