Reitz reloading this season in Lander’s absence


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Losing a generational talent like Khristian Lander would be hard for any team to recover from, but for Mike Adams and the Reitz Panthers, it’s not a matter of rebuilding; it’s all about reloading.

Lander accounted for 21 points of offense last season for the Panthers, leading them to a sectional championship. But with Lander gone, Reitz will now lean on senior forward Owen Dease.

Dease averaged more than 16 points per game last year, and he’s confident he can fill Lander’s shoes this season.

“I most definitely feel like I am that guy because I’m a team leader, and I feel like with my leadership, we can win a lot,” said senior forward Owen Dease. “We have the exact same team, minus like two or three people. So, I feel like everybody can fill in everybody else’s role, so I feel like we’ll be a good team still. “

“We’re definitely excited,” said senior forward Ethan Higgs. “We’ve been best friends with [Lander] since we were kids, but it’s a big difference to have to guard an NBA prospect and only have to guard that one kid, versus having to guard five. We have really good team chemistry, and it put back in balance some things that happened last season. So, I think we’re in a good place.”

Reitz opened up its season on Dec. 4, but was forced to quarantine until Dec. 28. The team will resume its season on Jan. 7 against Jasper.

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(This story was originally published on Dec. 31, 2020)

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