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2018-19 Boys Basketball Capsule Previews

(As submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Kurt McGinnis, third season (29-18 career at Adelson)

2017-18 record: 8-13 (5-11 2A Southern/eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Ore Inbar (Sr.), G Dale Weiford (Sr.)

Outlook: The Lions return only two starters from last year’s squad, but hope to contend in the Class 2A Southern League.

“We lack experience, but we have a hard-working team that is determined to compete with anyone,” McGinnis said.

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Head coach: Dustin Clayton, third season (32-22 career at AVHS)

2017-18 record: 18-9 (8-4 Northwest/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: G Donavan Yap (Jr.), G Tyre Williams (Sr.), G Favour Chukwukelu (Sr.), G Larry Holmes (Jr.)

Outlook: The Aggies lost their top two scorers from last season, but return Chukwukelu (9.2 points per game), Yap (8.7 ppg), Williams (8.3 ppg) and Holmes (5.7 ppg).

“Seniors Williams and Chukwukelu and juniors Yap and Holmes will lead a group of returning guards for the Aggies, who will look to compete in the Northwest League and improve on last year’s 18-9 season,” Clayton said.

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Head coach: Steven Sullivan, fifth season (36-33 career at Beatty)

2017-18 record: 6-8 (3-6 1A Southern/tied seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: Alan Sandoval (Sr.), Jacob Henry (Sr.), Geo Maldonado (Sr.), Jorge Leon (Jr.), Fabian Perez (Jr.)

Outlook: The Hornets return five lettermen from a squad that missed out on a playoff berth last year.

“Last season was a disappointment, and I’m not saying anything the boys wouldn’t say themselves,” Sullivan said. “We have higher expectations coming into this season.

“We’re ready to put forth the work and are excited to see what we can do.”

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Head coach: Grant Rice, 18th season (446-94 career at Gorman)

2017-18 record: 29-4 (12-0 Southwest/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (three)

Top players: G Zaon Collins (So.), G Noah Taitz (Jr.), G Chance Michels (Sr.), G Will McClendon (So.), C Isaiah Cottrell (Jr.), F Braden Lamar (Jr.), F Mwani Wilkinson (Jr.)

Outlook: Taitz (17 points per game) and Cottrell (12 ppg, 10 rebounds per game, 3 blocks per game) highlight a group of 10 returning lettermen for the Gaels, who have won the last seven large-school state titles.

“We have three returning starters and five of our top seven guys back from last year,” Rice said. “It should be an exciting team.

“We plan to run quite a bit this year, starting four guards around Isaiah Cottrell. Braden Lamar and Mwani Wilkinson will give valuable minutes and size of the bench.”

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Head coach: Dan Savage, third season (24-40 career at Bonanza)

2017-18 record: 12-15 (1-11 Southwest/seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (three)

Top players: G Kendell Burrell (Jr.), G Trent Savage (Sr.), C Kadin Warner (Sr.)

Outlook: Burrell (12 points per game), Warner (7 ppg, 7 rebounds per game) and Trent Savage (4 rpg, 5 assists per game, 2 steals per game) return to lead a Bengals squad that nearly doubled its 2016-17 win total last season.

“The Bengals look to continue their year-to-year improvement,” Dan Savage said. “A few key transfers should help the returning players reach the team’s goals.

“The Bengals should compete every night in the competitive Mountain Region. The team has adopted the phrase ‘Prove them wrong’ as motivation for this season.”

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Head coach: Judson Stubbs, first season

2017-18 record: 9-16 (6-10 Class 2A Southern/seventh)

Returning starters: Four

Top players: G Dylan Sims (Sr.), G Paul Yoo (Sr.), F Blake Box (Sr.), G/F J.J. Robinson (Jr.)

Outlook: Box (13.1 points, 9.4 rebounds per game), Yoo (10.2 ppg, 4 rpg), Robinson (9.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Sims (7 ppg, 6.1 assists per game) all return to guide the Lions.

“It’s a solid team with returning seniors and great leadership,” Stubbs said. “Hopefully we’ll be a top favorite in the conference.”

