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2017-18 Boys Basketball Capsules

(As submitted by coaches)

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ADELSON SCHOOL

Head coach: Kurt McGinnis, second season

2016-17 record: 21-5 (14-2 2A Southern, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (one)

Top players: C Miles Hagan (Sr.), G Ben Elharrar (Sr.)

Outlook: Graduation took away the bulk of last season’s squad that won the Class 2A Southern League playoff title and advanced to the state title game.

“We lost a lot of seniors and starters who had a great impact on our program,” McGinnis said.

Hagan and Elharrar return to lead a group that hopes to contend for a playoff berth.

“We may lack experience, but we have a hard-working and unselfish group that are up for the challenge this year,” McGinnis said.

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ARBOR VIEW

Head coach: Dustin Clayton, second season

2016-17 record: 14-13 (3-9 Northwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eleven (four)

Top players: G/F Jarrod Burks (Sr.), G Comillion Smith (Sr.), F Sevonyea Smith (Sr.), G Favor Chukwukelu (Jr.), G Tyre Williams (Jr.), G Donovan Yap (So.)

Outlook: The Aggies return 11 lettermen from a team that posted an above-.500 record last season.

Burks (12 points, 6 rebounds per game), Comillion Smith (15.5 ppg, 5 rpg) and Sevonyea Smith (6 ppg, 7 rpg) should be among the leaders on a team that is a year older and wiser.

“Jarrod Burks, Comillion Smith and Sevonyea Smith will lead a group of seniors along with underclassmen guards Tyre Williams, Favor Chukwukelu and Donovan Yap for the Aggies, who will look to compete for a playoff spot in the Northwest League,” Clayton said.

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BEAVER DAM

Head coach: Rory Hurley, seventh season

2016-17 record: 5-21 (3-5 Class 1A Southern)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G/F Oscar Plancarte (So.), F Jose Avila (Jr.), G Janson Sherman (Jr.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks return only four lettermen from a team that qualified for the Class 1A Southern League playoffs last season.

“With a large turnover in numbers and no seniors on the team, this will be a learning year for a young team,” Hurley said. “They have a lot of fight as a team but lack pure skill so there will be lots of ups and downs.”

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BISHOP GORMAN

Head coach: Grant Rice, 17th season

2016-17 record: 22-9 (11-1 Southwest, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (one)

Top players: F/G Jamal Bey (Sr.), G D.J. Howe (Sr.), G Noah Taitz (So.), G Chance Michels (Jr.), F Zim Agu (Sr.), F Isaiah Cottrell (So.), G Zaon Collins (Fr.), G/F Will McClendon (Fr.)

Outlook: Most teams would take a few steps back after losing 80 percent of their starting lineup.

Bishop Gorman isn’t most teams.

The Gaels bring back 10 lettermen after winning their sixth straight state title last season.

Bey (17 points per game, 5 rebounds per game) has committed to Washington and is the lone returning starter. Taitz (6.0 ppg) had a strong freshman season and also should contribute.

Still the Gaels must replace standout guards Chuck O’Bannon and Christian Popoola, who combined for 36.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game last season.

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BONANZA

Head coach: Dan Savage, second season

2016-17 record: 7-15 (1-11 Southwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: F Chase Hafen (Sr.), C Kadin Warner (Jr.)

Outlook: Hafen averaged 10 points, and Warner averaged 7 rebounds last season.

They’re back to help the Bengals, who hope to improve greatly this year.

“The Bengals are looking to shake things up in the uber-competitive Sunset Region,” Savage said. “We expect to upset a few teams this year in our quest to secure a playoff spot.”

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BOULDER CITY

Head coach: John Balistere, seventh season

2016-17 record: 10-16 (3-7 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Karson Bailey (Jr.), G Carson Balistere (Sr.), G Tanner Montgomery (Sr.), G Billy Ference (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles return seven players, including four starters, from a team that narrowly missed out on a postseason berth last season.

“It’s a very veteran-led group with seven seniors,” John Balistere said. “With the mixture of some young talent and size, this is one of the deepest teams I’ve had at Boulder City.

“We have very high expectations for this group, and I believe they are ready for the challenge.”

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CALVARY CHAPEL

Head coach: Dave Bliss, first season

2016-17 record: 7-17 (6-10 2A Southern, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Three

Outlook: The Lions will have a new look this year with Bliss taking over on the bench and only three lettermen returning from last season’s squad.

Four freshmen and two sophomores are on the 13-player roster, which also includes a handful of kids who played on the Lions’ junior varsity last season.

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CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Noah Hartsock, second season

2016-17 record: 23-5 (12-0 Northwest, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (one)

Top players: Ishon Hardin (Sr.), Aaryn Anderson (Sr.), Hunter Bohls (Sr.), Teon Taylor (Sr.), Savior Gines-Rivera (Jr.)

Outlook: And so begins life without Troy Brown for the Bulldogs.

Brown, a four-year starter who averaged 22.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season, already is shining in college at Oregon this year, and the Bulldogs will have to work hard to replace him.

Hardin (8.4 ppg) is the top returning scorer for Centennial, which has six lettermen, but only one starter, back.

“The team looks to compete in every game we play in this year and make and advance in the playoffs,” Hartsock said.

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CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Steven Bentz, fifth season

2016-17 record: 21-7 (10-0 Class 3A Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: G Jonathan Tendale (Sr.), F Cairyn Bray (Jr.), G Elijah Briggs (Jr.)

