Poteau boys begin basketball season in Keys Cougars Invitational Tuesday

Editor's note — This is the first of a two-part series previewing the Poteau High School basketball teams. The preview story on the Lady Pirates, along with the girls bracket of the Keys Cougars Invitational, will appear in Saturday's edition.Some might think that youth might be served this season on the hardwood for the Poteau Pirates basketball team. The Pirates, who were 11-16 last season, got to the Class 4A Regional Tournament before seeing their season end.The good news is they return seven players from a season ago, but only two really saw playing time — juniors Kendrick Hardaway and Jarrett Lowrimore.“We've got some juniors who have played a lot, and some seniors who've played not a lot of minutes,” said Scott Nelke, Poteau's boys coach. “So, we're going to be young and inexperienced. But as the year rolls around, we'll get better. I'm looking forward to a fun year. They're a great group of kids to be around. We're ready. We open up Tuesday night against Keys, so we're looking forward to that. That gets the season started, and we're excited. We've been practicing for a while. Now, it's time to roll."