Physical Red Devils squad eager to compete
By Eric Killelea
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
The Dawson County High School boys basketball team is “physically strong” and “eager to compete,” said Wade Murphy, now in his 11th year as head coach.
“The kids have good chemistry,” Murphy said. “They enjoy playing in the gym and aren’t afraid to get pushed and work hard. We want to be the best team we can be by the end of the year and the kids take that to heart.”
Since Nov. 16, Murphy and assistant coaches Trevor Houck and Mike Sikveland have been running practice for 30 athletes in the basketball program. There are 10 players on the varsity squad, with six seniors, two juniors and a pair of sophomores.
In Murphy’s words, “The 6’3” senior Robert Keiser II is the energy guy who rebounds well and remains active and runs the whole game.”
The 6’2” senior Lane Walker is “a guard who is excited about his role and enjoys playing.
“And the 6’5, 235 pounds, junior Stephen Steinbron returns as the leading scorer on the team who “plays the rim very well and has the ability to step outside and hit mid-range jump shots.”
Last season, the Red Devils fell in overtime to Livingston in Divisionals. Despite the loss, Steinbron scored 29 points, with 11 rebounds. He is expected to continue his precision shooting this year.
This week, Murphy joked with the players that he “had to cut back on practice, so they didn’t kill each other.” He believes the intensity is a good sign, especially when the kids are able to play tough and then enjoy dinner together. The harmony appears possible in part because everyone has the same goal: “The kids want to go to Divisionals and then to the state tournament.”
Murphy added: “They feel like they have something to prove because they’re not going to be picked for the top of the conference.” They have a chip on their shoulders.”
Like the DCHS girls basketball team, the boys are also opening their season by playing against Lewistown on Dec. 8 and Havre on Dec. 9. “Our start is interesting because we play five good teams in a row,” Murphy said. “It’s a big challenge and that’s good for us. We’d rather start that way than get a false sense of who we are as a team.”
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