By Jacki Wood

Two senior guards will lead the North Nodaway boys basketball team and help the Mustangs continue the success they saw in last year’s 17-10 team.

“I expect our guard play will continue to be our strength,” Head Coach Jake Shipman said, now in his third year at North Nodaway.

Senior shooting guard Peyton Coleman averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last year. Senior point guard Dakota Smyser averaged 5.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game last year.

“I’m very excited for this team to show who they really are to people,” Shipman said. “We have a great group of kids that work their tails off in practice. I’m excited to watch them grow into the players and men they want to become.”

Other returning lettermen include Daytona Lutz, Gus Hoepker, Garrett Torres, Cole Bird, Arron Coleman and Cody Wood.

The Mustangs placed 1st in the Northwest Invitational, 2nd in the Mound City Tournament and 3rd in the Fairfax Tournament and lost in the district semifinals to Stanberry, the eventual Class 1 state champion.

Three seniors graduated from last year’s team, Koby Reynolds, Ben Hart and Wyatt Tate.

“We have multiple guys that are excited and ready to prove they can fill the holes left from graduation,” Shipman said.

He sees South Holt, Mound City, Nodaway-Holt and South Nodaway as his team’s toughest opponents this year.

He hopes they can learn from their mistakes and be good teammates for each other.

“We also look to be very consistent from the free throw line and look to keep improving our consistency from behind the three-point line as well,” he said.

The Mustangs began the season with a 57-26 win over North Harrison, then won the Mound City Tournament consolation trophy.