The Mabel-Canton boys' basketball team returns four varsity-tested upperclassmen to the hardwood floor this winter, while the team graduated four starters last season.

Coach Doug Wyffels is in his eighth season as head of the program, after serving 10 years as an assistant. His Cougars went 13-14 overall last year, 11-7 in Southeast Conference (SEC) play.

Returning letter winners include four upperclassmen who will be asked to take leadership roles. Senior Logan Henry is 6'0" tall. He will start in the post position. Henry averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game last year.

Junior Noah Manning (6'0") starts at guard. He scored 4.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds.

Junior Justin Ward is 5'10". His numbers last season were 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Guard Hunter Johnson, also a junior, is also 5'10". He averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds during the minutes he played.

Other leading candidates for the starting rotation include juniors Mac Nelson (6'0") and Colin O'Bieglo (6'1") at post, along with sophomore Donnie Lind (6'0"). Sophomore Keyser Wenthold (5 10") checks in at guard, as does classmate Wesley Johnson (5'9").

Three other sophomore players who will probably play mostly on the B team but could get into varsity games are Jon Selness at forward, and guards Dustin Kerns and Wesley Richert, Wyffels reported.

"(We) graduated four starters, so we will be a much different team this year," Wyffels said last week. "We hope to be competitive in the league this year... We should have good depth at guard. We should be able to push the ball more and play more up-tempo."

The biggest challenge for the Cougars this year will be a lack of height at post, Wyffels stated, adding that Spring Grove, Lanesboro, Lyle-Pacelli and Grand Meadow will be the favorites in the SEC, while perennial powerhouse Rushford-Peterson will be the team to get by in section play.

Wyffels will be assisted by Karl Urbaniak in his sixth year and Doug Ward in his second.

The season tips off on Saturday, Dec. 1, when Spring Grove will visit M-C. B team action begins at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, M-C will visit Lanesboro. The Cougars host LeRoy-Ostrander on Friday, Dec. 7.