By Jennifer Eisenbart

Sports editor

A year ago, the Burlington High School boys’ basketball team was being led by the hot shot of senior Travis Crayton and six other seniors en route to a 14-0 Southern Lakes Conference record and title.

Now, nine months later, the Demons are ready to start anew with seven new seniors and a handful of juniors that coach Steve Berezowitz is optimistic about.

“Every year, I think you talk to every coach and I think there’s the optimism,” said Berezowitz, in his 17th year as head coach of the Demons. “You kind of have these expectations.

“But we’ve kind of just decided that, this year, obviously we enjoyed the success last season, but we also didn’t like how it finished,” Berezowitz added. “We kind of want to use the year as a new beginning.”

The end that Berezowitz is referring to was a loss in the regional final to Janesville Craig. The Demons had entered with hopes of making it to sectionals and maybe beyond, and instead saw an impressive run end on a bad shooting afternoon.

“It was just one of those days where everything went wrong,” the coach said. “We have a fresh start.”

Back for the Demons are seven seniors: Trent Taylor, Nick Reda, Alex Oldenburg, Zach Oldenburg, Dexter Spieker, Tim Peterson and Eric Gerber.

“You’ve got Eric Gerber, who’s a first-team All-Conference returner,” Berezowitz said. “I thought Tim Peterson had a superb junior year.

“Alex and Zach Oldenburg had good seasons coming off the bench,” the coach added. But Berezowitz also said that with the seniors now filling three holes left to graduation, the players would have to adjust to their new roles.

Reda is recovering from a torn ACL in April. The team’s point guard last year, Berezowitz said the team will work a point guard “by committee” until Reda’s return. Taylor, Spieker, Alex Oldenburg and Peterson will all fill into guard positions.

Gerber will be in the post along with Zach Oldenburg and a number of juniors.

BHS opened at Horlick Tuesday night, losing 61-55.

“It was kind of reminiescent of how we started the season last year,” Berezowitz. “We were a little out of sorts. We did some things we can’t do if we want to be successful.”