RISCO -- There is a buzz around the Risco basketball program this season as the Tigers are coming off one of their best seasons in recent history, finishing 20-8, while winning their second district championship in a row as well as the Tri-County Conference regular season crown.
"We are excited and ready for this season to begin," said Risco coach Brandon Blankenship. "We return a lot of experience from last year's successful team. We like to say that we're returning about 72 points per game."
Back this year are seniors Chris Pavy, Luke Bixler and Jeremey Fowler along with juniors Austin White and Hunter Knight and sophomore Jordon Pavy.
Chris Pavy was first team all-conference, all-district, all-region and second team all-state last year while Bixler was second team all-conference, all-district and all-region honorable mention.
They will be joined by newcomers Dustin Penrod (sr.), Caleb McCord (jr.), Matt Cummins (so.) and Brandon Bixler (so.)
"We're quick and have strong guard play on both sides of the ball," Blankenship said. "Our lack of size is an issue that we're going to have to battle and overcome all season. We'll be up-tempo and try to run and push at every opportunity."
Blankenship said Risco's biggest asset is how well the players play together.
"They work together as a team better than any team I've ever coached," Blankenship said. "We should be an exciting team to watch and we definitely expect great things from this year's team."
Risco earned the top seed in the Bernie Invitational and will kick off their season against eighth seeded East Prairie at 6 p.m. on Nov. 29. It is the first time the Tigers have earned the top seed in the tourney since the 1974-75 season.