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Head coach: Freddie Banks, eighth season (135-53 at CSHS)

2017-18 record: 24-3 (8-0 Northeast/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G Alexander Spaight (Jr.)

Outlook: Spaight, who averaged 15.7 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists per game last year, is one of three returning starters for the Pioneers, who hope to return to the Class 4A state tournament.

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Head coach: Noah Hartsock, third season (38-16 career at Centennial)

2017-18 record: 15-11 (8-4 Northwest/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (one)

Top players: G Savior Rivera-Gines (Sr.), F Leland Wallace (Sr.), G Jairus Dickson (Sr.), G Austin Anderson (Jr.), G/F Chris Dockery (So.)

Outlook: Rivera-Gines averaged 9.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last year and is one of five returning lettermen for the Bulldogs.

“Centennial seems to have one of it deepest teams in recent years with tremendous senior leadership and an influx of terrific young talents,” Hartsock said. “Centennial looks to compete to win the Northwest League title and go deep in the playoffs.”

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Head coach: Steven Bentz, sixth season (79-57 career at Chaparral)

2017-18 record: 15-9 (11-1 3A Sunrise/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G Elijah Briggs (Sr.), F Meshach Hawkins (Jr.), F Dejonte Allen (Sr.), F Cairyn Bray (Sr.), G Sameal Anderson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Cowboys return four starters from a team that won the Sunrise League last year.

Allen (8 points per game), Briggs (7.6 ppg), Hawkins (7 ppg, 7 rebounds per game) and Bray (5 ppg) will be among the leaders on this year’s squad.

“We expect to be a balanced and deeper team this year with a multitude of players who complement one another with their skill sets,” Bentz said. “The balance should allow us to compete in our division for a good playoff seed and into the regional playoffs.

“I’m excited about our group to see how hard they can work to achieve their goals this season.”

— —Bray


Head coach: Teral Fair, 14th season (192-135 career at Cheyenne)

2017-18 record: 18-11 (8-2 3A Sunset/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G Glenn Taylor (So.), F Damion Bonty (Sr.), G J.D. McCormick (Sr.)

Outlook: After back-to-back appearances in the Class 3A state championship game, the Desert Shields return to Class 4A this year with four returning lettermen.

Bonty (12.3 points, 3.6 rebounds per game), McCormick (10.8 ppg, 2.3 assists per game) and Taylor (8 ppg, 3 apg, 4 rpg) all should be among the leaders on a team that hopes to be on top of the Northeast League.

“We would like to compete for a league championship,” Fair said.

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Head coach: Daryl Branham, fourth season

2017-18 record: 19-8 (8-4 Northwest/fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Brian Lang (Sr.), G/F Noah Do (Jr.), F Mekhi Walker (Jr.)

Outlook: The Spartans have finished in the top four of their league in each of the last nine seasons.

Running the string to 10 won’t be easy as the team returns only one starter. Lang averaged 12.3 points and 3.1 assists per game last year and will be the leader on a young squad.

“With a young, inexperienced team we look to improve week to week,” Branham said.

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Head coach: Chad Beeten, eighth season (154-51 career at Clark)

2017-18 record: 22-7 (10-2 Southwest/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (four)

Top players: G/F Jalen Hill (Sr.), F Antwon Jackson (Sr.), F Ian Alexander (Sr.), G Frankie Collins (So.)

Outlook: Hill (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks per game), Jackson (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.8 bpg), Alexander (8 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.2 bpg) and Collins (6 ppg, 2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 3 spg) are among a talented group of 10 returning lettermen for the Chargers, who advanced to the Sunset Region final last year.

“We are always trying to compete for a state championship, and we feel we have the talent and right group of kids to accomplish this goal,” Beeten said. “Our team is hungry and ready to compete at a high level to work towards achieving the ultimate goal of winning a state title.”

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Head coach: Jeff Kaufman, ninth season (131-79 career at Coronado)

2017-18 record: 17-12 (7-3 Southeast/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: G Jaden Hardy (So.), F Tyrelle Hunt (Jr.), F Felix Reeves (Jr.), G Richard Isaacs (Fr.), C Carl Lewis (Sr.)

