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The East Butler boys' basketball team doesn't have a ton of familiar faces, but will be looking to turn youth and inexperience into a successful basketball team this season.

Last year the Tigers went 17-9, but with a new look team, head coach Greg Jahde said new faces are needed to replace six seniors.

Five started and all six played in 21 games or more. The Class of 2018 accounted for more than 36 points per game together as a group.

"We're going to have a totally different look then we did last year," he said. "We lost a lot of players to graduation. We don't return a lot of experience of letter winners from last year's team. Inexperience and youth will be our big problems headed into the season.

"We'll have to work on team chemistry and things like that as we go along. I think our lack of experience will maybe show early, but hopefully, we can work through that and get better as we go."

One of the players that are returning is Jaden Rhynalds who will be a key player for East Butler if they hope to be successful.

Rhynalds averaged 17.5 points per game, shot 42 percent and 38 percent from 3-point range.

"His experience as a leader is going to be a big thing. He's one of the better shooters in Class D-1. We're going to lean on him a lot," Jahde said. "We're going to have to find a way to get other guys involved in our offense.

"My teams have always been hustlers. We hustle and get after it, even if we don't have the most talent in the world. We get after it and hope that our intensity can bother some teams and help us along the way."

The Tigers will have many tough competitors within their conference but expect to compete with many of the opponents on the schedule.

"I think within our conference, I think we could probably finish somewhere in the middle of the pack," Jahde said. "We have some pretty good teams, some teams that return a lot of experience from last year. You would think that those teams would be there right at the top of it.

"I think we could finish somewhere in the middle of it. We play a fairly tough non-conference schedule as well, which I hope will help us get ready for some of those games in the conference. As long as we're out there working hard and competing well, I'm going to be happy no matter how it goes."

The first game for East Butler is at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 when the Tigers travel to Cedar Bluffs.

"We're just going to have to learn to work together, and hope that some guys step up," Jahde said. "I think we've got some guys that can do it, but we just need to see it happen in games. You're not going to see that until the games start."

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at

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