Strong core returns for M-D boys

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The Melcher-Dallas boys’ basketball team finished in the middle of the pack of the Bluegrass Conference last year with a record of 11-8. It could have been better, had weather not canceled four games, but Head Coach Jim Wells is pleased with the way his team addressed adversity through the season. He believes the Saints can finish in the top tier again this year.

Returning for the Saints in the starting lineup are Ryan Krpan, Steven Krpan and Emery Sage. All three were standouts in the fall season, with the Krpans anchoring the football team and Sage making the State Cross Country meet.

Along with these starters, Joe Branson, Jacob Russell and, upon his medical release following a football injury, Noah Offenburger.

“We have a lot of good talent, but they haven’t spent a lot of minutes on the floor together,” Wells said. He is pleased with his team’s work ethic, effort and attitude thus far.

Wells is on the M-D coaching staff for the 21st year, his 20th as head coach. Last year’s squad was a strong one, as when they played a team for a second time – even if they lost the first game – the Saints answered with either a victory of their own or a really strong game.

Newcomers to the squad include Gavin Seals, a junior who has shown some promise, as well as Cole Metz. Metz only began to participate in basketball last year. There are seven freshmen playing for the boys this season as well.

Wells says the top teams in the conference will likely be Ankeny Christian, Lamoni and Murray. The Saints tip off tonight (Dec. 3) in Pleasantville, with Murray to follow in the coming days. Both are tough games to start the season.

“We’ve got a good group,” Wells said. “It’s going to be an exciting season and I’m sure, by the end of it, we will hold our heads up high.”