NIAGARA, Wis. - Niagara will be tested right off the bat in the boys basketball season.
Coach Jim Hoogland's Badgers launch the 2012-13 campaign Tuesday at Peshtigo.
"Peshtigo has to be considered the favorite to win the (M&O) conference," Hoogland said. "Suring and Wausaukee should battle for the second spot."
Niagara, coming off a 9-13 overall and 8-8 M&O season, return six lettermen in T.J. Liebergen, Colin Anderson, Chris Westrich, Zach Zychowski, Joey Swanson and Jordan Zawada.
Zawada led the team in scoring last year.
Hoogland cites "playing team ball and working together as one unit on both ends of the court" as a team strength.
"They work extremely hard," said Hoogland, assisted by veteran jayvee coach Mike Prost. "They have a very good understanding of the game.
"Again, we are not very big, so blocking out with have to be a top priority."
Niagara plays Lena in the home opener Thursday.
SENIORS - T. J. Liebergen, guard, 5-8; Chris Westrich, guard, 5-10; Zach Zychowski, forward, 5-11; Colin Anderson, forward, 6-1; Jordan Zawada, forward, 6-0.
JUNIORS - Joey Swanson, guard, 5-10; Brett Pultz, guard, 5-6; Zach Walker, guard, 5-11; Montana Neuens, forward, 6-0; Jacob Oratch, forward, 6-3; Brandon Holcomb, forward, 6-0.