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BOYS BASKETBALL CAPSULES: Southwest Conference, T-M-B

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sports Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

JACKSON COUNTY CENTRAL HUSKIES

Coach: Trent Sukalski

Experience: Seventh season, 67-86 overall.

2011-12 Record: 8-17 overall; 2-10 Southwest Conference (sixth place); 4-10 Section 3AA.

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2012 Postseason: Lost to Windom in Section 3AA South quarterfinal.

Players Graduated: None.

Players Returning: Taylor Christopher, Sr., G; Zach Copley, Sr., F; Josh Thaemlitz, Sr., G; Austin Hinkeldey, Sr., G; Jon Harmening, Jr., F; Darnell Taylor-Breck, Jr., G; Nolan Hohenstein, Jr., F; Shadrack Wacker, Jr., G; Brady Place, Jr., G.

New Players: Matt Schmit, Jr., F; Zach Schwarting, So., G; Joseph Brinkman, So., G.

Strengths: With no players lost to graduation, the Huskies return a veteran roster led by 6-foot-5 forward Harmening, who averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds a game as a sophomore and earned all-conference honorable mention honors. Jackson County Central will be bolstered by an experienced group that is athletic and runs the floor well.

Weaknesses: JCC will play the balance of the regular season without Copley, who broke his leg during the football season. Copley averaged 10 points and six rebounds as a junior, but the Huskies are hoping that the 6-3 forward will be back by February.

Outlook: "We are excited about the season," Sukalski said. "The kids put a lot of work in during the offseason. Not having Copley will hurt us, but hopefully he gets back to help us become a deeper team." With the returning cast, the Huskies should improve upon last year's eight-win season.

Schedule

Dec. 3: at Granada-H-EC, W, 70-56

Dec. 6: Mt. Lake Area, W, 80-77

Dec. 7: at Luverne, L, 62-56

Dec 13: at Redwood Valley, L, 70-50

Dec. 18: Marshall

Dec 21: at Windom

Dec. 27: at Blue Earth Area Tourney

Dec. 28: at Blue Earth Area Tourney

Jan. 3: Martin County West

Jan. 4: Pipestone Area

Jan. 7: at Estherville Lincoln Central

Jan. 8: at Worthington

Jan. 11: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Jan. 14: at Fairmont

Jan. 17: Luverne

Jan. 22: at Marshall

Jan. 29: Windom

Feb. 2: St. James Area

Feb. 8: at Pipestone Area

Feb. 12: Worthington

Feb. 15: Redwood Valley

Feb. 19: at Nicollet

Feb. 21: at St. Clair

Feb. 26: Blue Earth Area

March 2-14: Section 3AA tournament

March 20-23: Class AA State Tourney

LUVERNE CARDINALS

Coach: Tom Rops.

Experience: 13th season, 111-190 overall.

2011-12 Record: 14-11 overall; 5-7 Southwest Conference (tied for fourth place); 7-7 Section 3AA.

2012 Postseason: Lost to Worthington in Section 3AA South semifinal.

Players Graduated: Devin Heitkamp, Brandon Klein.

Players Returning: Brett Heronimus, Sr., G; Matt Arends, Sr., G; Alex Weis, Sr., C; Matt Overgaard, Sr., F; Josh Slieter, Jr., F; Blake Ziegler, Jr., F; Blake Richters, Jr., G; Zane Hiller, Jr., C.

New Players: Spencer Riphagen, Jr., C; Dalton Jacobsma, Jr., F.

Strengths: Luverne's experience at guard with Arends and all-conference Heronimus returning, along with a balanced roster should help the Cardinals compete in the Southwest Conference.

Weaknesses: The Cardinals lack overall size with Riphagen being the tallest rostered player at 6-foot-4. With the graduation of Heitkamp and all-con-ference guard Klein, Luverne will look to find someone to step up and make big shots.

Outlook: Rops expects the Cardinals to be able to compete against the conference favorites, Worthington and Marshall, while improving their mark in the league to .500 or better. Last year's winning campaign snapped a four-year run of below .500 records.

Schedule

Dec. 1: Southwestern United, W, 84-61

Dec. 6: at Southwest Christian, L, 69-30

Dec. 7: Jackson Co. Central, W, 62-56

Dec. 11: at Worthington, W, 84-78

Dec. 15: at Fulda, W, 50-35

Dec. 18: at Pipestone Area

Dec. 21: Hills-Beaver Creak

Jan. 4: at Redwood Valley

Jan. 5: Central Lyon

Jan. 8: Marshall

Jan. 11: at Windom

Jan. 12: Martin County West

Jan. 14: at Edgerton

Jan. 17: at Jackson Co. Central

Jan. 21: Adrian

Jan. 26: at St. James Area

Jan. 29: Pipestone Area

Jan. 31: at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Feb. 1: at Marshall

Feb. 5: Worthington

Feb. 8: Redwood Valley

Feb. 14: Windom

Feb. 22: Fairmont

March 2-14: Section 3AA tournament

March 20-23: Class AA State Tourney

PIPESTONE AREA ARROWS

Coach: Ed Gustafson.

Experience: Not available.

2011-12 Record: 2-21 overall; 1-11 Southwest Conference (seventh place); 2-10 Section 3AA.

2012 Postseason: Lost to Fairmont in Section 3AA South quarterfinal.

Players Graduated: Blake Olsen, Reid Schiebout, Avery Ploeger, Derek Van Dyke, Lance Johnson, Josh Mabon.

Players Returning: Jacob Derby, Sr., G; Brady Claussen, Sr., F; Eric Buffington, Sr., F; A.J. Bucher, Jr., C; Boyer Bouman, So., G; Collin Moeller, So., C.

New Players: Travon Fletcher, Jr., F; Andrew Berg, Jr., G; Trent VanRoekel, Jr., F; Coby Ploeger, Jr., G; Donavon Johnson, So., F; Dominic Freese, So., G.

Strengths: Led by Derby, the Arrows have depth at the guard position, while Claussen and Buffington provide experience at forward.

Weaknesses: With three seniors on the roster, overall varsity experience is a concern for a Pipestone Area.

Outlook: With two wins so far this season, the Arrows are well on their way to surpassing last year's win total of two. Pipestone Area's last winning season was in 2008-2009 when the school finished 13-10.

Schedule

Nov. 30: at Hills-BC, W, 78-74

Dec. 7: at Redwood Valley, L, 77-59

Dec. 13: Windom, L, 61-49

Dec. 15: Ellsworth, W, 48-42

Dec. 18: Luverne

Dec. 20: Worthington

Dec. 27: at Deubrook, S.D.

Jan. 4: at Jackson County Central

Jan. 11: at Marshall

Jan. 12: Southwest Christian

Jan. 18: Redwood Valley

Jan. 19: at St. James Area

Jan. 22: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Jan. 25: at Windom

Jan. 29: at Luverne

Feb. 1: at Worthington

Feb. 2: Fairmont

Feb. 5: Marshall

Feb. 8: Jackson County Central

Feb. 9: Murray County Central

Feb. 15: at Madison, S.D.

Feb. 19: at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton

Feb. 22: at Dell Rapids, S.D.

March 2-14: Section 3AA tournament

March 20-23: Class AA State Tourney

WINDOM AREA EAGLES

Coach: Dane Nielsen.

Experience: Second season, 15-11 overall.

2011-12 Record: 15-11 overall; 5-7 Southwest Conference (tied for fourth place); 8-7 Section 3AA.

2012 Postseason: Lost to Fairmont in Section 3AA South semifinal.

Players Graduated: Jake Holt, Lee Holt, Trevor Cuppy, Doug Tab, Nick Riordan.

Players Returning: Andy Pfeffer, Sr., G; Collin Lovell, Sr., G; Nathan Remmers, Sr., F; Jacob Johnson, Sr., G; Trenton Bever, Sr., F; Jacob Gotto, Jr., G.

New Players: Victor Ogeka, Jr., F; Bryce Bever, Jr., F; Nathan Luitjens, Jr., F; Tanner Diemer, Jr., G; Kyle Antes, So., G; Jeff Pfeffer, Fr., G.

Strengths: The Eagles return a balanced roster that displays a strong work ethic. Nielsen expects his squad to be scrappy and play solid defense.

