DONIPHAN — The Doniphan-Trumbull boys basketball team has maintained a consistent level of success over the last three years, tallying at least 15 wins in each season. But last year, the Cardinals took an additional step forward, capturing their first LouPlatte Conference tournament championship. All signs point to another successful season this year for the D-T, with the return of three starters, all of which averaged more than 10 points per game.
“This team returns a lot of good basketball players that enjoy playing together,” said D-T head coach Kelan Buhr. “They work hard and hold themselves at a high expectation, these characteristics will drive our team and program. I expect us to play at a faster pace this year and we plan to make it tough on our opponents on the defensive end.”
All three returning starters are seniors. Keith Stafford, a 6-foot guard, averaged 12.9 points per game to go with his seven rebound, three assists and 2.3 steals. Griffin Hendricks is a 5-10 guard that poured in 10.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. And Cade Sterner (6-1) tallied 10 points, 3.6 rebounds and three assists per game.
Buhr said Alex Thomas, Riley Carpenter and Myles Sadd all had key roles in last year’s success and should step into even more significant roles this season. Thomas and Carpenter are both seniors, with Thomas providing a solid post presence at 6-6, and Said is a 5-8 sophomore. Other players expected to contribute are Angelo Shafer (5-10, senior), and sophomores Andrew Stock (5-11), Blake Detamore (5-5) and Ethan Smith (5-10).
The D-T head coach believes his squad and St. Paul are the two favorites to take home this year’s LouPlatte Conference title. And in Class C-2, he think Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons Decatur is the team to beat, as it sets out to defend its state title.
Buhr is going into his fifth season as head coach for the Cardinals and has a total of 10 years coaching experience, having been a D-T assistant before taking the helm. During his tenure as head coach, Buhr has compiled a record of 60-37.
The Cardinals open the season with two consecutive road games, traveling to Blue Hill on Friday and St. Paul on Saturday. Doniphan-Trumbull will host its first home game Dec. 13 against St. Cecilia.
Doniphan-Trumbull will compete in the C2-9 subdistrict tournament at the end of the season, going up against St. Cecilia, Sandy Creek, Superior, and Sutton.