Roland-Story boys basketball program eyes a return to state in 2023

Last season saw the Roland-Story boys basketball team return to state for the first time in a decade.

The Norsemen went 22-3 overall and won the Heart of Iowa Conference with an unbeaten 14-0 record a year ago. They defeated Garner-Hayfield-Ventura in the Class 2A substate Finals to make it to Wells Fargo Arena, where they fell to Pella Christian in the state quarterfinals, 69-62.

This year’s team plans to top all of that.

“The goal is to finish off better than last year,” said Roland-Story senior guard Isaiah Naylor. “We’re all focused and coming in with a better mindset.”

But the Norsemen know it won’t be easy.

“We have a lot of experience coming off a very successful year last year, so that’s exciting, but it brings a lot of different challenges than past years,” said Roland-Story Coach Darrin Berggren. “You know every night you’re going to get everybody’s best. We’re going to have to be ready to go.”

Roland-Story brings back (from left) Ben Greenfield, Jonovan Wilkinson, Kale Lande, Isaiah Naylor, Luke Patton, Dillon Lettow, Boaz Clark and Nick Butler off last year's Class 2A state quarterfinalist Entering the 2022-2023 boys basketball season.

Roland-Story will be led by the talented combo of Naylor and junior forward/guard Jonovan Wilkinson.

Naylor averaged 17.1 points, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals a year ago. He shot 46.2% from the field, made 72 3-pointers at a 39.8% clip and converted 83.3% of his free throws.

Wilkinson does a little bit of everything for Roland-Story. He averaged 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 49.6% from the field and 79.2% from the line in 2021-2022.

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