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CHEYENNE WELLS TIGERS BOYS' BASKETBALL TEAM 2022-2023 - (Front row l to r) Aiden Taylor, Blake Gilmore, Charles Hall, Zach Dickey, Gabriel Zamarripa, Conrad Ball, Taegan Eiring, Nick Hallam. (Back row l to r) Carson Noe, Ty Scheler, Bryson Hyle, Perry Chadwick, Corey Hill, Trey Scheler, Clay Brown. (Not pictured) Jesse Harlow and Bladin Domsch.

Cheyenne Wells Graduates 6 Seniors But Still Loaded with Talent

By Betsy Barnett

November 23, 2022

Head coach Kendall Pelton will enter his second year at the helm of the Cheyenne Wells Boys’ Basketball program. Pelton inherited a stunning group of athletes who have had tremendous success on all athletic playing venues including the football field, the basketball court, the track and the baseball diamond.

You would think in a small school with an enrollment just under 50 in the high school that losing 6 very talented seniors from a year ago would decimate a program. Not so, fortunately for Pelton and his Tigers, as they still have a very deep contention of ball players that is stationed to make a lot of noise in the 1A ranks this winter.

Last year, the Tigers were 13-8 overall struggling a bit in the post season. They lost 6 seniors, two who started the entire season including Rogelio Rangel and Cade Mitchek.

Pelton will depend on three returning starters including senior shooting guard Ty Scheler who was one of the best players in the state’s 1A division a year ago carrying a 16.4 ppg average. He would lead the Hi-Plains League as the top scorer. Scheler also led the Tigers in rebounds (5.9 rpg), and steals (2.5 spg).

Senior point guard Blake Gilmore also returns as does starting big forward junior Perry Chadwick. Both Gilmore and Chadwick suffered season-ending injuries during the football season so they will see limited time in the basketball pre-season.

Pelton will have to also utilize the athleticism of junior guard Carson Noe, who, if left open can break a team’s back from the three-point baseline; and sophomore guard Zach Dickey who has grown a lot over the year and is a savvy ballplayer.

Pelton says, “We also have several sophomores and freshman who can chip in quality minutes in varsity this year.”

It’s no secret, according to Pelton, “The strength of our team this year will be our guard play, we have a number of guards who can shoot it and create shots for other players that also run the floor well in transition.”

But the team is very young this year and Pelton knows improvements must come in the rebounding department. “We lost the majority of our rebounding to graduation.” Pelton went on to say, “We also need to improve at the free throw line as we were a very poor free throw shooting team last year.”

With the new district alignment, the Hi-Plains League and District 2 that now includes Wiley will be by far the toughest district in the state.

Pelton explained, “McClave is the defending champion who return a lot of production from the year before, Granada is not far behind bringing back three starters from the 3rd place team in state last year, Wiley will bring back a lot of size from a state level team from last year, Cheraw is well coached with a lot of size and is always a tough game, Eads and Kit Carson will be much improved from last year so there won’t be an easy night in our league.”

The Tigers will begin the season with some big challenges as they travel to the Border Wars during the first week in December playing some quality teams in Kansas including Stanton County, Syracuse, and Elkhart. They then travel up north to a tough tournament and will also have a game with 3A Lamar and the 1A Kansas state champions from a year ago in Greeley County (Tribune).

“Our overall outlook on the season is positive as we have a good core group of players that we know can compete with the best teams in our league. We got hit hard from injuries in football so we will need to have some young players step up at the beginning of the season and definitely need to play our best each night. But the end goal is to get healthy and be playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”

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