SIOUX CITY -- Experience is going to be a valuable thing for the North High School basketball team this year.
On Monday, the Stars gained that experience in an 84-59 season-opening loss to Lewis Central at North’s high school gym.
Lewis Central went on a 19-4 run to close out the second quarter, and the run included seven made field goals by the Titans while the Stars’ four points came from Nathan Reed and Trevor Welp, who ended up being the two leading scorers for the Stars.
Reed led North with 26 points on eight made shots, two of them from beyond 3-point territory. Among all Class 4A returning players, Reed scored the fourth-most points last season at 15.1 points per game.
“It felt good for the first shot to go down, and after that, I just caught a rhythm,” Reed said. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted to, but there are definitely positives we can take from it.”
Welp made three 3s en route to a 15-point game and Dante Hansen scored 10 points in his first varsity game.
The Stars -- who went 6-16 in 2018-19 -- will be a smaller group this season. Tyler Fry, Landen Lovrien and Austin Craighead bring the size at 6-foot-4, but Craighead was the only one of those three who saw playing time last year.
“We’re not real big, we’d much rather play a much guard-oriented game,” Stars coach Shawn Miller said. “Brighter days will be ahead. We just had to sit there and let the kids get their feet wet. We’ll grow from that.”
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Only three of the seven Stars who scored in Monday’s loss saw playing time last season.
Reed, one of five North seniors on its roster, knows that with inexperience comes an emphasis to step up and be a leader.
Reed liked that the Stars can build off this loss. For example, the Stars created some opportunities in their full-court transition game but also pointed out that the North’s ability to communicate on defense needs improvement.
To be fair, North’s defense had its hands full to start the season.
The Stars had to play against a Titans roster that featured 6-foot-4 Iowa football recruit Logan Jones as well as 6-5 Thomas Fidone, who has received football scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Michigan and Tennessee in the last month.
The Stars also spoke highly of 6-3 guard Easton Dermody, who had a team-high 19 points.
Jones scored 15 and Noah Rigataso scored 13. Fidone scored nine.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” Miller said. “We struggled with the bigs, struggled on the boards, committed a lot of fouls. The kids fought hard. We didn’t execute very well. It was a good eye-opening experience for our kids, but we’ll be back at it (Tuesday) against Storm Lake.
“It was good for our kids to see that, just so they know what to expect."
The Stars won’t have much time to dwell on their first loss, as they play the Tornadoes on Tuesday and then open up Missouri River Conference play Friday at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln.