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www.wmfd.com - After graduating 10 seniors from last seasons regional finalist team, Mansfield Senior has a lot of playing time up for grabs.

Fresh New Faces, Same Old Tygers

Story By: Brian Skowronski



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Mansfield Senior enjoyed one of their most successful campaigns in recent memory a season ago. Racking up 19 wins on their way to the Division I regional finals, before losing to eventual state champions Lakewood St. Edwards.

The Tygers were led by a talented senior class that season, consisting of 10 players that dominated much of the playing time who are now graduated. Leaving Mansfield with just two returning letterman for the upcoming campaign and a number of open spots for first time varsity players.

Senior guard Asante Wilder is one of the Tygers returning letter winners, and figures to manage most of the ball handling duties for the squad. He will also be thrown into a leadership role, bringing along some of the younger players.

"We can share some of what we learned from last year," Wilder says of he and returning starter, senior Naradin James' experience. "Give it to them, so they can feel more comfortable with their role and what they're doing."

In his senior year, the 6' 6" James figures to have a monster season in an expanded role. Like Wilder, he too understands the value in leading on the floor.

"I just got to lead by example and with my words," says James. "I've got to be more of a vocal leader this year."

Both James and Wilder say, although the team is inexperienced, that there is plenty of talent on the squad. Wilder believes Mansfield will have to most talented group in the OCC this season, and head coach JT Reese says many of the up-and-coming players feel the same way.

"There's a lot of kids that thought they might of been good enough to play last year," says Reese. "Now they get the chance, they get the opportunity and we'll see what happens."

Reese says Tygers fans can expect to see more of the same style of basketball they've come to expect from his new bunch. Meaning, up-tempo action involving "a lot of possessions", according to Reese, who added, "we like to get up and down and put the ball in the basket." 

Mansfield Senior opens their regular season at cross-town rival Madison on December 12.

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