(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A 2-22 campaign in George Ross, Jr.'s first season at Benton is not what the Cardinals were expecting, but their eyes are on the future.
"Last year was last year," Ross said. "We really don't want to reflect too much on that."
"Last year we had our struggles," senior forward Dalton Dreier said," but it's a fresh start this year so we're really excited about it."
A fresh start on the south side of St. Joseph includes a roster with fresh faces.
Benton lost nine seniors from a season ago, but Ross still likes the makeup of his team.
"I think it's a good combination between youth and a little bit of experience," Ross said. "We've got some kids that really started to emerge last year towards the end of the year. Dalton Dreier started coming along for us. We've got Quin Hayes, another senior that's going to be good for us. And then we really have a good sophomore class."
The Cardinals main objective for the upcoming season is learning to hold on to a late lead, something they struggled with in 2011-12.
"We were in most games," Dreier said. "We just couldn't figure out how to close them out. I think we didn't really know how to win. We didn't know how to finish."
"Kids played hard night in and night out, and lost a lot of close ones," Ross said. "So hopefully we'll be able to turn the corner and turn those close ones into some wins."
Benton expects those wins to come as they continue to work past the growing pains of a young team.
"That's one thing that we talk about everyday, is to get better and improve every single day," Ross said. "If we can do that I think we will have a good product to put on the floor."