Bulldog basketball practicing defense heading into opener

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Ryan Kemm rises up for a floater during a recent Bulldogs practice. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

The Bulldogs are back on the hardwood and preparing for a season-opening showdown with Eureka next week.

The boys opened practice Nov. 16. Head coach Sean Duff returns to the court after a serious kidney failure left him hospitalized in early August.

This year’s squad will be led by seniors Caleb Meehan, Brendyn Peacock and Noah Fauth, as well as returning starters Lee Walburn, Dillon Botner and Ryan Kemm.

Sophomore Sam Menicke, measuring 6’5”, will join 6’6” Botner in the post to give the Dogs some height in the paint.

Duff said he’s not worried about offense with this team, despite losing last year’s leading scorers Derek Kastella and Sawyer Silliker.

“Defense is going to be the key, like always, with this group,” he said. “If we do that, points will take care of themselves. We won’t have a problem scoring. I can see us going a long ways.”

Last season Whitefish finished 7-13 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

Duff said he’s hoping to get a good idea of where his team is at right off the bat.

Following Tuesday’s game against Eureka, Whitefish will travel down to Missoula for this year’s Tipoff Tournament, where they’ll face Dillon and Butte.

Dillon finished last season with a perfect 24-0 record and a state championship, and Butte finished right behind in the Southwest A conference at 14-11.

“We’ll know right away how good we are and where we stack up, because we play Dillon and Butte. I would pick them for preseason one and two in the state,” Duff said.

Whitefish will host Eureka on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Whitefish High School.

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