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All-Region duo returns as Cowboys aim to get further in regional tourney

Revisiting last season, there's one clear trend that the Killdeer boys basketball team would like to maintain during the 2017-18 season, and another they'd rather not repeat.

Killdeer guard/forward Garrett Lemieux scans his options in game action against Dickinson Trinity during the Roughrider Tournament on Dec. 13, 2016. (Press File Photo)
Killdeer guard/forward Garrett Lemieux scans his options in game action against Dickinson Trinity during the Roughrider Tournament on Dec. 13, 2016. (Press File Photo)

Revisiting last season, there's one clear trend that the Killdeer boys basketball team would like to maintain during the 2017-18 season, and another they'd rather not repeat.

Killdeer was an impressive 9-2 in games decided by ten points or less. The Cowboys also suffered ten losses by more than double digits, half of which were by 38 points or more. While hoping for continued execution late in close games, Killdeer head coach Andy Murphy believes added depth to his roster will help alleviate the amount of blowout losses.

"Last year, we couldn't go very deep off of the bench," Murphy said. "I think we played a sophomore and a freshman off of the bench, two kids that have never played varsity before and were kind of wide-eyed for most of the season. Last year, we went seven deep, but now I want to play nine, ten deep if we can. I think that'll help us out greatly staying in some of these games."

Junior guard Kacen Gartner and sophomore guard Daylon Danks are expected to have increased roles in the backcourt. With a year of experience on the varsity level under their belt, look for the duo to bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense. That was a task handled by 2016-17 All-Region 7 junior guard/forward Garrett Lemieux, but the move is intended to diversify Lemieux's looks and add a wrinkle to the offense.

However, according to Murphy, Lemieux and fellow All-Region senior guard/forward Alex Sadowsky bring more to the table than scoring the ball.

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"They both see the floor very well and are very good on defense," Murphy said. "Alex is very good in the paint; he gets a lot of block shots, but he also causes chaos in there. He's 6-foot-5, so he's got a long wingspan and he's tall, but he's very good at knowing where his guy is and knowing where people are behind him. He controls the paint very well on defense. Garrett can guard anyone from the point guard up to the center. So it's nice to have that versatility to put him anywhere on the defensive end."

Killdeer finished the 2016-17 campaign with an 11-12 record, bowing out of the regional tournament after a 70-30 defeat to Beulah in the quarterfinals. Entering his fifth season leading the Cowboys, Murphy has seen each of his previous four seasons end during the quarterfinal round and is hoping for a change in fortune.

"The goal for every team is to make it to the state tournament. I think one of our goals is to get past that quarterfinal round" Murphy said. "We want to win on that Monday and give ourselves a chance to make it to the state tournament."

Killdeer guard/forward Alex Sadowsky looks for the open man in action against Dickinson Trinity during the Roughrider Tournament on Dec. 13, 2016. (Press File Photo)
Killdeer guard/forward Alex Sadowsky looks for the open man in action against Dickinson Trinity during the Roughrider Tournament on Dec. 13, 2016. (Press File Photo)

Related Topics: KILLDEER COWBOYS
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