When the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association came out with their latest basketball team standings, the Duchesne boys’ found themselves in familiar territory, near the top of their class. You see, this group has been winning games and basketball tournaments, together, long before they ever called themselves Pioneers. In 2004 the St. Charles Comets basketball team was formed (2nd graders). That team included Samuel Briscoe, Ryan Tune, Drew Moore, Clay Stulce and Mike McDonald. Sound familiar? Just look at the Duchesne Pioneers current roster and you’ll find they all play vital roles on Duchesne’s team today. For nearly ten years this exact group has been terrorizing their opponents and chalking up victories. Hard to say exactly how many tournament these guys have won together but one thing is clear, they have their eyes set on one last one. A State Championship would be the culmination of what has been a truly remarkable decade long run of excellence.
Let’s meet these guys: (All stats from Stltoday.com)
Mike McDonald: Guard 6’3 195. Mike’s a big strong athletic guard with the ability to out muscle opponents defensively. He shoots 48% from behind the arc and nearly 70% from two point range. Mike averages 10 points and 4 rebounds per game.
Clay Stulce: Guard 6’0 175. Clay is a superior athlete with the ability to lockdown the other team’s best offensive player. A willing defender, Clay defers offensively to his teammates. On many teams he would be a force on offensive. Clay averages 8 points and 2 steals per game.
Drew Moore: Forward 6’7 210: Moore’s a lefty with the ability to score around the rim as well as out to three. Drew’s a good athlete with an extremely high motor and will to win. Along with being the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 12.5 points per game, Moore defends the rim for the Pioneers and pulls down 6 rebounds per game.
Ryan Tune: Forward 6’7 195: At 6’7 Tune is the second half the Duchesne’s two bigs. Tune is not the athlete Moore is but makes up for with his length and has good instincts for the game. He has the ability to score inside, but Tune is a knock down 3 point shooter. He’s a tough match up for opponents because of his ability to go score from anywhere on the floor. He’s Duchesne’s leading scorer averaging nearly 15 points per game.
Samuel Briscoe: Point Guard 5’11 180: Briscoe’s the engine that drives this train. What he lacks in height he more than makes up for in intangibles including leadership, toughness and sheer will. Briscoe’s a fearless driver, and once he’s in the paint there’s just about no stopping that Duchesne offense. Shooting over 50% from three, Briscoe takes and makes big shots but is a willing passer averaging 4 assists per game.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been around most of these guys for the last 5 years and it’s an amazing group. There’s the obvious success on the court, but all excel in the classroom as well, and their quality of character is unmatched. I believe Duchesne will win a State Championship and I believe it’s because of their strength of character, their long lasting commitment to each other, as well as their individual talent. Include me as a Duchesne fan… or a Comets fan…well I’m just a fan of this group.