NV Boys

Nodaway Valley boys basketball, front from left: Xander Kent, Michael Cook, John Furhman, Hunter Dawson, Dawson Fast, Wyatt Ingraham, Chase Goff, Clay Hanson, Parker Prettyman, Garrett Carpenter; second row; coach Michael Barbosa, Wyatt Wakely, Bracxten Rohlmeier, Kayden Conn, Gabe Weiland, Ethan Rohr, Peyton Morrow, Trace Barnard, Preston Jenkins and coach Dustin Jenkins. Not pictured: James Herr.

The Nodaway Valley co-op was planning on having a little bit more a mesh of players from Nodaway-Holt and West Nodaway this season, but the football season was not kind to three returning Nodaway-Holt starters with Blake Bohannon, Noah Farnan and Gavin Leeper all suffering significant injuries.

“The communities are coming together and supporting the Nodaway Valley Thunder,” Nodaway Valley coach Michael Barbosa said.

The positive for the Thunder is that the co-op is coming at a good time for Nodaway-Holt and they add plenty of talent from West Nodaway for this coming year.

“It makes it really fun because you know exactly what they are going to do,” Noaway Valley senior Hunter Dawson said. “We’ve been playing for four years, and even in elementary together. We’ve created a great bond.”

That talent is led by one of the area’s best point guards with Dawson. Dawson led the Rockets in scoring last season with 14.2 points per game.

“We have a lot of potential here,” Dawson said. “We have to keep working every day. It is fun. I’m excited for it.”

Dawson has one of the smoothest jump shots in the area and shot over 40 percent from 3-point range last year while also shooting 88 percent from the free-throw line.

“I see a lot of leadership out of him,” Barbosa said. “... He is going to be our leader out on the floor.”

While Dawson returns to pace the guards, senior Dawson Fast is the leader in the post this season. Last year, he averaged 11 points per game.

“Senior year is here,” Fast said. “I’m ready.”

Being seen as a post player is a little new for Fast, who began his Rocket career as a wing. He shifted down to the post last season when the Rockets lost Grant Adkins for the season.

He has thrived in that role with his quickness and sheer hustle.

Guard Bracxten Rohlmeier gives the team another proven scorer from West Nodaway. Last season, he finished with 9.6 points a game and was a quality foul shooter at 76 percent.

“We have a lot of shooters in this group,” Barbosa said. “... We are also pretty fast.”

Sophomores Kayden Conn and Michael Cook also played big minutes on the perimeter for the Thunder. Conn averaged 4.3 points per game off the bench.

“They have a lot of potential,” Barbosa said.

Despite the injury bug, Nodaway-Holt is still contributing some good athletes to the Nodaway Valley effort.

Clay Hanson, Wyatt Wakely and Parker Prettyman each played important minuted of the Trojans last season.

One freshman that Barbosa is counting on this season is Preston Jenkins who may factor into the post rotation alongside Fast.

“We have a freshman, a stud,” Barbosa said. “... He is going to be one of our bigger guys too and help us in the post.”

Wyatt Ingraham and James Herr also bring size to the post.

Nodaway Valley played King City on Tuesday and heads to the PVI Tournament next week.

Nodaway Valley will play a junior varsity and varsity team in the tournament.

The junior varsity plays Northeast Nodaway in the first round on Monday at 4:30 p.m., and will play the either Stewartsville/Osborn and DeKalb in the second round.

The varsity is the third seed and will play Union Star on Monday at 9 p.m. in Burlington Junction. In the second round, they will play either North Nodaway or St. Joseph Christian.

“I think it is going to be a great year,” Dawson said.