With a new coach and some new systems, the Grafton boys basketball team faces some adjustments this season.
Damon James takes over for Bob Maronde, who left the district and is coaching the Cudahy girls squad this season.
"We are looking forward to a competitive season," James said. "This will be an adjustment for all three levels (freshman, junior varsity, varsity) in terms of understanding the new offensive and defensive concepts, so it will take time and patience, but we have good kids in our program who all want to work hard and succeed."
The Black Hawks opened the season with a 76-73 overtime triumph over Kenosha Indian Trail on Nov. 26 behind 21 points from 5-foot-11-inch senior Tanner Autey, 15 points from 5-9 senior Justin Peters and 12 points apiece by 6-5 senior Logan Hilgart and 6-4 senior Ryan Melotik.
Grafton held a 37-29 halftime advantage, but Indian Trail rallied to send the game into overtime. The Hawks outscored Indian Trail, 7-4, in the extra session to pull out the victory.
"This was a tough, hard-fought victory for our team," James said. "Indian Trail is a talented team with good guard play and perimeter shooting. We thought our kids did a good job of being resilient during the game and making some big plays down the stretch to help us come up with the victory."
The Hawks lost last season's top scorer, Luke Benzschawel (15 points per game), to graduation, but Hilgart is back after scoring 13.9 points per game.
Other key returnees from last season's 10-15 squad include Autey (7.2 points per game and 21 shots from 3-point range), Peters (7.0) and 6-0 senior Logan Block (5.5).
Grafton has a veteran squad, with 14 of 15 players on the roster being seniors.
The Hawks met Watertown on Nov. 29 and will open North Shore Conference play at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Homestead.