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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

Here's how senior Gabriel McReynolds has become a critical player for Baraboo boys hoops

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BARABOO – The season hasn’t gone the way members of the Baraboo High School boys basketball team has wanted it to go so far, only winning three games.

However, one constant has been senior Gabriel McReynolds.

“He’s been a varsity player since he was a sophomore and he’s put in the time,” Baraboo coach Tyler Fish said. “He’s rarely missed an offseason event. That speaks to the type of kid he is.”

McReynolds is averaging a double-double (10.6 points and 10.3 rebounds) for the Thunderbirds, who are 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the Badger West Conference.

“We have an emphasis to get him the basketball,” Fish said. “He’s worked really hard to put himself in this position. He deserves the touches on offense. He had a nice game (against Portage). He’s a tough player to stop. He’s a strong kid.”

The 6-foot-5 post player for the Thunderbirds put up 13 points in a 57-36 league loss to the Warriors Thursday night. He scored all but two points in the first half. At times, the Warriors had up to three players around McReynolds down low as well.

“He’s a good player,” Portage coach Darrin Berger said. “Gabe works really, really hard and he’s come a long way as a player. He’s hard to handle and it takes multiple people to cover him. Our message to the guys was we’ve got to keep playing for 36 minutes and keep trying to help on him.

“Over the course of the whole game, it’s hard to continue to get him the ball in those spots. We did enough of it to be successful, I guess.”

Fish said the reason McReynolds has been such a force for the Thunderbirds this season is over his career he’s committed himself to getting bigger, stronger and faster.

“He committed himself to the weight room and it totally changed him as a player,” Fish said. “He’s developed more of a toughness and coordination as he’s gotten older. He’s a tough player to stop and teams know that.”

And overtime he’s become one player Fish relies on each game.

“His post presence and rebounding are two things that are just a constant for us night in and night out,” he said.

Follow Mark McMullen on Twitter @mmcmull2 or contact him at 920-356-6754.

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