Central boys basketball bringing plenty of experience into new season

Boys basketball season gets going early next week, so it’s time for a preview of what to expect in the MVC.

La Crosse Central and Onalaska each finished last season with undefeated conference records, in part because they never got a chance to play each other.

This year, Central’s looking forward to a fuller schedule, not just with Onalaska matchups, but also a few out-of-town non-conference tournaments.

On paper it’s a squad that can definitely make some noise, because they graduated just two seniors from a season ago. All their top players are back; Devon Fielding, Porter Pretasky, Noah Compan, and Bennett Fried all averaged double figures in scoring last winter, with Fielding leading the bunch at 17 points a game.

But the product we see this winter could look a bit different.

“We’re experimenting a little bit now,” said head coach Todd Fergot. “This year compared to last year, I think there are some things that they can do this year that last year they weren’t able to, and part of that is just maturity. And these guys have grown both physically and mentally.”

Central opens the season next Tuesday against the team who eliminated them from regionals last season, Eau Claire North. It was a game that ended on a last-second play that taught Central a valuable lesson.

“We just thought we were going go in there and win easily, so it showed us what we need to improve on coming into this season,” said Fielding.

“We’re going to show what we got this year,” said Compan, “and we’re going to surprise some people.”