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LHS boys prepare for season opener this Friday

The Lennox High School boys’ basketball team, led by Head Coach Chris Buckmiller, is ready to embark on another season, fueled by a strong sense of camaraderie and a drive to improve upon their impressive 17-4 record from the previous year.

Buckmiller, in his third year at the helm, brings a wealth of coaching experience spanning 11 years, with nine dedicated to molding high school athletes. He emphasizes the transformative power of basketball, not just as a sport but as a tool. 

“I became a basketball coach because I view basketball as a tool to help players become positive young men. Outside of my family, my coaches were the most impactful individuals in my life,” said Buckmiller. “I hope to pay it forward and impact my players in the same way.”

Backing up Buckmiller’s leadership are Assistant Coaches Jacob Hinker, Grant Fodness, and Kyle Johnston. Together, they form a coaching team focused on fostering a culture of teamwork and instilling a winning attitude in their players.

Last year the Orioles went 17-4 and exited earlier than expected. Acknowledging the challenge of last season’s conclusion, Buckmiller sees it as an opportunity for growth. 

“As a program, we are extremely excited to get our season going. Last season didn’t have the ending that we wanted but if we use our adversity correctly, it can help us get to where we want to go,” said Buckmiller. “Our players did an exceptional job in the off-season preparing themselves for this season by getting in the gym.”

The team bid farewell to graduates Conner Eich, Jaxon Plank, Braeden Wulf, and Andrew Daugherty but welcomes promising talent in Tate Gerdes, Boston Katzer, Layton Smith, Teegan Musser, Talen Eich, and Cloy McVey. Also coming back to the team are seniors Porter Ihnen, Trey Gerdes, Braxton Musser, Talan Diercks, Pierce Temme, and Ethan Lundquist. The team also features freshman Drake Mikkelsen, and sophomores Cole Spieler and Jaxson Bittner. 

“Our team strength is our culture and leadership,” says Buckmiller. “All of our players understand the importance of playing for one another. When we face adversity, we will rely on our leadership to ensure we continue to play together and play with attitude.”

The team will get a chance to put their chemistry to the test this Friday, Dec. 8 when they hold their season opener against Sioux Falls Christian at home in doubleheader action with the LHS girls. The varsity boys are scheduled to tip-off at 8 p.m. The varsity girls are scheduled to tip-off at 6:30 p.m. 

Buckmiller feels Sioux Falls Christian will be among the top teams in the area, along with Hamlin, Dakota Valley, and Rapid City Christian. 

However, Lennox is prepared to go toe-to-toe with the best of them. 

“Offensively, we plan on playing fast. Make or miss, we know that we will get our best shot in the first 10-12 seconds of the shot clock,” said Buckmiller. “Defensively, we will continue to do our best to disrupt teams with our pressure and denials.  Overall, our program has a ton of depth, so each practice is a battle. Our goal is to continuously get 2% better each day with our best performances being in March.”

The following is the 2023 team roster: 

•Layton Smith (JR, G, 6’4”)

• Talan Diercks (SR, G, 5’10”)

• Pierce Temme (SR, G, 6’2”)

• Boston Katzer (JR, G, 6’3”)

• Cloy McVey (SO, G, 6’0”)

• Talen Eich (SO, G, 6’0”)

• Braxton Musser (SR, F, 6’6”)

• Drake Mikkelsen (FR, C, 6’4”)

• Porter Ihnen (SR, G, 6’6”)

• Tate Gerdes (SO, G, 6’3”)

• Teegan Musser (SO, F, 6’4”)

• Trey Gerdes (SR, F, 6’3”)

• Ethan Lundquist (SR, F, 6’3”)

• Cole Spieler (SO, G, 6’1”)

• Jaxson Bittner (SO, G, 5’9”)


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