Experience pays off for CC-Crystal boys hoops


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:02 am on Monday, March 25, 2013

Carson City-Crystal sophomore Kyler Simmon defends Ryan Wade of Laingsburg during the Class C district tournament this month.

CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s boys basketball team had a chance to make a name for themselves.

The Eagles were within a game of sharing a Mid-State Activities Conference title and ended up in the championship game of a Class C district.

In the end, CC-Crystal was 12-9 overall.

“I was pretty happy with the season,” coach Ryan Fritz said. “We gave ourselves an opportunity to win a conference championship and was in a district final. I was happy with the way our kids did that.”

This was Fritz’s fourth year of coaching the Eagles, which he said had a lot to do with the success of the team.

“I think it has a little bit to do with experience,” he said. “I think the kids bought in to the style that I was preaching. We also put in more offseason work. We had kids that was willing to do the work that is needed to win basketball games.”

CC-Crystal was led by Brann Schmitt, who averaged 17 points a game. But there wasn’t a lot of scoring after that. Two other players averaged just seven points a game.

“Hunter Clark averaged four assists a game and by the end of the season he became a major scoring threats,” Fritz said. “He had been guarding the best player on the other team. So I think Hunter from a confidence standpoint was huge for us.

“Mitch Schnieder was a point guard. We got pressured quite a bit and he averaged one turnover a game. In the Vestaburg game he had 15 points and I think he had 13 points in the second half and we were down as much as 14. He had a couple of three pointers that was huge.

“Arron Haines, he was a scorer that I don’t think was found on a lot of scouting reports. When Brann was double-teamed he was the guy to get the kickout.”

Even the seniors on the team that weren’t regular players contributed in a different way, Fritz noted.

“From a practice standpoint we had a lot more competitive practices,” he said. “We had a bunch of seniors that understood their role and that role was to understand they would make the player in front of them better. I think they have left a legacy for the underclassmen to function on the court. I was proud of the way the kids were in practice.”

Already Fritz is looking forward to next season.

“Next year’s team has a lot of potential,” he said. “What I was really impressed with was when we brought those guys up at the end of the year they were competing with the seniors. The sophomores were if not in the game were considered for the rotation for basketball games. We’re going to be athletic. We’re going to have some roles to fill but we have the guys that can fill them. We can be there next year but it’s going to take a lot of work.”

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