The Blue Devils, who were the runners-up to the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans in the Class 2A regional, also return a pair of reserves, senior Dustyn Ingram and sophomore Dylan Allen, who figured to assume starting roles when Bismarck-Henning opens its season on Monday night at the Cornjerker Classic.
“Dylan is going to take over our ball handling duties and the experience he gained last year as a freshman should help him out a lot,’’ Clapp said.
While Salt Fork, which opens on Monday night at the Tri-County Thanksgiving Tournament, and Bismarck-Henning would be considered the top two favorites heading in the year, there is a group of teams right behind them that could challenge.
The Westville Tigers have five seniors and three of them are returning starters from a team that finished third in the league standings.
“I think we’ll be a fairly good defensive team and we should have several kids that can score the ball,’’ said Millis about his squad, which did suffer a setback before the season started.
Senior point guard Tanner Cox sustained a knee injury during the football season and he will definitely miss the first two months and could miss the entire season. That leaves Westville with returning starters Jeffery Thompson and Kyle Brazas, while Dalton Hilligoss and Jordan Romo were key contributors coming off the bench a year ago for the Tigers.
“The key for us is being consistent and taking care of the basketball,’’ said Millis, whose tallest player on his roster is junior Justin Ottino at 6-3. “We don’t have a lot of size, so we’re working really hard to boxing out and rebounding.’’
While Bismarck-Henning, Salt Fork and Westville, each have three returning all-area picks this season, so does Hoopeston Area, Milford and Oakwood.