Waukon boys basketball team overcomes early-season challenges to play to an 8-14 season record, the brink of something even greater

The 2021-2022 Waukon boys basketball season was much like putting a puzzle together, with each piece that was added making the team and its efforts more complete on the way to an 8-14 season record. A 0-5 start to the season eventually played to a 1-9 mark near its midpoint before ultimately finishing with a 7-5 result over the second half of this winter’s campaign.

Some of the early missing puzzle pieces for the basketball Tribe during that single-win first half of the season included a pair of its most experienced players who were nursing injuries from the extended football season this past fall and did not come back to the starting line-up until after the holiday break.

Included in that pair was a returning consistent contributor in a reserve role from last season in senior Lincoln Snitker, along with last season’s leading scorer and a four-year varsity starter in senior Braden Hemann.

As those two made their way back into the Indian starting line-up, the team’s win-loss result began to reverse its course. Even though some of that could be attributed to the return of that senior pair, Waukon boys basketball coach Jed Hemann notes that the experience other players gained in their early-season absence also helped fuel the Indians’ overall depth to further help create a much stronger second half of their season.

“Our season started with two of our most experienced players out due to football injuries,” Coach Hemann reflected. “This contributed to some of our early season struggles, but we also had multiple players take advantage of their opportunities and they really showed some improvement during that time.”

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