SUX Sports

Le Mars 2017-18 Preview

Le Mars Bulldogs 

Class 3A- Lakes Conference

2016-17 Record: 16-7 (11-3 LC)

(Lost in District Semifinal to Bishop Heelan 76-72)

Head Coach: Dave Irwin

Dave Irwin’s Bulldogs head into the 2017-18 season with state on their minds with a lineup full of veteran experience. Despite losing leading scorer and Northwestern College recruit Trenton Hilbrands, along with Jacob Thompson, this Le Mars team has the talent to reach the state tournament for the second time in four years.

Senior shooting guard Will Pottebaum is among the best players in the Siouxland area after averaging 15.1 points per game and shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Pottebaum, who is said by coaches and teammates to be one of the least selfish players they’ve been around, also recorded 59 assists. Senior point guard JT Engebretson will look to make a bigger impact for the Bulldogs on both ends of the floor this season as well, while Irwin’s son, Alex, will find himself in a starting guard role as a junior. Both Irwin and senior shooting guard Dylan Rarrat Kass will be asked to step up and play a bigger role this season.

Seniors Gabe Eckstaine and Logan Lancaster will headline the Le Mars front court. Eckstaine averaged 7.3 ppg and recorded 64 total rebounds, while Lancaster shot 51.2 percent from the field and led the team in blocks. The Bulldogs need to be stronger on the defensive end, and an improved Lancaster could be that go-to defender. After limited playing time last season, 6-6 senior Tyler Szczech will provide an inside post presence for the Bulldogs as well.

Le Mars’ biggest hurdle is not having success during the regular season, but being able to get through the gauntlet of a substate consisting of Bishop Heelan, Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Spirit Lake.

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