Fountain Central boys basketball had its dream season a year ago. FC went 23-5 and made it all the way to the semi-state semi-finals before seeing their season come to an end. Greg Dean enters year three at the helm of the Mustangs and has went 37-18 in his first two years. The Mustangs do lose some key players from last year in Luke Foxworthy and Mason Larkin, but still return a lot of talent for 2023-24.
Senior point guard, and 2022-23 Journal Review Player of the Year Will Harmon returns as does starting guard Koby Wolf, forward Isaac Gayler, and forward Owen Acton. While FC wants to continue on the success it started last season, Dean talked with his team about putting last season in the rear view mirror.
“We don’t want to think about last year because it’s over,” Dean said. “We had tremendous success but now a new season is here and this team has to establish their own identity just like last years team did. We’re a different basketball team than last year and yes they’re some similar faces, but there’s also some new ones for us. Anytime you go from year to year you’re going to have a different team with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s on us to make sure we maximize those strengths with the guys we got this year.”
Harmon averaged right around 17 points per game a year ago while shooting a stellar 44% from three point range. Gayler was near double figures with 9.3 per contest and Acton off the bench scored seven a game. Other notables for the Mustangs this season will include Brayden Prickett, Aiden Owen, and Gabe McCollum.
Defense was the Mustangs calling card a season ago. Across the board the Mustangs went at least 6’2 and up. Having Larkin at 6’10 protect the paint helped as well and then you had 6’5 Foxworthy and Gayler. They held opponents to right at 42.5 point per game a year ago. This season Dean is hoping for that same level of success on the defensive side.
“We’ve got to fill some holes on that side of the ball particularly,” Dean said. “I feel like Owen is going to step in to the starting five right away and play well. He understands what we want out of him and when you have him along with plenty of others who know what they’re doing you can fill spots real quick. Guys like Will and Ike (Gayler) will be looked to offensively but Owen can step in and fill some shoes there as well.”
A season ago the Mustangs claimed the bi-county, WRC, sectional and regional titles. This year the Mustangs are hoping to carry that winning tradition into another season.
FC opens up their 2023-24 season Tuesday when they host the North Montgomery Chargers. The game will be game two of a girl/boy double-header.