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story.lead_photo.caption Calvary Lutheran's Jonathan Lieb goes up for a shot as South Callaway's Brandon Brewer trails on the play during a game last season at Calvary Lutheran. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman

One of Calvary Lutheran's problems last season was being stagnant on offense.

This season, a lot of returning players and a productive offseason means that might not be as much of an issue.

"This year, they move very well off-ball," Lions coach Beau Monson said. "We definitely have plays and sets that will benefit their kind of style of play. Uptempo with off-ball cut. This year, it's not necessarily going to be that every possession we're having a set play."

Calvary is coming off an 8-12 record last season but returns key players in Kwesi Hall, Kyle Hagemeyer and Johnathan Lieb look to help the team take a step forward in 2021-22.

Hall will run point as the lead guard this season after becoming a starter midway through last year.

"He'll be kind of running the one and being a scorer for us," Monson said.

Lieb will play at the other guard spot on offense but be a versatile defender. He'll get more ballhandling duties after playing some forward minutes last season.

"He'll probably be primarily running at a two on offense and then he'll still guard quite a few bigs," Monson said.

Alex Proctor and Hagemeyer will be two off-ball players at the wing spots using their outside shooting with guards Lieb and Hall.

"Proctor loves to cut off the ball," Monson said. "Him and (Hagemeyer), you never have to really set much up for them. They're just kind of always in the right spot at the right time. It seems a lot of times you'll just kind of look back at the scorebook at the end of the game and don't even realize they had 18 points."

Caleb Bernskoetter will play center in the four-out offense as the big man in the post. Monson has liked his ability to set screens and fit into the offense in the offseason and preseason.

"He's a senior and had played some minutes last year for us just as a big man in the paint," Monson said. "He's doing a lot of things right this year that we're liking. He's playing really well with the stretch four kind of concept and him being the kind of anchor in the middle of the floor."

Off the bench, Lars Marion and Alex Roettgen will provide some defense and rebounding at the forward spots. Jaxson Jobe and Jesse Jorgensen are two sophomores that will get time off the bench at guard spots.

The team will want to play a faster tempo without a whole lot of height and will switch between man or zone schemes. Monson said the team also might mix in some unconventional looks as the defense will largely depend on in-game adjustments. Monson also wants the defense to create pace as well, with a lot of offensive issues last season being because of stagnant play in the half-court.

"We're not all 6-foot-5 Division I players," Monson said. "They're all kind of similar heights and we're gonna have to kind of use that and use different styles in different situations to our advantage."

Calvary starts its season today at home againstNew Bloomfield. The Lions are in Class 1 District 8 with St. Elizabeth, Tuscumbia, Macks Creek, Climax Springs, and Chamois.

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