Outlook: The winners of the last two Sunrise Region titles, the Cougars already appeared to be one of the top teams in the state.

And then the team added Lewis, a 6-foot-9-inch transfer from Lynwood, California, who scored more than 50 points in multiple games last season.

Hardy (25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds per game) and Hunt (12.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg) return, and the Cougars added Reeves, a transfer from Desert Oasis.

“This year’s Cougars could be the most talented group of players Coronado has ever put on the floor,” Kaufman said. “This team will play big non-conference games around the country in order to prepare for league play and to be in a position to return to the state tournament.”

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Head coach: Tyler Ehrke, 10th season (104-132 career at Del Sol)

2017-18 record: 14-14 (8-4 3A Sunrise/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Nati Asfaw (Jr.), F Tyrell Hampton (Sr.), G Damani Wilks (Jr.), G Donald Campbell (Sr.)

Outlook: Asfaw (9.5 points per game) and Hampton (5.3 ppg) lead a quartet of returning lettermen for the Dragons.

“We are looking for a combination of returners and newcomers to help us be competitive in a new league filled with good teams,” Ehrke said. “Our goal is to improve each day and be playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”

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Head coach: Trevor Diggs, sixth season (119-15 career at DPAC)

2017-18 record: 29-3 (16-0 2A Southern/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Najeeb Muhammad (Sr.), F Daniel Plumer (Sr.), Chancelor Johnson (So.)

Outlook: Muhammad (19 points, 8 assists per game) and Plumer (14 ppg, 4 rebounds per game) are the two returning starters from a team that captured its second straight Class 2A state title last year.

The Blue Knights moved up to Class 3A for this season and will face new opponents.

“We are looking forward to competing in the 3A division and will continue to strive to outwork the competition,” Diggs said.

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Head coach: Joseph Bedowitz, third season (33-25 career at DOHS)

2017-18 record: 20-10 (7-5 Southwest/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (one)

Top players: G Nate Van (Jr.), G/F Dominique Ford (Jr.), F Cade Savell (Jr.), G Janoris Sejour (Jr.), G Evan Lake (So.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks won 20 games for the first time in the program’s history last year, but return only one starter in Van (12.5 points, 2.5 assists per game).

“People expected a drop off this year,” Bedowitz said. “This team will put that to rest. This group of young players will look to challenge any team. With Van and Ford as leaders on the floor, we will continue to build a program that maintains a high level of play year in and year out.

“The level of basketball in the Southwest League is as high as it ever has been. Night in and night out, these games will be challenging. As a program our expectation is to continue to build off of our success and take the next step in the playoffs.”

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Head coach: Bret Walter, 22nd season (327-235 career at Faith)

2017-18 record: 22-6 (9-3 Northwest/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): One (one)

Top players: G Brevin Walter (Sr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders are off to a little bit of a late start as a handful of potential team members were a part of the school’s football team that played for the Mountain Region title.

Brevin Walter (13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game) is the lone returning starter from a team that won the Northwest League last year.

“Coming off of a successful season that included a Northwest League championship last year and a run into the playoffs, the team hopes to compete for another league championship and make a run at qualifying for the state tournament,” Bret Walter said.

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Head coach: Paul DeSantis, first season

2017-18 record: 20-9 (8-2 Southeast/first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Jace Roquemore (Sr.), G Dylan Hushaw (Sr.), F Caleb Stearman (Sr.)

Outlook: DeSantis takes over a team that had only ever had one head coach. Kevin Soares won 353 games in 19 seasons at the helm, and DeSantis hopes to continue the success of one of Southern Nevada’s most respected programs.

Roquemore (14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game), Hushaw (13.6 ppg) and Stearman (7.1 ppg) all were among the top four scorers on a team that lost leading scorer Marvin Coleman (16.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 5.8 apg) to graduation.

“Foothill will continue to strive to win the league, win the region, and compete to win the school’s first state title,” DeSantis said.

