CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Dusty Herscher took over as the Riverside boys basketball coach last year, he had a clear mission in mind.
His first season with the Warriors didn't go as planned, finishing 8-16, but Herscher is expecting bigger and better things in his second year leading the program.
"Historically, this area has been really strong with DuPont and East Bank having been powerhouses, and Riverside was at first when the two consolidated," Herscher said. "We want to get back to that, and we have the talent to do so."
Herscher gets his first chance to make his mark on the program this season when Riverside plays its season opener on Dec. 11 at Shady Spring.
"We won eight games last year, and lost a few games we shouldn't have," Herscher said. "We expect to close games out this year. We play a tougher schedule that we did last year to make sure we got our team ready come tournament time. We are expecting double-figure wins."
Herscher emphasizes a hard-nosed defensive style of play from his five seasons as an assistant at Capital, but wasn't happy with his team's intensity last year.
He expects that to change, though.
"We came in with a new attitude," Herscher said. "We are going through a transformation period where we are learning how to play every play and be in the right places. I'm getting them to play every play this season. Team chemistry is a lot better, too."
Herscher points to the Warriors off-season program as hope that his message is getting across.
"I'm pleased because we played in over 60 games over the summer, different tournaments, and the three-week period. We won over 80 percent of them so that has helped them out a lot and given them a taste of winning."
Herscher will lean heavily on three returning starters in seniors Marcus Reed and Nick Light, along with sophomore guard Josh Butcher.