The glass was more than half-full for first-year Homestead boys basketball coach Sean Crider and the Highlanders after a more-competitive-than-it-looked 11-13 season.
"It was actually enjoyable," he said. "We would have liked the record to have been better because there was some inconsistency, and that will happen when you're trying to change the culture. We were looking for more accountability from the kids, but they were always competitive. We were in games."
The Highlanders' season recently ended with a WIAA regional final loss to state-ranked Kimberly. That had been preceded by a win over old rival Germantown in the regional semifinal. The victory gave Homestead a 2-1 record over the Warhawks in their final set of official tussles as Germantown prepares to head off to the Greater Metro Conference next fall.
The win displayed some of the things that Crider and his staff were looking for and working on this season.
"We worked on player development all season," he said, "and Greg Foster Jr. (junior guard) took major steps this year in seeing the court and trying to get others involved. (Sophomore guard) Ryan Waddell, (sophomore forward) Michael Kennedy and (freshman guard) Declan Ciurlik all got better, too."
Ciurlik was brought up partway through the season and gave the Highlanders an instant spark off the bench.
The senior leadership was also sound, Crider said. Garrett Mitman and Sydan Parker were co-captains.
"I couldn't have asked for better leadership," he said. "Mitman, Parker, (Taejuan) Johnson all provided tremendous amounts of leadership."
Other seniors included 6-9 forward Jack Quinlevan and guard Ross Waddell.
The leadership was helpful after the Highlanders endured a six game mid-January slide. They rectified that with a five wins in seven games just prior to the loss to Kimberly that included victories over area rivals Nicolet and Whitefish Bay.
Foster Jr. earned second team All-North Shore Conference honors while seniors Mitman, Johnson and Quinlevan all earned honorable mention.
Foster Jr., led the way with a 14.9 ppg. average, including 26 3-point hits, while Quinlevean, who had a strong finish to his season, tossed in 12.9. Mitman added 10.8 (with 32 3-pointers), and Johnson, whose explosive steals and dunks often livened up many a game, averaged 9.8.
"Jack's (Quinlevan) development was huge," Crider said.
The junior varsity had a fine 17-5 mark while the freshmen posted a solid season, Crider said.
He said the tough 77-46 loss to Kimberly should serve as a good wake-up call to his team.
"It should help us get stronger, tougher," he said. "Next year, we should have more continuity going forward. We're very excited about that."