Mehlville High School basketball Panthers are off to their best start in recent history

By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

“Exciting” is an accurate one-word de-scription of the current state of the Mehl-ville Senior High School boy’s basketball program.

The Panthers (3-1) are off to their best start in recent history after racking up a record of 31-80 since the 2000-2001 season. So it’s quite easy to understand why head coach Andy Guethle and his players are excited about grabbing their first couple of wins of the 2004-2005 season.

“The players are excited and I’m excited,” Guethle told the Call. “We’re playing hard and having all seniors in the starting lineup really helps us with team chemistry. We’ve got a few wins under our belt and that’s really going to help us down the road.”

The Panthers last week clawed their way to a 59-43 decision over Affton as Mehl-ville poured on 22 points in the third quarter en route to the victory.

“We knew that Affton was a very athletic team,” Guethle said. “The guys did a nice job of identifying their shooters and staying on them.”

Mehlville’s Ronald Roberts led all scorers with 25 points and a whopping 22 re-bounds. The senior guard also added one assist and one blocked shot in the winning effort against the Cougars.

“We know that Ronald is very capable of that kind of game,” Guethle said. “Given that kind of production offensively from him, it puts you in a position to win.”

The Panthers also received a stout scoring effort from senior guard Nick Du-Buque, who put together a 18-point and eight-rebound performance against Affton.

DuBuque also recorded four steals and one assist while nailing four of nine shots from three-point range.

“Nick had another nice game where he’s had at least 15 points,” Guethle said. “He’s a player that has such a good release on his shot that when he shoots it, you know that it’s going to go in.”

The Panthers will receive their second test of the season as they travel to Lind-bergh Friday evening for a Suburban West Conference meeting with the Flyers.

Lindbergh currently is 2-2 overall and is led by the senior guard Richard Williams, who is averaging 27.5 points a game this season.

“There are some big conference games for us early in the season,” Guethle said. “They (Lindbergh) have got Richard Wil-liams who’s one of the best players in the conference.”

Mehlville’s game with Lindbergh is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start.