With 10 returning players, including six seniors who combined to score an average of more than 62 points per game last season, the Pine River-Backus boys’ basketball team is excited about the upcoming season.
The Tigers will be looking to improve on their 15-12 overall record and an 8-6 mark in conference play.
“We return a nucleus of players from last year,” stated Pine River-Backus head coach John Riewer. “"We are very excited about the upcoming basketball season.”
The Tigers only lost two players to graduation. Henry Krecklau averaged 12.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season, while T.J. Lukanen scored 3.8 points per game.
Zach Struss (12) - 16.0 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 2.3 APG
Konrad Bueckers (12) - 10.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.1 SPG, 4.7 APG, 2.3 BPG
Hank Raph (12) - 14.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 3.7 APG
Zach Semmler (12) - 4.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.5 APG
Tony Pederson (12) - 3.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.8 BPG
Jorden Philipson (12)
Ben Remington (12)
Kiel Struss (11) - 1.2 PPG
Nathan Brasel (11)
Joe Davidson (11)
Nick Ackerman (11)
The rest of the varsity team will be made up of juniors Troy Staples, Joe Manning, Jordan Onken and Kristian Broom; along with freshman Torry Hirschey.
Rounding out the remaining levels of the Tigers’ program this season are sophomores Jonah Lawrence, Austin Ratieke and Chris Krecklau; freshmen Christian Reedy, Murray Armstrong, Tanner Onken, Nathaniel Wosmek and Travis Tschida; plus eighth-grader Brady Raph.
Following a pair of scrimmages in Aitkin and Perham, Pine River-Backus opened the 2015-16 season with a home game and a 60-47 victory over Pillager on Monday, November 23.
“We play a competitive schedule, which we hope makes for a better basketball team at the end of the year,” explained Riewer. “Basketball is a long season. We will need to stay mentally focused throughout, on and off the court, along with staying healthy physically."