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EADS BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM 2022 - (back row l to r) Stockton Mitchek, Porter Spady, Brentley Lening, Connor Wollert, Case Nelson (front row l to r) A.J. Vasquez, Johnny Vasquez, Karsten Buller, Kadan Dunlap (not pictured) Bo Arnold, Eric Murdock.

Eads Boys Have All the Ingrediants to Become a Top Team

By Betsy Barnett

November 23, 2022

Weston Meardon, a standout basketball player in his own right from Walsh, begins his second year as the head coach of the Eads Eagles boys’ basketball program.

Although Eads was a fairly tough out for many teams a year ago, they had a losing record at 6-14 overall and finished low on the totem pole within the Hi-Plains League standings with just one win (1-5).

It was a season with many highs and lows as fans could see greatness in the players, but it would have taken things to go just right—and they just didn’t.

Eads graduated two seniors in Ty Wilson, an outside shooting guard and a workhorse inside, Cade McDowell, who was the big man at 5’10.

But this year Eads returns the bulk of their very young but talented players including junior point guard Porter Spady who led Eads in all categories a year ago and was a top player within the conference. Spady’s stats ranged from the 2nd best to 5th best among all players in the conference in scoring (14.9 ppg and 253 points), rebounding (7.7 rpg and 131 rebounds), steals (3.6 spg and 62 steals), and assists (2.9 apg and 50 assists).

According to Meardon, “He [Spady] sets the tone of the game for all of his teammates and was our leading scorer last year.”

Meardon is also high on junior shooting guard Brentley Lening who is, according to Meardon, “A great shooter and skills player that does a really good job at making teams have to extend their defense to him.”

Sophomore small forward Stockton Mitchek came on strong towards the middle of last season as a freshman and showed he could shoot lights out and also play tremendous defense. Of Mitchek, Meardon stated, “Stockton is a great player all the way around, especially on the defensive end of the floor. His athleticism is a huge asset for us.”

The three guards are fast and can get up and down the court. As luck would have it, Eads finally has some big men who can run with them. They include senior Connor Wollert, a transfer from Wiley where he was a strong shooter and defensive player as a strong forward; junior forward Bo Arnold who has grown a lot and will be able to battle underneath on the boards but can also shoot it from the perimeter; and senior center A.J. Vasquez who missed some of last season due to injury but will now be a key big man for Eads.

The Eagles will also have a couple of sophomores in Case Nelson, a left-handed forward, and Kadan Dunlap, a fast guard who is strong on defense, who will contribute right away. They also now have added three freshmen who can give some court time to the upperclassmen, a luxury they didn’t have a year ago. The freshmen include Johnny Vasquez, Karsten Buller, and Eric Murdock.

Eads has all the personnel they need to be an exceptional team, but Meardon knows they will need to continue to improve their game if they want to put themselves in a position to make noise in the post season.

Meardon says, “We can always improve on our shooting, free throws especially.”

The Hi-Plains League, according to Meardon, is one of the toughest in the state. He believes McClave will obviously be the top team to beat, but Granada and Wiley will be two teams who will also be in the hunt.

Overall, Meardon is excited by the Eagles’ prospects this year, “We have some good depth on the bench this year which is really going to help our game by giving players the rest when they need it. I don’t see any reason why we should have a high winning percentage and be a top contender in our league this year.”

Eads will begin their season on December 2nd against Hi-Plains. They then cross the Kansas border for the always tough Border Wars during the first full week in December. The Eagles will top off their pre-season at the annual Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament on December 15-17.

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