Coming into the season, the Central Cyclones are ranked highly in senior boys basketball but they graduated seven players from last year’s provincial 4A champions.

Riley Seaborn, Fharis Ebet, Kyle Boughen, Crozier Holmes, Jaxon Brownell, Ethan Johnson and Hardil Khubber will be tough to replace, but coach Boughen feels it’s an advantage of the players coming back to have played with those guys on the court and against them in practice last year.

“We’re for sure still working out how we play together and how do we play well together,” Boughen said. “But those five kids that are returning are pretty strong and we’re pretty confident that they’ll do a good job leading our team this year.”

One of the key leaders will be Central’s Dylan Boughen, who played this summer in the Western Canada Games in Swift Current with team Saskatchewan. His father and coach Ryan Boughen said his son and the other veterans like Quinton Ross, Ewan Johnson, Max Coulson, Kael Nichols, Jake McLean and Mohammed Jabateh will be some of the key players this season.

The Cyclones, along with most other teams in their division, haven’t had a lot of time on the court leading into this weekend and the weekend will help determine roles for the early part of the season.

“We haven’t had a bunch of team practice because we had some players who were competing in provincial volleyball and we had some players doing some theatre arts work, so we’ve only had about five team practices,” said Boughen.

The team will hit the Bowldt Classic in Saskatoon Thursday, Boughen said.

“It’s a pretty high level 5A pre-season tournament, so it’ll be good for us,” he said. “We play Campbell right away and Campbell’s pre-season ranking in Regina is three.”

The strong veterans will help determine the path the Cyclones take this year.

“We’re in better shape than most people would think we’ve be in for losing seven grade 12s,” Boughen said.

Also at the tournament are the defending 4A girls bronze medalist Peacock Toilers.

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