By Chad Plein
El Dorado Springs has four seniors leading the charge this year. The Bulldogs are hoping their experience and athleticism will lead them to a winning 2020-21 campaign. El Dorado Springs hasn’t a season above .500 in six seasons.
“We played good defense last year but had some trouble scoring at times,” head coach Joel Braden said. “We hope that the development of our returners and the addition of our young players will help with that.”
Braden says senior Ian Esry has really worked in the off-season to improve his overall game. Esry is the returning leading scorer with 13.5 points per game making 53% of his 2-point field goals.
The Bulldogs also have a pair of dynamic defenders in Clayton Collins and Preston Robison. Collins and Robison averaged 10.4 and 8.4 points respectively but the numbers don’t tell the impact they make on the defensive side of the floor.
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Rounding out the senior leadership for El Dorado Springs is Gaven Morgan. Braden says Morgan along with his 7 points per game is the best post defender and a solid scorer in the paint.
And defense is one thing Braden has been preaching most heading into the season.
“Try to use our athleticism to pressure on defense and push the pace on offense. We have a chance to have a really deep team and lots of competition for playing time.”
El Dorado Springs also has a pair of juniors Braden will turn to. Will McKinney at 6-foot-3 can score above the rim and 6-foot guard Nathen Adams is a good shooter.
The Bulldogs also have a crop of sophomores ready to step up to the varsity challenge. Kuliath Kephart stands at 6-foot-5 and has guard skills. Kaden Burley is a 6-foot-6 post player is a good defender. 5-foot-10 Kade Fast is an athletic guard. Freshman Landon Murry at 5-foot-7 could see some varsity minutes this season.
“Our senior group is solid and we know we will get solid play from them. If our younger players are able to contribute and make an impact we have the capability to be good.”
El Dorado Springs opens the season at the Warsaw Invitational on Nov. 30.