Entries for month: October 2012
Riverland returns five sophomores to the men's basketball team and with an influx of talented freshmen, the Blue Devils have a chance to be competitive in the division.
It's always a tough road in the rugged South Division of the Minnesota College Conference, and the Riverland men haven't been to state in 15 years. That could change with the up-tempo style the Blue Devils can play this season.
Zach Bunch, Marcus Ratliff, Vincent Awoleke, Wayne Canady, and Andrew Lau are the sophomores for the Blue Devils. There are a total of 10 freshman on the roster.
Bunch is 6-foot-2 guard, who averaged in double figures last season for the Blue Devils. Bunch can score off the drive and also is a threat from beyond the three-point line. He had 22 points in last season's final home game, which was a win over Ridgewater.
Ratliff and Canady are both returning guards who can shoot the long ball. Ratliff hit a pair of treys in that final home win last season. Lau is a forward and Awoleke also gives the Blue Devils a presence in the paint.
The Blue Devils liked to use defensive pressure last season to ignite their fastbreak, and they should get even more steals this season. Goliath Oboyo, a freshman from Austin High, was a key part of the Packers press last season on their way to the state tournament.
Riverland coach Scott Koenigs has a good group of returning players and guys coming in that can shoot the ball. If the Blue Devils can keep their turnovers to a minimum like they did the last time the home fans saw them play with only seven that day, then they can be a factor in the divisional race.
The Blue Devils mens team plays the late game Saturday afternoon and then, they play again Sunday at the Minnesota West Classic.
|By Scott A. Kolb
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN