BOURBON – The Triton Trojans are chomping to get their boys high school basketball season started. There’s no blaming them on at least a couple counts.

One is that these guys have a chance to be darn special given that they’ve got their two stars back from a 20-6, sectional-title club in senior guards Ashton Oviedo and Tyson Yates, as well as five of their top six scorers overall.

Another is that formal practices, which began Nov. 8, have proven a pinch risky, so why not move onward to games?

“The first week was kind of rough, four pretty badly sprained ankles, so almost one a day,” Triton coach Jason Groves said Tuesday. “We were like, ‘What’s going on here?’ But, we’re better. Everybody should be ready to go.”

The season tips tonight at Oregon-Davis. That’ll be followed by five straight home games, the first of those next Tuesday against Plymouth.

“We have a lot of experience and a lot of guys who can shoot,” Groves said. “We just have to be able to play as a team and trust each other. Sometimes you don’t gel with a lot of shooters, but I’m not worried about that with this group.”

Yates is coming off Hoosier North Athletic Conference MVP honors, as selected by the league’s coaches.

Oviedo was on the HNAC first team as well, and at 949 career points, he’s closing on becoming Triton’s first 1,000-point scorer since school record-holder Clay Yeo finished at 1,992 in 2013.

“They’re also two of our hardest workers,” Groves said of Oviedo and Yates, “and not just on a day-to-day basis, but taking the time to really develop. They’re two guys who you’ve sometimes got to kick out of the gym. They’re gym rats, and that’s what you want from your best players.”

Oviedo has a chance to become the first player ever to lead the Trojans in scoring all four years of high school, and if he comes anywhere close to matching last season’s 433 points, he’ll wind up the program’s No. 2 scorer all-time. Griffyn Carpenter (2011 grad) is currently second at 1,327.

“Ashton’s a great shooter, but I think where he's really improved his game is off the dribble,” Groves said. “He’s pretty crafty, and he’s getting better defensively.”

Oviedo averaged 16.7 points last season. He drained 67-of-154 on 3-pointers for 43.5%, converted 50-of-62 free throws for 80.6% and added 2.6 steals per game. Each of those figures led the team and he was second in assists at 2.7.

Yates averaged 13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 59% shooting on 2s, each second for Triton, to go with his team-pacing 3.4 assists.

“Tyson puts pressure on the defense with his explosiveness and has improved his shooting,” Groves said. “He creates a lot for others, and his explosiveness helps defensively, too. He causes a lot of havoc.”

Other senior veterans back for the Trojans include Bruce Johnson (7.3 points per game last winter, 52-of-139 on 3s for 37.4%), Cole McKinney (5.4 ppg) and Connor Large (1.8).

“Bruce is another guy who can really shoot the ball,” Groves said. “Cole’s not a big kid, but he plays big and does the little things you want. Connor’s a really smart player, always in the right position.”

There’s also 6-2 sophomore Cole Shively, who occupied an increasingly growing role as a freshman on his way to finishing at 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in just 12.6 minutes per outing overall.

“He’s much improved,” Groves said. “I think he can be an inside-outside threat for us. He’s strong and can get to the basket.”

Triton’s also picked up a transfer in 6-5 senior Caden Graham from NorthWood, and has back Chandler Westafer, who got into 16 varsity games as a sophomore.

Groves calls rebounding and post defense his leading concerns.

The Trojans averaged 1.8 more boards than the opposition last season, but graduated their top board man in John Gardner (6.2 to go with 8.2 points).

“We’re not real big,” Groves said. “We’re looking at guys who wouldn’t normally guard post players to guard post players. We don’t necessarily need them to play offense in the post, because I think we can play five out and morph that way, but we’ll have to play good team defense and help each other.”

Groves begins his 17th full season at Triton with a 275-119 record that includes eight sectional titles, four regional crowns that each led to semistate crowns, and the 2008 state title.

The Trojans, besides notching their best overall record in eight years, tied LaVille for the HNAC championship last season at 6-1 before adding their first sectional since 2016 and advancing to the regional final.

“We look at basically three things,” Groves said of goals for this season. “We want to win the conference, we want to win the Bi-County (which Triton has not done since 2016) and we want to win the sectional. There’s no reason to look past that because it’s a tough sectional, but we’ve got high goals.”