Knoxville is coming off a season where the Panthers were 8-14 overall on the basketball court and 7-4 in the South Central Conference.

Six of the 14 losses were by 10 points or less a year ago.

KHS Coach Jeff Larson returns to coach the squad for the 2019-20 season.

Back on the squad are three returning letter winners, Kieren Nichols, Ben Olson and Alex Eckert.

Nichols averaged 19.8 points per game for the Panthers during his sophomore season on the court.

Olson hit for 5 points per outing and Eckert 1.5 points and two boards.

Nichols and Olson started for the team.

Gone from a year ago are graduated seniors, Elliott Schmidt, RJ Roberts, Tyler Vaske, Cristian Magana and Marcus Wilkins.

Schmidt also was a first-team All-SCC pick a year ago.

Knoxville will bolster the lineup this year with the addition of Spencer Hixson, a 6’4” junior move-in from Des Moines Christian.

Larson said Hixson fits in well with the team.

Luke Keitges, a freshman, is also vying for some court time.

Larson said the strength of the team is guard play and how quick the team gets up and down the court.

The weakness is lack of depth and height.

The KHS coach selects Albia, Centerville and Knoxville as the teams to beat in the league.

“I think we should compete for a conference title,” Larson said.

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

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