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Head coach: Lorenzo Jarvis, ninth season (97-119 career at GVHS)

2017-18 record: 7-19 (1-9 Southeast/tied fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: F Antoine Hines (Sr.), G Kendall Nether (Sr.), G Joshua Thompson (Sr.), F Kaden Jackson (Jr.), F Zachary Hammer (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators return four starters from last year’s squad and expect to be more competitive.

“I’m very excited about our group this year,” Jarvis said. “We were extremely young last year with four freshmen on varsity so I look forward to a good season.”

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Head coach: Eric Rolwing, sixth season

2017-18 record: 6-11 (independent)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Moses Valencia (Jr.), G Collin Killoran (Jr.), F Diego Lamas (Sr.), G/F Vincent Bush (Sr.)

Outlook: Valencia (13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game) and Killoran (12.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) lead a group of seven returning lettermen for the Guardians.

Lamas (5.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Bush (4.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) return to give some scoring and rebounding punch.

“We have the most experienced squad that we have ever had in our brief six-year history, and we have some pretty good young talent coming up to help fill some gaps that we’ve had in years past,” Rolwing said. “It’s a good group that will definitely improve each and every time out on the floor, as we are expecting to be a playoff contender in the 1A by year’s end.”

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Head coach: Jeff Newton, 26th season

2017-18 record: 13-12 (10-6 2A Southern/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Donte Bristol (Jr.), G Ryan Kennedy (Jr.), F Colson Madruga (So.), G Christian Scott (Sr.)

Outlook: Bristol, who averaged 12 points per game last year, leads a short list of returnees that also includes Kennedy (7.0 ppg) and Scott (4.0 ppg).

Madruga averaged 18 ppg at the junior varsity level last year and should contribute for a team that hopes to again qualify for the Class 2A Southern Region playoffs.

“Once again the depth in Class 2A presents a challenge night in and night out for all the teams,” Newton said. “After losing nine seniors from last year, we will be replacing them with seven players from our JV team who have been in our system for years.

“I am expecting them to compete at a high level.”

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Head coach: Jason Wilson, 11th season (165-109 career at LVHS)

2017-18 record: 17-10 (5-3 Northeast/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: F Jaylin Headen (Sr.)

Outlook: Headen (14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds per game) is the only returning starter for the Wildcats.

“We only return one player that got any significant minutes from last year’s team,” Wilson said. “Jaylin is going to carry a huge load as a player and leader for us this year.

“With all of our new players and the change in alignment, the rest of our guys will have to learn to compete at a high level for us to be competitive in the new division.”

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Head coach: Jack Tarango, ninth season (107-111 career at Legacy)

2017-18 record: 12-14 (5-7 Northwest/fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (zero)

Top players: G Armani Strong (Sr.), G Rayshon Funches (Sr.), G Jalen Johnson (Sr.), G Shamir Chambers (Sr.), G Emmanuel Austin (So.), G Andrew Garcia (So.), G Aaron Holloway (So.)

Outlook: The Longhorns return only three lettermen from last year’s squad.

“We mix senior players that have bought into the program along with talented underclassmen that have also bought in to make a formidable squad,” Tarango said. “There will be challenges with moving into a new league with a defending 4A state final four team, the defending 3A state champion, the defending 3A state runner-up and three other 4A regional playoff teams from a year ago, but with our hard work, talent, and most importantly, our mental competitive makeup, we will compete every night.”

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Head coach: Stefan Berg, fifth season (47-62 career at Liberty)

2017-18 record: 18-10 (8-2 Southeast/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: Julian Strawther (Jr.), Terrance Marigney (Sr.), Jordan Wafer (Sr.), Kobe Stroughter (So.)

Outlook: Strawther, a first-team all-state selection last year, leads a group of seven returning lettermen for the Patriots.

“We had great success last year, and we look to build on that,” Berg said. “We are very excited about this upcoming season and have some tough games we’re looking forward to.”

