CRESTLINE — The 2017-2018 version of Crestline’s boys basketball team returns almost everyone from last season’s 5-18 campaign, which saw the ‘Dogs go 1-11 in Mid-Buckeye Conference play. Guard Tyler Sipes (5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 3.8 apg) was the only player from last year’s roster to graduate.
“Our post play will be key for us,” said head coach Rob Lisle. “(we have) eight seniors and 35 players in our program currently, and that provides a lot of competition at every position on the floor.”
Lisle is entering his 16th season as a coach and third year as a head coach and owns a 6-40 overall record.
Heading up the post position for Lisle’s Bulldogs will be junior Ty Clark. Last year, Clark won Crawford County all-star honors, MBC second-team honors and a District VI honorable mention as a sophomore. He averaged 15 points per game and 7.8 rebounds. Alongside Clark will be fellow big man and junior, Davon Triplett. Triplett averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season.
Kevin Winkler (MBC honorable mention last year) and Zach Gregory will be in charge of providing senior leadership while junior Max Anatra and sophomore Kaden Ronk are back for the ‘Dogs.
“We have a lot of experience at the varsity level,” Lisle said. “Leadership from the upper classmen, as well as communication is key as the top six kids have played for a few years now and are learning how to be leaders on the fly.”
A year removed from qualifying for the regional tournament, St. Peter’s is expected to be atop the MBC throughout the season, followed by Mansfield Christian and Lucas.
As for the goals and outlook for the Crestline squad, Lisle said: “We hope to be competitive in the league, surprise some teams and continue to get better everyday.”
The Bulldogs begin play Friday, Dec. 1 with a non-league game at Mapleton. Conference action starts Friday, Dec. 15 when they welcome the Lucas Cubs to town.