BY JACK BULLOCK
Head coach Brian Perkes heads into his 20th year as a head coach and his third year in charge of the Bulldogs program.

In 2017-18, Highland had a good run, winning all of the Mississippi Valley Conference games (10-0) as the club finished 20-9 overall.

Considering some of the tough teams on the schedule, last season was a pretty good run.

They lost in the championship game of their own regional, 64-54, to East St. Louis to end the campaign.

Three seniors were lost to graduation last spring; 6-foot-4 Steven Schniers averaged 6.6 points a game last season for the Bulldogs while 5-foot-10 Cameron Altadonna added 2.7 p.p.g.

Six-foot senior Jonathon Dickman also left via graduation.

The returning players all have experience from last season and provided a lot of the offensive and defensive numbers that got the Bulldogs that league title.

Six-foot-four senior Sam Laporta is a three-year starter for Coach Perkes and Highland.

Laporta averaged 11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and handed out a team-best 4.2 assists a night.

Those are impressive numbers for the competition level that the Bulldogs battle nightly.

Stephen Torre, a 6-foot-8 senior, added 7.1 points and snagged 4.7 rebounds for Highland in 2017-18.

Six-foot-three senior Jake Kruse tossed in 8.1 points and averaged 2.6 boards.

Brady Feldmann, a 5-foot-9 senior, added 9.0 points and 2.5 rebounds to an already prosperous offense.

Like Laporta, Torre, Kruse and Feldmann are all three-year starters and varsity veterans who are looking for a big 2018-19 season.

Six-foot-two senior Jack Etter and 5-foot-7 junior Brylee Portell were mentioned by Coach Perkes along with with senior Jacob Willis and soph Christian Kassey.

They will provide quality minutes for what looks like a very talented top to bottom squad.

“We have a chance to have a special year,” said Coach Perkes. “We have four kids back that will be three-year starters for us. Our conference will be strong this year with Mascoutah and Jerseyville being our top threats.”

OUTLOOK – The Bulldogs are looking at another very successful campaign and they are the favorite to repeat as MVC champs. I'm sure that Coach Perkes and his players are probably thinking about postseason hardware. Being 3A is a tough road in the state tournament but they have the type of team that plays well on both ends of the floor and they have some depth. Coach Perkes is correct; this could be a very special year.

N25-30 St. Anthony Turkey Tournament
Enrollment: 908 (3A)
D3 Alton Marquette
Conference: Mississippi Valley
D6 Chatham-Glenwood
Colors: Red/Black
D10 @ Civic Memorial
Head Coach: Deryl Cunningham
D13 Mascoutah
2018-19 Won/Loss Record: 28-6
D17 Jerseyville
State Tournament Result:
D20 OPEN
Lost to Mascoutah, 77-60
D21 @ Centralia
3A Mascoutah Sectional.
D26-30 Breese Mater Dei Holiday Tournament
a
J10 @ Waterloo
a
J11 Highland Shootout
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J14 Edwardsville
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J17 Columbia
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J18 @ St. Louis (MO.) Carnahan
a
J22-25 Salem Invitational Tournament 1
F1 @ Breese Central
a
F4 @ Mascoutah
a
F14 Waterloo
a
F18 Waterloo Gibault
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F21 @ Jerseyville
a
F25 Civic Memorial
a
F28 @ Triad a
M2-6 IHSA Regional TBD a