The Melcher-Dallas Saints were 11-8 a year ago on the basketball court.

Head Coach Jim Wells is starting his 20th season leading the varsity squad on to the court.

M-D will need to replace a pair of 4-year letterman off that squad. Gone to graduation are Blaise Cooper and Ethan Harrington.

Back to show the way this winter for the Saints are five lettermen. The list includes Ryan Krpan, Steve Krpan, Joe Branson, Jacob Russell and Emery Sage.

Ryan Krpan averaged 15 points per game, five boards and four assists.

His twin brother, Steven, hit for nine points, hauled in seven boards and had three assists per outing a year ago.

Emery Sage had six points per game and Joe Branson two.

As for the strength of the 2019-20 team, “It would be 3 starters back and good numbers to work with,” Wells stated.

The weakness according to the coach is getting the right rotation working together on the court.

There are a couple of new faces on the team that fans should keep an eye on according to Wells, Gabe Enfield and Cole Metz.

In looking at the Bluegrass Conference, Wells looks at Ankeny Christian, Lamoni, Murray and the M-D Saints as the teams at the head of the class.

Wells added, “We should compete in the top of the conference.”

In closing the coach replied, “I expect our team to play hard, play as a team, uncover each players true potential and get better all year long. The goal is to stay in every game we play”

The season opener for the M-D Saints will be December 3 against Marion County rival Pleasantville in a girl-boy doubleheader tipping at 6 p.m.

The home opener will be Dec. 6 against Ankeny Christian Academy.

The Bluegrass mid-season conference tournament is slated for January 25.

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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