The past several years have been an uphill climb for the Somerset boys’ basketball program. The Spartans are hoping this is the season when they bring their talents together and produce a winning season.

The Spartans will be attempting this under a new head coach. Troy Wink has become Somerset’s varsity coach after serving as an assistant coach. The Spartans will begin their 2019-20 schedule on Tuesday when they play at Webster in a non-conference game.

There are plenty of encouraging reasons why the Spartans believe they can climb up the Middle Border Conference standings after placing sixth in the standings last season. The Spartans bring back four of their top six scorers from last season.

The team’s success will begin with senior Ty Madden, who was a second team All-MBC player. His 14.5 points per game average last season ranked among the leaders in the conference. He’s shown he can hit a shot from anywhere in the offensive half of the court.

Also returning is Mason Cook, who led the team in rebounds and was the second leading scorer. Junior point guard Melvin Medina Ortiz, who was the team’s third leading scorer, is also in place. Trae Kreibich and Jackson Cook are also being viewed as starters to begin the season.

Wink sees experience as one of the team’s top assets. The Spartans are carrying 15 players on the varsity and 12 of them have varsity experience. He said the team is trying to play a more disciplined style this season.

“Offensively, we’re trying to be a little more patient, not settling for threes right away or a drive into traffic,” Wink said. “We’re hoping defensively to lock down more. We’re challenging the guys to take pride in their one-on-one defense.”

Enthusiasm is up for basketball in Somerset, with 43 boys out for the high school team this season.

Wink said New Richmond and Prescott, the defending Middle Border Conference co-champions, have to be viewed as the teams to beat in the MBC this season. Wink said the talent on every team in the conference means the Spartans need to play their best every night.

“There’s absolutely no wiggle room. There’s good talented players and good coaches everywhere in the conference,” he said.