MILLIGAN — After going 21-5 last season and qualifying for the Class D-2 state tournament, the Exeter-Milligan boys basketball team is going to be without a lot of the familiar faces fans saw in Lincoln.

The Timberwolves bring back just one starter in senior Max Zeleny. The 6-foot forward and three-year letter winner will resume his place in the starting five, having averaged nine points and six rebounds per game last year. The weight of the team won’t fall solely on Zeleny’s shoulders, as junior Jackson Beethe also brings valuable experience from last season. The 6-3 junior came off the bench and scored 14 points per game and grabbed four rebounds per contest as one of the team’s forwards. Beethe looks to provide similar production this season.

The Timberwolves have a pair of seniors that are looking to step up and make contributions for the first time at the varsity level. Ryan Sharp, a 6-5 forward, and 6-foot forward Elijah Johnson are hoping to make in impact during their senior campaigns. Sophomores Kole Svec (5-9, guard), Peyton Pribyl (5-9, guard), Casey Underwood (5-10, forward), and Braden Capek (5-10, forward) are also expected to contribute to the team’s success.

Last year’s state tournament berth was the first for Exeter-Milligan since 2015, when it won the D-2 championship. The Timberwolves quest to reach Lincoln again starts Thursday, when they host Deshler. Exeter-Milligan will compete in the Class D-2, Subdistrict 3 tournament at the end of the season, going up against Dorchester, Friend, and Osceola.

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