With a new coach and no returning starters the Boyceville boys basketball team faces some uncertainty this season.
But that uncertainly will provide plenty of opportunities for inexperience players to make their mark for first-year coach Austin Donahue.
“I see tremendous potential in our guys here,” Donahue said. “We have a lot of guys who have certain strengths individually. If we can put all those strengths together to fill roles within our team while working on improving flaws, we be competing in a lot of games.
Boyceville finished in seventh in the Dunn-St. Croix last season with a 3-11 record while going 6-16 overall. The Bulldogs will need to replace the production from all five starters including first team all-conference selection Luke Knudtson and honorable mention all-conference pick Bryce Bota.
Back for the Bulldogs this season are guards senior Jaden Reismer and junior Logan Knudtson.
Knudtson is the team’s leading returning scorer at 6 points per game. He added 2 rebounds, two steals and one assist. Reismer scored 2 points, pulled down 1 rebound and added 1 assist on average.
“We are inexperienced and lack height and depth,” Donahue said. “We really need to play together in order to find success.”
Donahue is looking to get production from a lengthy group of newcomers who are seeing their first significant varsity action this season. Guards Brendan and Connor Sempf will provide depth in the backcourt while center Cade Klefstad and forwards William Link, Brady and Hunter Nye, Bailey Danovosky and Seth Wruck will be counted on for solid minutes in the frontcourt.
Boyceville is 2-2 to begin the season picking up nonconference wins over Pepin/Alma and Prairie Farm to open the season. The Bulldogs lost nonconference contest to Unity and Bruce.
The opened Dunn-St. Croix play on Thursday in Boyceville against Elk Mound. The Bulldogs return to the court on Tuesday when they host Elmwood/Plum City before a trip to Mondovi on Friday, which ends a four-game homestand.
Boyceville still has nonconference matchups with Turtle Lake, Clayton, Cumberland and Cadott remaining on the schedule.
While the the team has many unknowns when it comes to relying on inexperienced players, Donahue feels his group has enough talent to be consistently competitive. While they don’t have a lot of size the Bulldogs will look to control the game with guard play, the one area they bring back contributors at.
“We lack size and depth, however we want to counter that using our quickness and shot-making ability,” Donahue said of the team’s style of play. “We really want to control the tempo of the game this season.”