By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — It was a hard year for the Boyceville boys’ basketball team in 2016-2017.
Head coach Ben Luer’s Bulldogs finished the season 5-18 after a 78-61 regional quarter-final walloping by the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves. The team wound up 2-12 in the Dunn-St. Croix to occupy the bottom slot of the conference standings.
Luer said there were some bright spots to the season.
“We reached some team goals, but we would like to have that reflect in the record,” the Bulldog helmsman said in his preview information.
The other bright spot: Luke Knudtson taking second-team all-DSC honors as a junior after leading the Bulldogs with a whopping 19.7 points per game.
The Boyceville basketball team lost a solid leader in Kiel Anderson, who graduated in late May as part of the Bulldog Class of 2017, but returns a solid crew of players for the 2017-2018 season.
Knudtson is back for his senior year, as is Bryce Boda, who still managed to average 15.8 points per game despite sitting out several games around the holiday season. Cooper Boesl and Jayson Gonzales are also back for one last year of high school play, as is Bryce Larson.
Boesl averaged 4.6 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, Gonzales averaged 3.1 points per game, and Larson earned 2.1 points per game.
Jaden Reisimer and Brady Nye are back as juniors for 2017-2018, and hope to make a bigger impact on the floor this year. Reisimer picked up just 1.1 points per game in the seven varsity contests he appeared in, but appears to have put on some height and heft to help his scrappy, aggressive style of play, while Nye will be looking for varsity minutes.
Sophomores Brendan Sempf, Logan Knudtson and Cade Klefstad will also be vying for time in this year’s varsity match-ups. Sempf appeared in seven varsity games last year to pick up a PPG of .9, while Knudtson saw minutes in 15 contests to earn a 4.3 PPG.
According to the roster provided by Luer, there are no freshmen on this year’s Bulldog basketball squad.
Luer indicated the entire roster has potential to help out this season, as a significant number of his strongest players are back for this season.
“We have a strong senior class that will provide leadership and experience,” Luer noted. “Making sure the players have a shared vision of what we want to accomplish (is a goal).”
One of the Bulldogs’ goals this season is again to be the best team it can be defensively. Luer also wants the athletes to take high-percentage shots and win each game’s rebound statistics.
The Boyceville head coach had difficulty singling out just one Dunn-St. Croix team for this year’s title. He said each team brings something to the table that will require preparation, and explained the conference is always balanced and competitive.
Ben Luer has coached the Bulldog boys’ team for four years and has a 14-55 record.
Boyceville will open its season at home November 28 versus Clear Lake before taking a road trip to Prairie Farm November 30. The Bulldogs will take their game to Bruce December 5, and opens the Dunn-St. Croix season at home December 7 against Colfax.
Seniors: Bryce Boda, Cooper Boesl, Jayson Gonzales, Bryce Larson and Luke Knudtson.
Juniors: Jade Reisimer and Brady Nye.
Sophomores: Brendan Sempf, Logan Knudtson and Cade Klefstad.