BY JACK BULLOCK
If the Red Hill Salukis had been Class 1A last season, this preview might have congratulations in them for a regional championship.

Head coach Bryan Havill had a pretty strong team last season but they were just over the cutoff for the classifications and were one of the smaller 2A teams.

So instead of having a workable path to a long postseason journey, the Salukis ended up with a 53-36 loss to Mt. Carmel on the Golden Aces floor in the regional finale.

Last season Red Hill won both tournaments that they played in that featured 1A schools (Wayne City. Dieterich) and would have been a tough matchup for any of the eventual regional winners.

But it wasn't to be.

This season the 1A spot is much more controllable for this coach but he has a lot of production to replace.

Gone from the squad last season that ended up 22-10 are three seniors that provided a total of 40 points a game for Red Hill.

Drew Moore (16 p.p.g), Parker Havill (14 p.p.g) and Conner Mckinney (10 p.p.g) have graduated.

The frontcourt players returning have the most experience.

Six-foot-four junior Drake Allen and 6-foot-7 senior Nathan Wirth are back with some numbers that should increase this season.

Allen (eight p.p.g) and Wirth (five p.p.g) will both be called upon to increase those totals.

Coach Havill mentioned some kids returning that have earned letters.

Five-foot-eleven junior Camren Ray was the first one off of the pine last season for Red Hill.

Others on the list include 6-foot-1 senior and 6-foot-1 senior Gavin Volkman.

Volkman missed his junior season but is back for his senior year.

Six-foot-four sophomore Andrew Maxfield and 5-foot-9 sophomore Dawson Holtz also return.

Six-foot-two sophomore Anthony Jerrell transferred in from nearby Lawrenceville.

“There is no doubt we have a lot of holes to fill from a year ago. However Allen, Wirth, and Ray bring some experience for us,” said Coach Havill. “ Allen and Wirth started every game last season and Ray was our sixth man. Henry got some time as well last year. Volkman did not play his junior year but is back out for his senior year. If this is the group we have come November we can be very competitive. We lost a lot from last season, but I think this group has something to prove.”

OUTLOOK – It is still a big question on whether or not the Salukis will be a serious contender in the LIC. However the postseason looks much more intreging. The guard play will be tantamount for this team to approaching 20-wins like they enjoyed a year ago. There should be more bounce in the step of this club knowing that February will be much more kind than last year.

N25 Cisne
Enrollment: 270 (1A)
N29-30 Lawrence County "Capital Classic"
Conference: Little Illini
D3 Hutsonville/Palestine
Colors: Red/White/Blue
D6 @ Lawrenceville
Head Coach: Bryan Havill
D13 Olney Richland County
2018-19 Won/Loss Record: 22-10
D14-21 Wayne City Holiday Tournament
State Tournament Result:
D26-28 Dieterich Holiday Tournament
Lost to Mount Carmel, 53-36
J7 @ Casey-Westfield
@ 2A Mount Carmel Regional Final.
J10 Newton
a
J14 Oblong
a
J17 Paris
a
J21 @ Marshall
a
J24-31 LIC Tournament @ Paris
a
F4 @ Hutsonville/Palestine
a
F7 @ Neoga
a
F11 Lawrenceville
a
F14 @ Robinson
a
F18 Edwards County
a
F21 Flora
a
F24-28 IHSA Regional TBD
a