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Head coach: Tom Andrews, second season (4-9 career at LB)

2017-18 record: 4-9 (1-8 1A Southern/ninth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (five)

Top players: F Bryan Smith (Sr.), F/C Isia Valdez (Jr.), G Issiah Smith (Jr.), G Trevor Campbell (Jr.), G L.J. DeSoto (Jr.)

Outlook: The Knights return five lettermen after gaining experience in the Class 1A Southern League last year.

“We are looking forward to an exciting year with almost all of our core players back,” Andrews said. “With the experience we gained from last season plus the addition of a junior transfer (DeSoto) who brings some play making ability and leadership, we are looking to take another step and qualify for playoffs this season.”

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Head coach: Sean FitzSimons, second season (8-18 career at LCHS)

2017-18 record: 8-18 (7-9 2A Southern/sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: F Noah Smith (Sr.), F Alex Vincent (Sr.), G Kobe Kelley (So.), Cody Zile (So.)

Outlook: Last season was a learning experience for the Lynx, who should be better prepared this year.

Smith (9.2 points, 5.5 rebounds per game), Walker (9.8 ppg) and Vincent (7.7 ppg) all return and should be among the leaders.

“We return a decent core of key players,” FitzSimons said. “Hopefully in year two with the system and coaching style, we will see some improvement and positive growth for the program. “We hope to compete for a playoff spot in the Southern 2A this season.”

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Head coach: Brian Lang, third season (27-24 career at TMS)

2017-18 record: 12-13 (9-7 2A Southern/fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Joe Epstein (Sr.), F Obinna Ezeanolue (So.)

Outlook: Epstein (15 points, 8 rebounds per game) and Ezeanolue (10 ppg, 6 rpg) are two of four returning starters for the Mustangs.

“We are looking to compete every time we step on the floor,” Lang said.

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Head coach: Stuart Humes, first season

2017-18 record: 6-18 (4-8 3A Sunrise/fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: F Derek Reese (Sr.), G Lucas Walker (So.)

Outlook: Humes, who guided Moapa Valley’s girls basketball team to a 51-10 record the last two seasons and spent six seasons at the helm of the girls program, takes over a boys team that returns two starters.

Reese (17 points, 10 rebounds per game) and Walker (8 ppg, 6 assists per game) are among six returning lettermen for the Pirates.

“With six seniors led by returning starter Derek Reese and six talented underclassmen led by Lucas Walker, we look to compete for a playoff spot in the Sunrise League,” Humes said.

“We have not been to the playoffs since our state title in 2011. The boys are excited to turn Moapa Valley into a contender again.”

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Head coach: Adam Schwartz, third season (20-33 career at Mojave)

2017-18 record: 16-11 (5-5 3A Sunset/third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: F/G Chris Jackson (Sr.), F/G Isaiah Harper (Sr.), F/G DeSaun Smith (Sr.), G Saquevian Williams (Sr.)

Outlook: Jackson (15 points, 8 rebounds per game) is among four returning starters for a team that made huge strides last year, quadrupling its win total from the 2016-17 season.

“We return a lot of experience off a team that competed for a league title a year ago in a very tough division,” Schwartz said. “There has been a lot of movement in our league, and we are excited for the new challenges we will face.

“Our team has set expectations high for themselves and will be a fun and exciting team to see grow over the course of the season.”

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Head coach: Michael Strong, second season (24-4 career at PVHS)

2017-18 record: 24-4 (8-1 1A Southern/second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (two)

Top players: G Stockton Maxwell (Sr.), C Kyler Martin (Sr.), G Preston Higbee (Jr.)

Outlook: Maxwell (7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game), Higbee (5.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg) and Martin (3.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) lead a list of eight returnees for the Panthers, who advanced to the Class 1A state championship game last season.

“We are excited for this year,” Strong said. “There are only three returners this year that saw significant minutes last season at the varsity level.

“We look to gain experience through our preseason schedule so that when league play starts up we will be ready to go. Our goal, as always, is to continue to build off our success from last year and take that next step.”

