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WDC boys will have different look in 2009-10

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will be a different animal this season as they jump into the basketball season with a new head coach and a team that will not include Donny Tabery.

Tabery ranked among the school's scoring elite when he walked off the court in a WDC uniform for the final time last March.

The Wolverines have also seen former head man Tom VanErp return to the court, replacing Travis Hensch.

VanErp has inherited a team with plenty of experience but a shortage of depth -- a shortage that VanErp hopes to relieve as quickly as possible.

The Wolverines have a good mixture of scoring threats. Senior guard Scott Syverson averaged 11.2 points a game last year. Syverson is quicker than last year and has improved his ball-handling skills, according to VanErp.

Senior Kevin Tumberg became a perimeter scoring threat last season. The hard-working 5-11 forward plays a smart game.

Ryan Nelson is a 6-2 guard that VanErp rates as a "long player." Nelson is built much like Tabery. He scored 8.2 points a game last season and displayed good quickness and range. VanErp also rates Nelson a superior talent on defense.

The tallest player on the squad is 6-5 junior Jordan Reed, who saw plenty of playing time as a sophomore and averaged eight points a game while proving himself as a shot blocker.

"Jordan is working on improving his footwork around the basket," VanErp said. "When his footwork comes together with his athletic ability, he will be tough to defend."

Junior forward Josh Sherman is considered the team's defensive stopper this season. The 6-0 athlete has quickness and strength along with "a nose for the ball."

The Wolverines have a 6-5 senior center in Dane Hoffman, a 6-1 junior center in Bryan Silvers, a 6-0 senior forward in Aaron Kern, a 5-8 junior guard in Isaiah Toedter, a 5-10 junior guard in Cory Tumberg, a 5-10 junior guard in Alex Andrews, a 6-1 senior guard in Tayler Byman, a 6-4 1/2 junior center in Scott Fillhouer, a 6-2 guard in Dustin Cantrell and a 5-6 junior guard in J.D. Olson.

VanErp plans to go with a motion offense and a man-to-man defense mixed with some 2-3 zone.

"We probably won't be an up and down the court type of team, like the Wolverines have been the past few years," VanErp said. "I like my teams to get out and run offensively, but I don't like to give up easy baskets. You will see us focus on solid, intense half-court defense with some pressing used at opportunistic times."

The Wolverines are coming off a season that saw them defeat defending section powerhouse Crosby-Ironton twice. The team finished the season 14-11 overall and 5-5 in the Mid-State.

"I see WDC competing for the Mid-State Conference title but we are going to have to beat some very good teams. The conference champ is going to have to win on the road," VanErp said.

Van Erp's early favorites in the section and conference races are Crosby-Ironton, Breckenridge, Pequot Lakes and Perham.