Head coach Cory Waters lost four seniors to graduation from the 16-12 (5-6 BDC West) team that bowed out to eventual regional titlist Pinckneyville at Trico last February.

Missing are Lucas Strickland, Dalton Smith, Hugo Quintana and Brandon Casey.

Those four took a lot of points and minutes and those sort of numbers will need to be replicated if the Eagles are going to soar to another winning record.

Coach Waters, an Eagles alum, will turn to some kids with varying degrees of experience as they head into the opening of the season at their own invitational tournament the week of Thanksgiving.

Returning players include 6-foot-1 guard Ben Daine and 6-foot-3 guard Nolan Dahncke.

Those two have a lot of PT under their belts heading into their senior seasons.

Coach Waters also mentioned some other seniors who now get more of a chance to play well.

Two forwards; 6-foot-4 Trenton Hyde and 6-foot-5 Dilynn Roper are both seniors and should make for a solid front court.

Two other back court players are seniors; 5-foot-9 Jakob Breeden and 6-foot Dawson Norris, should be in the battle for court time while this mentor has some underclassmen who should help with depth and important minutes, especially early in the season.

Two 6-foot-4 juniors, Gabe Snell and Zane Hutchison, along with 6-foot-3 juniors Dalton Byrd and Justin Casey, will add size to an already sizable lineup.Casey is a guard while the rest are forwards.

“This group of guys are unselfish, coach-able, hard-working and have good chemistry,” said Coach Waters. “They have put in a lot of work over the summer. I'm looking forward to this season.”

OUTLOOK – The Eagles switched sides of the conference last season, going to the West Division when Edwards County joined the league. Although they are one of the larger schools in the West, they still will have to prove things on the floor. They have enough returning to challenge for the league title and they have enough size to give the smaller teams fits. This coach will know much more after five games in their own tournament to open 2017-18.
N20-25 Vienna "Turkey Classic" J13 Zeigler-Royalton


Chester J15-20 Metropolis "Superman Classic"
D8 @ Zeigler-Royalton J26 @ Christopher
D12 Golconda Pope County J27 @ Sesser-Valier
D19 Sesser-Valier J30 @ Cobden
D21 Graves County (KY.) Shootout F3 @ Chester
D28-30 Eldorado Holiday Tournament F9 Christopher
J6 @ Goreville F10 Goreville
J9 Campbell Hill Trico F17 @ Campbell Hill Trico
J12 @ Ullin Century F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD