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South Warren’s Will Faulkner shoots a 3-pointer during the Spartans’ 54-44 win over Warren East on March 3 at Warren East.

Editor’s note – This is the 11th in a 17-part series of high school basketball previews counting down to the scheduled opening night of the regular season Nov. 29.

The South Warren basketball team seemed to find its stride at the end of Jason Holland’s first season as head coach, winning 13 out of 15 games in the final month before losing to Bowling Green in the District 14 Tournament.

With the core of that team returning, and some new additions, expectations are high for the Spartans in Holland’s second season – with South Warren setting its sights on the program’s first Region 4 Tournament appearance.

“We are just trying to build off (the end of last season) – build off the effort that it takes,” Holland said. “That has been our whole focus this whole offseason. We’ve really worked hard and our kids have put in a lot of time.”

South Warren returns a roster with five seniors and four juniors, but will have to wait for a few players with Caden Veltkamp and Luke Burton among the players still playing football.

The cupboard won’t be bare, however, with several players ready to step up. Junior guard Brandon Rowe came on late last season, while Linkin Lockhart joins the Spartans after transferring from Warren East. Will Faulkner will look to give South Warren a spark off the bench.

Freshman Ty Price will look to make an immediate impact. Holland said people are going to be “absolutely shocked” about how good the highly-touted freshman is going to be.

The sophomore class includes Drew Hudson, Taytum Holland and Braden Parrish – all three expected to contribute and provide depth.

“I think early on it is going to be about sustaining until we get Luke and hopefully Caden here,” Holland said. “It’s going to let the other guys get some important time that they are gonna need to help us down the stretch.”

And Holland is hopeful that by the stretch his team will once again be playing at its best, in position to compete for a district – and region – title.

Holland said it will be a difficult challenge, especially in a very tough district, but thinks his team is ready to take the next step.

“I came from a district that was very similar (to this one),” Holland said. “It would not shock me that whoever comes out of here is in the final four or could make the state final. Our region is that strong. I think it is going to be who is healthy and who is playing well at the right time.

“Last year I thought Greenwood and Bowling Green were peaking and guess what they made it out of the district. We were peaking, but we had to play one of the best teams in the state last year in Bowling Green. This year it is a little more balanced. We do feel good about it. I know what a regional championship team looks like and we look like one.”

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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