BRIGHTON — Every season there is a changing of the guard, but the Legacy boys basketball team has an unusually high number of players assuming far greater roles this season.
After the Lightning graduated their top four scorers last season, the team entered the 2016-17 campaign with senior Garin Leopold as their only player who had ever started a varsity game. Current junior point guard Caden Sehr, for example, was primarily responsible for working varsity starters in practice last season and is now leading the team in scoring.
With a 76-60 win over Brighton in the first round of the Brighton Invitational Tournament on Wednesday, the Lightning is off to a solid 4-2 start. Apparently whatever the new players, who are also playing under a new head coach in Tracy Neely, are doing is working.
"I have a bigger role but what really matters is that I'm just trying to help the team win, whether that is scoring or assisting, whatever," Sehr said. "I'm just trying to be a good role model and push the young guys the way the seniors last year pushed me. It has gone incredibly well. We've had sophomores starting on varsity and (sophomore) Jack Olson had like 15 points tonight so everyone is stepping up."
Sehr saw varsity action in 16 games last year and averaged 1.7 points per game. Through six games in 2016, he is averaging 21.3 points per game. On Wednesday, he scored a team-high 24 points, including 11 in the first quarter, during which the Lightning outscored Brighton 23-5 to build and early lead that lasted the rest of the game.
"Our energy was a lot better tonight than it has been in previous games," Neely said. "I feel like with our length and athleticism, our ability to shoot the basketball and defend it, if we come out and play with a lot of energy early it just sets the tone for the rest of the game. We did that in the first five or seven minutes of the game and that got us off to a good start."
Olson scored a season-high 16 points and senior Campbell Killean scored 11.
"We have a hodge-podge group of players who are really starting to buy in to what we're saying," Neely said. "I really like this team and I think we have a lot of talent and a lot of diversity. It's really basketball by committee at Legacy and we're just looking for good team effort and good team wins."
Rounding out the Brighton Invitational, the Lightning will play Prairie View on Friday and Gateway on Saturday before taking off for the holiday break.
Legacy 76, Brighton 60
At Brighton H.S.
Leopold 0 3-3 3, Boeckenstedt 0 0-0 0, Wagner 3 2-3 8, Olson 7 1-2 16, Sehr 4 13-13 24, Overboe 1 0-0 2, Weber 2 2-2 6, Killean 3 5-6 11, Bonnet 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 26-29 76.
Cloutier 0 4-4 4, Montano 3 0-0 8, Schliep 1 0-0 2, D. Cortez 0 0-1 1, Schlitt 4 0-0 10, Handcock 4 4-7 12, Settergren 2 0-0 4, Bush 0 0-0 0, Beauman 0 0-1 0, Kullberg 1 5-9 8, Ruiz 2 0-0 4. Totals 17 13-22 60.
Score by quarters:Legacy 21 17 16 22 — 76
Brighton 5 18 11 21 — 60
3-point field goals — Legacy (4): Sehr 3, Olson; Brighton (4): Schliep 2, Montano 2. Total fouls — Legacy 21, Brighton 18. Fouled out — Leopold, Schliep.