Boys basketball: Raymond set to 'fill up the stat column' this season

Kasson-Mantorville senior Braxton Raymond is going to be asked to fill a lot of roles for the KoMets' boys basketball team this season.

Kasson-Mantorville senior Braxton Raymond takes a break from practice with his team Monday.

Kasson-Mantorville senior Braxton Raymond is going to be asked to fill a lot of roles for the KoMets' boys basketball team this season.

Raymond, the son of the KoMets' head coach, is among the team's top ball handlers and he is a strong outside shooter. But at 6-foot-5, he is also K-M's tallest player.

"We're asking him to be an all-around basketball player," K-M coach Kelly Raymond said. "Post-up and also drive and score. But he can do more than score. He could probably put up 28, 30 (points) a game, but that's not what he's about. He about getting others involved."

The younger Raymond is entering his fourth year as a starter, one at St. Peter and now in his third year at Kasson-Mantorville. He has earned all-conference honors in each of the past three seasons and enters this season with 1,220 career points.

"It should be a fun year and being a leader on the team," Raymond said.


He figures to be playing a lot this season so he did extra conditioning in the offseason.

"I knew I was going to have to play a lot of minutes this season so I lost 15 pounds," Raymond said. "I went from 220 to 205."

Despite the weight loss, he is looking forward to the challenge of playing inside more this season, often after he brings the ball up the court to set up the offense.

"On my AAU team, I had to go inside a lot, so I'm prepared for that," Raymond said.

"Hopefully it should be a tough match-up for other teams," he added, "because we have some other guys who can stretch the floor."

Raymond averaged 19.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game as a junior. Entering his senior year in 79 career varsity games, Raymond has averaged 15.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He had a strong start to this season with 19 points and 10 rebounds as K-M defeated Park of Cottage Grove this past Saturday.

"I want to fill up the stat column, not just with points, but with rebounding, assists and steals," Raymond said.

He realizes that keeping teammates involved with be crucial as he will often face plenty of defensive pressure.


"He's going to get the other team's best defender, but that's good," Kelly Raymond said. "I tell him, that's a challenge."

Hoping for deep playoff run

Braxton Raymond is ready for all challenges this year and may find his height to be an advantage plenty of times. He should have a solid cast around him. The KoMets are coming off a 15-13 season and also have two other starters back in 6-4 senior forward Cole Kremers and 6-1 junior point guard Brendan Knoll.

"I think everyone has bought in and we can be a good team," Raymond said. "I think we have a pretty good chance to do deep in the playoffs."

The KoMets are in Section One, Class AAA again this year. If they are to make a playoff run, Raymond will have to be healthy. The 18-year-old was diagnosed with a muscle disorder in his calves. He will face surgery after the season, but doesn't believe the problem — tightness and pain in his calves — will be an issue during the season.

"Hopefully it won't slow me down too much," he said.

And the surgery should allow him to continue his career in the future. Raymond has been getting plenty of interest from area Division III and II colleges for basketball.

"That's always been a dream of mine, to play college ball," Raymond said. But first he wants to have a strong senior season for the KoMets, no matter where he is on the court.


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Kasson-Mantorville senior Braxton Raymond can fill up a box score, with his ability to shoot, rebound, pass and defend. He is the key leader for the KoMets this season.

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