Weaknesses: The graduation of the Holt twins, both all-conference forwards, leaves a big void, inside and out, for Windom. Jake Holt set Windom records with 1,948 points and 1,152 rebounds in his Eagle career. Nielsen wants his team to improve its rebounding and to also get better shots by making the extra pass.

Outlook: The Eagles have had winning records in the past four seasons, including a trip to the Class AA state tournament following the 2009-2010 season. With a returning cast that features plenty of players that can score while also playing great defense, Nielsen expects Windom to compete each night in a very good Southwest Conference.

Schedule

Dec. 1: Fairmont, L, 70-60

Dec. 4: at Westbrook-WG, W, 67-49

Dec. 7: Worthington, L, 72-64

Dec. 13: at Pipestone Area, W, 61-49

Dec. 18: at Redwood Valley

Dec. 21: Jackson County Central

Dec. 28: Windom Holiday Tournament

Dec. 29: Windom Holiday Tournament

Jan. 3: Marshall

Jan. 5: Mountain Lake Area

Jan. 8: St. James Area

Jan. 11: Luverne

Jan. 14: Adrian

Jan. 18: at Worthington

Jan. 21: Murray County Central

Jan. 25: Pipestone Area

Jan. 29: at Jackson County Central

Feb. 1: Redwood Valley

Feb. 4: at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Feb. 9: Montevideo

Feb. 14: at Luverne

Feb. 21: Martin County West

Feb. 22: at Marshall

Feb. 25: at Cedar Mountain/Comfrey

March 2-14: Section 3AA tournament

March 20-23: Class AA State Tourney

TRACY-MILROY-BALATON PANTHERS

Coach: Rick Haberman.

Experience: Sixth season, 84-45 overall.

2011-12 Record: 11-14 overall; 8-6 Camden Conference (second place in Camden South); 2-4 Section 3AA.

2012 Postseason: Lost to BOLD in Section 3AA North quarterfinal.

Players Graduated: Taylor Hoffbeck, Jacob Orren, Zach Miller.

Players Returning: Alex Meyer, Sr., F; Parker Lanoue, Sr., G; Jordan Lanoue, Sr., G; Mason Van Essen, Sr., F; Brian Fultz, Sr., F; Alec Swan, Sr., G; Michael Nilius, Sr., C; Matt LaVoy, Jr., F.

New Players: Anthony Vue, Sr., G; Kong Hye Her, Sr., G; Justin LeClaire, Jr., G; Jacob Bengtson, Jr., F; Prakasit Singkhaw.

Strengths: All-conference selection Parker Lanoue returns 16 points a game for a deep Panthers' squad. Haberman feels that the team has the right attitude to succeed.

Weaknesses: Aside from Parker Lanoue, the Panthers will need to find additional resources for scoring. The physical strength of the team is also a concern for Haberman.

Outlook: Last season marked the first time that Tracy-Milroy-Balaton finished below .500 with Haberman as coach. With a veteran returning cast, the Panthers should be able to improve that mark. "We have a great bunch of guys that are looking forward to growing and improving together as the season progresses," Haberman said. "But, we will need to find some scoring."

Schedule

Dec. 7: Murray Co. Central, W, 70-34

Dec. 11: Lincoln HI, W, 58-39

Dec. 14: at Minneota, L, 60-59

Dec. 18: at Canby

Dec. 20: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton

Dec. 26: Mpls. Washburn at SMSU

Dec. 27: Montevideo at SMSU

Dec. 28: at Marshall

Jan. 4: at MACCRAY

Jan. 8: Westbrook-Walnut Grove

Jan. 10: Renville County West

Jan. 11: at Jackson County Central

Jan. 15: at Central Minnesota Christian

Jan. 18: Dawson-Boyd

Jan. 22: at Pipestone Area

Jan. 24: at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunb.

Jan. 29: Lakeview

Jan. 31: Luverne

Feb. 4: Windom

Feb. 7: at Lincoln HI

Feb. 12: Minneota

Feb. 15: Canby

Feb. 21: at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton

Feb. 25: at Redwood Valley

March 2-14: Section 3AA tournament

March 20-23: Class AA State Tourney

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