L’Anse Purple Hornets boys have plenty of players to work with in 2016-17

Members of the L'Anse High School boys varsity basketball team include, front row from left, Caleb Sweeney, Steven Beauprey, Chase Parker, Brian Fedie, Reese Waara and Zach Sanregret. Top row from left, head coach Kyle Koski. Louis Bogda, Justin Rajala, Dylan Harden, Brandt Tembreull, Logan Fish, Brent Waranka and Devin Niemi. (Paul Peterson photo)

By PAUL PETERSON

Special to the Journal

L’ANSE — After last year’s long season, the L’Anse High School varsity boys basketball team is looking to improve in the upcoming campaign.

Inexperience and a series of injuries led to a 0-20 regular season — the first winless season ever for the Purple Hornets. But L’Anse spilled Ironwood in the Class C district tournament to avoid a total bagel.

And now, they start off with a new coach in Kyle Koski and higher hopes.

Koski, a Baraga High School graduate, has a full roster of 13 players.

“We’ve got a good blend of upperclassmen and younger players,” Koski said.

“And some of those played a lot as freshmen.”

Seniors Brandt Tembreull, Dylan Harden and Brian Fedie are joined by sophomores Logan Fish and Louie Bogda as veterans from a year ago.

Tembreull, the tallest Hornet at 6-foot-3, was out a good portion of last season because of injury. But he’s healthy again and should give the team an inside threat.

“Brandt will give us some inside strength,” Koski said. “He’s a good rebounder.”

Harden, Bogda and Fish are all in the 6-foot range and will get lots of time on the court.

Fish was among the team leaders in scoring and rebounding last year as a freshman.

Koski said his team will be “young but quick.”

“We’ve got pretty good team speed,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to play an up-tempo game.”

Battling for spots in the starting lineup will be seniors Justin Rajala and juniors Caleb Sweeney, Steven Beauprey, Chase Parker, Zach Sanregret, Devin Niemi and Brett Waranka.

“We’ve got a lot of kids who can play,” Koski said. “They’re all ready to go and our attitude has been real good.”

Koski feels that Calumet and West Iron County are the teams to beat in the West PAC.

“Both of those teams have real good size and they have good guards,” he said.

“Houghton and Hancock might be rebuilding a little, but they still have a lot of players. It will be a tough league.”

Koski is being assisted by a familiar name, his father, Scott.

Scott Koski has coached a few teams in his time and adds a valuable source of basketball knowledge for L’Anse.

L’Anse boys

2016-17 schedule

All times Eastern

Dec. 8 — Houghton, 7:20 p.m.

Dec. 12 — Westwood, 7:20 p.m.

Dec. 13 — West Iron County, 7:20 p.m.

Dec. 19 — at Baraga, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 5 — Calumet, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 6 — at Ishpeming, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 9 — at Houghton, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 12 — Chassell, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 13 — Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 20 — at Wakefield-Marenisco, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 27 — at Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:20 p.m.

Jan. 31 — Baraga, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 3 — at Hancock, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 10 — Lake Linden-Hubbell, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 14 — at Calumet, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 17 — at West Iron County

, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 21 — at Ontonagon, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 24 — Jeffers, 7:20 p.m.

Feb. 28 — Hancock, 7:20 p.m.

March 2 — at Westwood, 7:30 p.m.