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Head coach: Daniel Clift, second season (6-19 career at PVHS)

2017-18 record: 6-19 (1-9 3A Sunset/sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Brayden Severt (Sr.), G Grant Odegard (Jr.)

Outlook: Clift last season took over a program that hadn’t won more than one league game in a season since 2009-10 and had won only 21 total games in the previous six seasons.

The building process will take some time, but the Trojans are hopeful to show more progress this season.

— —


Head coach: Pat Condron, first season

2017-18 record: 10-17 (3-9 Northwest/sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (zero)

Top players: G Kade Madsen (Jr.), F Cade Loerwald (Sr.), Drew Warnick (Sr.)

Outlook: Condron takes over a program that will have plenty of new faces.

Loerwald (6.0 points per game) and Warnick (4.0 ppg) are among only three returning lettermen for the Panthers.

“We are a very young team with only three returning lettermen looking to gain experience as the season progresses,” Condron said.

— —


Head coach: Sydney Heckel, first season

2017-18 record: First-year program

Returning lettermen (starters): Zero

Outlook: Heckel gets the opportunity to build from the ground up as the Cougars start their program this season and will play as an independent.

“We are a brand new team,” Heckel said. “We hope to get some wins under our belt.”

— —


Head coach: Ronald Childress, sixth season (54-83 career at Rancho)

2017-18 record: 9-20 (1-7 Northeast/fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): One (one)

Top players: G James Brown (Sr.), F Qion Cangas (Sr.)

Outlook: Brown (15 points, 2 steals per game) is the lone returning starter for the Rams, who feel good about their chances to compete, if their young players can step up.

“James Brown will have a huge load to carry as the only returner who played any meaningful minutes last year,” Childress said. “His task will be leading a team that will feature three freshmen and three sophomores. He will get a boost from the return of Qion Cangas, a 6-foot-9-inch forward who missed all of last season.

“The young men will have to grow up quickly if we hope to compete in this league.”

— —


Head coach: Brian Kahre, 11th season (51-124 career at SVHS)

2017-18 record: 7-14 (3-6 1A Southern/tied seventh, seeded sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: F Ramiro Solano (Sr.), G Rian Cripe (Jr.), G Justin Frondarina (So.)

Outlook: A Class 1A Southern League semifinalist last year, Sandy Valley returns four starters.

“With a majority of our team coming back from last year, we look to continue where we left off,” Kahre said. “We are working hard to get back into the playoffs and make some noise.”

— —


Head coach: Robert Nelson, sixth season (50-70 career at SRHS)

2017-18 record: 7-18 (1-11 Northwest/seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Outlook: Nelson returns after coaching the Mustangs from the 2009-10 season through the 2013-14 season.

He inherits a team that returns just two starters after struggling to compete in the rugged Northwest League.

“We hope to play hard and compete for a playoff spot,” Nelson said. “We want to build a program that is competitive and honorable.”

— —


Head coach: Eric Markuson, first season

2017-18 record: 12-15 (5-7 Southwest/fourth)

Returning starters: Two

Top players: G Isaiah Veal (Sr.), G Calvin Richards (Sr.)

Outlook: Markuson inherits a team with two returning starters as he takes over for Keith Ulrich, who led the Mountain Lions for seven seasons.

“We will rely heavily on seniors Isaiah Veal and Calvin Richards this year to lead our young and inexperienced team,” Markuson said. “We are looking to compete in a very tough division.”

— —


Head coach: Colin Darfour, second season (14-14 career at Silverado)

2017-18 record: 14-14 (5-5 Southeast/fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Martel Williams (Jr.), G Trevon Martin (Jr.), G Daryl Finley (Jr.), G Noah Sherrard (So.)

Outlook: Williams (24 points, 6 rebounds per game), Martin (18 ppg, 4 apg) and Finley (8 ppg, 4 apg) give the Skyhawks three strong scoring options and lead a list of eight returnees.

“The Skyhawks are in a new league with new challenges,” Darfour said. “Our goal is to make the playoffs and put ourselves in position to make it to the state tournament.”

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Head coach: Darrius Banks, second season (10-5 career at Losee)

2017-18 record: 10-5 (independent)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (zero)

Outlook: The Lions had a successful first season as an independent, but have to regroup this season.

“We have a very young team,” Banks said. “We should have some growing pains but we expect to be very competitive.”

— —


Head coach: Paul Blair, third season (15-38 career at SVHS)

2017-18 record: 10-16 (3-9 Southwest/sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G/F Jahlani Blair (Sr.), G James Webster (Jr.), G A’mari James (Jr.), G/F Chazmon Penro (Sr.)

Outlook: Jahlani Blair, who averaged 13 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists per game last year, is the lone returning starter for the Grizzlies, who showed great improvement last season.

“Our team is looking forward to a successful season,” Paul Blair said. “Our expectations are to complete a goal we set as a group of getting out of last place and becoming one of the top four teams in our conference. We are on the verge of turning the corner of becoming a good program on all levels.

“It will be an very exciting year. We look forward with seeing what the future holds.”

— —


Head coach: John Teran, sixth season (49-70 career at SMHS)

2017-18 record: 12-15 (4-6 3A Sunset/fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Tyree Hayes (Sr.), G Jordan Terry (Sr.), G Moises Garcia (Sr.), F Miguel Valle-Cruz (Jr.)

Outlook: The Miners qualified for the Southern Region playoffs last year, but return only two starters from that team.

Hayes (8.8 points, 3 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game) is the leading returning scorer and should get help from Garcia (3.7 ppg) and Valle-Cruz (2 points, 2.2 rpg).

“We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to return to the playoffs,” Teran said.

— —


Head coach: Rob Ireland, fifth season (22-62 career at Tech)

2017-18 record: 12-15 (7-5 3A Sunrise/fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Zero

Outlook: After qualifying for the Class 3A Southern Region playoffs for the first time in school history in 2017 and following it up with another playoff appearance last year, the Roadrunners will have a more difficult path this season.

“We moved from 3A to a top-tier league in 4A,” Ireland said. “We will need to adjust to size and speed. We hope to compete and surprise the top schools with wins.”

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Head coach: Adam Zakos, fourth season (18-58 career at Valley)

2017-18 record: 6-20 (1-7 Northeast/fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (one)

Top players: G Bryce Jones (Sr.), F Christian Franklin (Jr.), G Andre Jones (Jr.), G Ti’mar Fullmer (Sr.)

Outlook: Bryce Jones (9 points, 3 assists per game) is the lone returning starter for the Vikings, who also should get significant contributions from Franklin (3 ppg, 3 rebounds per game) and Andre Jones (5 ppg, 2 apg).

“Our team returns a few key players from last year’s team,” Zakos said. “Combining that with a raw but talented group of newcomers, our team is looking forward to the nightly challenges that we will face playing in Las Vegas.”

— —


Head coach: Mark Barnum, second season (5-21 career at VVHS)

2017-18 record: 5-21 (2-10 3A Sunrise/sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Daxon Toone (Sr.), G Koden Tietjen (Jr.), F Riley Waite (Jr.), G Will Barnum (So.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs were in a rebuilding mode last year and return four starters who should help the program show improvement this year.

“We are still young, but we have some experience coming back,” Mark Barnum said.

— —


Head coach: Rudy Johnson, sixth season (22-101 career at Western)

2017-18 record: 4-19 (4-6 3A Sunset/fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: F James Wade (Sr.), F Zyann Carranza (Sr.), G Robert Taylor (Jr.), G Keanu McGee (Jr.)

Outlook: The Warriors bring back three starters, but are without a proven scorer.

Wade (8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists per game), Taylor (6 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg), McGee (6 ppg, 3 2 rpg, 3 apg) and Carranza (4 ppg, 3 rpg) all hope to add to their totals.

“With the absence of the scorers from last year, we will be trying to find the replacements,” Johnson said. “There will be fewer players this season who are new to the program. Hopefully, the Western players can show the development of the program.

“The returners have a great challenge ahead with the league and will need all the help they can get. I believe they can get it done.”

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