DCHS basketball teams ready to open seasons this weekend

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Zach Tunnell photo

Nacho Lopez drives across the key looking for a scoop shot while tightly guarded by Max Eaton during the Red & White scrimmage Friday night.

With basketball practice having been underway for a couple of weeks now, the Dawson County High School Red Devils are finally nearing the first game of the season. Both boys’ and girls’ squads will open up their season on Friday against Fergus High School. The Glendive community got their first look of both teams last Friday during the Red & White scrimmage.

Lady Devils

The girls’ team has a lot of returners from last season. They lost only one senior from the team that made the state tournament for the first time since the 2008-2009 season. Juniors Karsen Murphy and Savannah Toms were both all conference selections a season ago. Coach Kayla Rivas praised the way these two players have developed over the offseason and said she looks forward to what each has to offer this season.

“Karsen has grown a lot as a player over the summer, she has improved her game offensively and defensively and has gotten a lot stronger as well,” Rivas said.

She said she expects other teams to key on Murphy throughout the season

“I think Savannah found out real quick what it takes to be successful. She has the ability to play both inside and outside,” Rivas said.

Rivas feels like Toms is one of the fastest players at her position in the conference.

The Lady Red Devils have five seniors who Rivas expects to provide leadership throughout the season. Those five seniors are: Thea Robson, Kendra Kaufman, Bailey Pearcy, Bailey Kortum and Alexis Moos.

Rivas likes what Robson and Kaufman bring to the team. She mentioned how Pearcy has the ability to spread the floor with her shooting ability as well.

These five seniors as well as Murphy and Toms will be the seven guaranteed varsity spots throughout the season. She says there will be a lot of other players who fill the other roles on varsity and will compete on junior varsity as well.

Rivas has high hopes for the team. Coming off a state tournament appearance Rivas said their goal is to make a little more noise in the state tournament this year.

Red Devils

With a lot of underclassmen trying to find roles on the boys’ squad, Coach Wade Murphy is excited about this upcoming season.

Senior Stephen Steinbron is a returning all state player from last season and Murphy is excited to get him back from an ankle injury early in the preseason.

Murphy isn’t exactly sure when his return will be, but added that the ankle is starting to look better.

“I doubt Stephen will be ready,” Murphy said about the upcoming game against Fergus this Friday.

Senior Boe Eaton, a transfer from Terry, will be seeing significant minutes all season and will have an increased role while Steinbron is out.

Eaton is a 6’3’’ 240-pound brute of a post player who has the ability to use either hand around the rim.

Murphy said he expects senior Logan Phipps and junior Kade Hellman to play pivotal roles this season. Both of these players show leadership in different ways on the court, Murphy said. Phipps is more of a vocal leader while Hellman likes to lead by example.

Phipps will be handling the point guard position a lot of the time during the season and does a nice job spreading the ball to his teammates and understands how to control the tempo of the game.

Two other players who will be seeing a lot of varsity minutes are sophomore Nacho Lopez and senior Alex Bakoc. Both are foreign exchange students and bring a bit of the international style of play to DCHS.

Murphy really likes what Bakoc can do in the side pick and roll action as a ball handler. He has excellent court vision and has the ability to knock down the open three if needed.

Much like the girls’ team, Murphy expects different players to contribute off the bench. Those players will be playing junior varsity as well.

Both squads open up their season against Fergus this Friday and follow up with a game against Havre on Saturday. The girls will be at home both games with Friday night’s varsity game starting at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game against Havre starting at 5 p.m. The boys will play at 4:30 p.m. in Lewistown and 5 p.m. in Havre.

Reach Zach Tunnell at rrsports@rangerreview.com.