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Linton/HMB hoping inexperience can surprise teams

The Jimmies lost four seniors from the roster that lost in the 2020-21 Region 3 championship game..

The Linton/Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock boys basketball team comes into the season with a much younger roster than they are used to. The Lions lost four players from last year’s roster including a player that made the Region 3 first team Lucas Schumacher and his teammate Carter Renz.

Coming into this season, Lions head coach Dan Carr is hoping for his team to compete despite their age.

“I think we are going to be on the young side but I think we will be very competitive,” Carr said.

The losses of Renz and Schumacher will be a challenge for the Lions but it is something that the winningest coach in North Dakota basketball history believes his team is capable of.

“We have to figure out a way to replace quite a bit of scoring and some good defense. But, the other kids will just have to pick it up a little bit and we do have a couple of very capable kids that we are replacing them with, depth looks pretty good,” Carr said. “So, we are pretty confident that we can be very competitive.”

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The Lions finished last season with a 46-28 loss to the Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier Rebels in the Region 3 championship game. The loss dropped the Lions to 20-4 overall.

Despite the season-ending loss, the Lions and Carr are not looking for revenge.

“We just look at each team individually. We are not necessarily thinking of revenge but we would like to win every game if we could,” Carr said. “I don’t think it weighs heavily on our mind.”

Carr expects his team to be challenged on a nightly basis as they go through the schedule.

“I think there are many capable teams in our region,” Carr said. “So, there are many challenging games. We just have to be ready to play each and every night.”

The North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame coach expects his team as a whole to take steps forward this season.

“I don’t know that we have a player that will break out,” Carr said. “But I think we will see all of them much improved and picking up the slack.”

The Lions open the season with a home game against Hettinger/Scranton on Dec. 10. As a result of opening night being so far away, Carr and his team haven’t started looking at the Black Devils yet.

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“I think in the beginning of the season, we will just be concentrating on working together and getting the things we need to down, offensively and defensively so we are ready to go for that game,” Carr said.

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