The Explorers went 21-10 last season under head coach Steve Medford, who is 135-49 in his seven seasons piloting the program.
After being relegated to 3A status by the state, AM dropped back down and won a regional title last season before having their season end at the Pinckneyville 2A Sectional at the hand of eventual third place finisher Breese Central.
Alton Marquette return just two starters from that club after losing ABV second-team 2A all-south standout Shannon Boone (19.2 p.p.g.) via graduation.
Other seniors missing from that team are Max Goepel, Jacob Fischer, Danny Holtz and Joshua Quinn.
Coach Medford will turn to two starters from a year ago to build toward another postseason run.
Six-foot-one senior Nick Messinger (4.8 p.p.g.) and 6-foot junior Reagan Snider (7.3 p.p.g.) are back.
Alton Marquette has a pair of transfers looking to make an impact.
Six-foot-six junior Jacob Hall and 6-foot junior guard Sam Green.
Bryce Pettiford, a 5-foot-10 senior, will round out the starting unit.
Coach Medford expects 6-foot-5 Nick Hemann (4.8 p.p.g.) and 5-foot-10 Chris Hartrich (2.5 p.p.g.) to help off the bench as will 6-foot sophomore Isiah Erving.
“We have a young, but talented, group of kids. We will be young but we have the players to make a deep run,” said Coach Medford. “If we can continue
N20-25 Metro-East Lutheran "Turkey Tip-Off" J9 @ Bunker Hill


Bethalto Civic Memorial J15-20 Sparta "Mid-Winter Classic"
D1 Nokomis J23 St. Louis (MO.) Lift For Life
D5 Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran J26 @ East Alton-Wood River
D7 Sydney (Austraila) Trinty Grammar F2 @ St. Louis (MO.) McClure North
D12 @ Mount Olive F6 @ Highland
D16 Belleville Althoff F9 Roxana
D21 Madison F13 Breese Central
D26-29 Freeburg/Columbia Holiday Tournament F16 @ Waterloo Gibault
J6 @ Breese Mater Dei F26-M2 IHSA Regional TBD