Dublin's playoff hopes came down to the very end of the season last spring.

And ended in disappointment.

Now, with a new year in high school basketball dawning, Dublin head coach Richard Pringle is turning to a parade of returning lettermen to get the Lions over the hump.

Dublin, 19-11 overall last year including a 7-5 district mark, returns a pair of two-time first-team all-district honorees in guard Hunter Turner and post Jonathan Pringle. Jakob Damstra was district newcomer of the year and brings a daunting inside presence at six feet, eight inches.

Sophomore Aaron Callaway and senior Cort Timmons are also back.

"We have a lot of height inside and we'll have a great group of guards that should be able to fill it up from outside the 3-point line," Pringle said. "I think we have pretty good team speed and we will be pushing the ball up the floor in our transition game this year."

Pringle applauds the work put in by players throughout the off-season.

"The off-season guys have been working hard and are looking forward to beginning the season next week," he said.

Dublin tips off its season at home against Itasca Nov. 16 after scrimmages against Class A powers Lipan and Poolville.

The highlight of the Lions' pre-district schedule is the annual Dublin Dr Pepper Tournament slated for Dec. 2-4.

"We have a strong field of teams coming for that," Pringle said. "We're excited about that and getting the season rolling."

Even with a great deal of firepower returning from last year's young squad, Pringle, who has had previous head coaching stints in both Santo and Hico, knows getting to the playoffs will be tough.

"Our new district should be as tough as (our old one) was the last two years," he said. "Hico has a really strong team this year and was in the playoffs last year, and Bangs returns a solid group as well. We have an eight-team district this year so it is going to be really hectic each night."

With five starters back, Pringle believes he has the experience to survive the tough league and reach the postseason.

He knows those players don't want to be disappointed again.