LEROY —  Hunter Esiline is looking for his senior season to be his best for the Pine River Bucks boys basketball team.

Esiline has been among the Bucks top scorers and rebounders this season.

“We started out strong at 4-0 last year, then went on kind of a downward slope,” he said. “But at the end of the year, we came out with a winning record. But it’s not (as strong of a record) than we would have hoped for. But it’s better than what might have happened.”

The Bucks started out 0-2 with losses against good teams. It was a skimpy December schedule which included a snow out but the Bucks put in a lot of time during the holiday break and are ready to take on a busy slate for the rest of the season.

Putting in that extra time was critical, Esiline noted, especially since he and others were involved in an elongated football season that went to the state semifinals in late November. For that reason, Pine River practices didn’t start until three weeks after boys were allowed to being their hoops preseason.

Esiline’s role is to “take to the bucket and score, but I’m also a rebounding threat,” he said. “I need to rebound for us to have success. I think that I box out pretty well. I can jump but I can also dribble dive to score and also post up.”

This week, Pine River is home against Manton.

“We should have a fairly good season,” Esiline said.