Boys' Basketball Preview: Hershey Panthers

HERSHEY, Neb. (KNOP) - Dustin Jorgenson returns as the Hershey boys' basketball coach for his 17th year in 2019.

Hershey senior William Huebner (left) runs a drill at a Hershey practice (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

The Panthers return only one starter from last year's team, but have a strong group of juniors and seniors ready for success.

"I'm excited about this bunch. They're working hard, and they're playing well together with great attitude. I think if you've got a positive attitude and you work hard together, you can accomplish a lot of things," Jorgenson said.

The Panthers graduated some of their top players last season, but one of the biggest holes they need to fill, both figuratively and literally, is that of 6'6" center Jacob Gosnell.

"We have kids that can play. They're going to have to step up, and fill some big shoes. They've put in a lot of time, they deserve the opportunity to step up and be leaders of this team," Jorgenson said.

One of the players Jorgenson will look to to fill that hole is senior forward/center William Huebner. Huebner is confident in the group's inside presence, but also thinks the shooters for the Panthers are going to make a big impact.

"We've got pretty good post presence and we've got some really good outside shooters," Huebner said.

One of the members of the back court is junior guard Austin Hoelscher, who believes the Panthers will be balanced on offense.

"We can shoot. We're not super big, but we can handle the ball. We're going to have mismatches against opposing guys big guys, because I feel like our guys a little faster. All around, we've got tools," Hoelscher said.

Despite losing some top players last year, do not count out the Panthers this year.

"I definitely don't think they should overlook us. Hershey basketball is always a good program, and we're just going to play," Huebner said.

The Panthers open their season Dec. 5 when they visit Perkins County.