Outlook: The Cowboys return just one starter after winning the Sunrise League title last season.

Tendale (14.1 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals per game) is back to lead a group that will need plenty of less experienced varsity players to step up.

“We have our work cut out for us replacing eight seniors who contributed to our success the last few years, but I believe with time and effort, we can compete in our league for a quality playoff seed,” Bentz said. “We will be led by our athletic point guard Jonathan Tendale and a talented young group we hope adjusts to the varsity level quickly.”

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CHEYENNE

Head coach: Teral Fair, 12th season

2016-17 record: 19-7 (10-0 Class 3A Sunset, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Kavon Williams (Sr.), F Damion Bonty (Jr.), G KeShawn Hall (So.), F Glenn Taylor (Fr.)

Outlook: Six lettermen return for the Desert Shields, who advanced to the Class 3A state title game last year.

“We’re hoping to make a deep playoff run,” Fair said.

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CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Head coach: Daryl Branham, third season

2016-17 record: 18-9 (8-4 Northwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: F Brian Washington (Sr.), G George Tribble (Sr.)

Outlook: The Spartans have some work to do if they’re to replace standout Demarco Alexander, who averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a senior last year.

Washington (8.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.7 blocks per game) and Tribble (6.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) will help absorb that loss, and both are ready for more significant roles.

“We expect to be competitive in the Northwest League,” Branham said. “Brian Washington has greatly improved over the last nine months and has the ability to be at the tops of scoring and rebounding in the city.”

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CLARK

Head coach: Chad Beeten, seventh season (second stint)

2016-17 record: 27-5 (11-1 Southwest, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: G Greg Foster (Sr.), G Trey Woodbury (Sr.), G James Bridges (Sr.), F Jalen Hill (Jr.), F Antwon Jackson (Jr.), F Ian Alexander (Jr.)

Outlook: Beeten returns to a team he led to three Class 3A state titles from 2014 to 2016.

He has plenty of experienced players who guided Clark to the Class 4A title game last year.

Woodbury (15.0 points per game) has committed to UNLV. Bridges (12 ppg), Hill (14 ppg), Jackson (10 ppg, 8 rebounds per game) and Alexander (7 ppg, 5 rpg) also return for the Chargers, who also will benefit from the addition of Gonzaga-commit Foster, a transfer from the Milwaukee area.

“We feel great about our team and its goal to win a state championship,” Beeten said. “We’re ranked No. 35 in the #FAB50 polls for preseason. We obviously have challenges with our schedule and with competing with Bishop Gorman and the other top teams in Las Vegas.”

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CORONADO

Head coach: Jeff Kaufman, eighth season

2016-17 record: 18-10 (10-0 Southeast, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (one)

Top players: Tahj Comeaux (Sr.), Taieem Comeaux (Sr.), Patrick Simms (Sr.), Jaden Hardy (Fr.), Jalen Thomas (Jr.), Tyrelle Hunt (So.)

Outlook: Graduation took its toll on the two-time defending Sunrise Region champs, taking away the team’s top three scorers, who combined to average more than 50 points per game.

But Kaufman feels the Cougars are “deeper than they have ever been and look to play an up-tempo, physical style game.”

Twins Tahj (6 points, 4 rebounds per game and Taieem Comeaux (4 ppg, 4 rpg), and Simms (3 ppg) are back to help guide the team, which also added Thomas, a 6-foot, 10-inch center, and expects big things from Hardy, a freshman, and returner Sam Truman.

“With six freshmen and sophomores on varsity this season, the Cougars look to four returning seniors to bring veteran leadership to this youthful program,” Kaufman said. “Our goal is to play every minute as hard as possible and use all of our weapons to frustrate our opponents.”

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DEL SOL

Head coach: Tyler Ehrke, ninth season

2016-17 record: 14-12 (6-4 Sunrise, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Keith Seldon (Sr.), G Anton Villarta (Sr.), G/F Nati Asfaw (So.)

Outlook: The Dragons return six lettermen as they look to make up for the loss of leading scorer and rebounder Jonathan Spearman to graduation.

Seldon (6.8 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game), Asfaw (4.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Villarta (4.2 ppg) all return to help lead the team.

“We will lean on our experienced guards to be competitive each night,” Ehrke said. “We return a group of players that played extensive minutes last year and add some new faces that will be key contributors.

“We hope to be competitive within our division and make the playoffs.”

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DEMOCRACY PREP

Head coach: Trevor Diggs, fifth season

2016-17 record: 22-5 (15-1 Class 2A Southern, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Najeeb Muhammad (Jr.), G Akeemis Williams (Sr.), F Jared Holmes (Sr.), F Jhadon Banks (So.), G Chancelor Johnson (Fr.)

Outlook: The Blue Knights bring back three starters after winning their third state title in four years last season.

Muhammad (14 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds per game), Williams (18 ppg) and Holmes (7 rpg) are back to guide the team.

“This year’s team is a good mixture of talent from top to bottom,” Diggs said. “Our mission is always the same, play the game the right way, play fundamentally sound and defend and rebound.”

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DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Joseph Bedowitz, second season

2016-17 record: 13-15 (4-8 Southwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: F Jacob Heese (Sr.), F Emmanuel Mitchell (Sr.), G Nate Van (So.)

Outlook: Heese had a big season last year, averaging 23.9 points and 10 rebounds. He’s back along with Mitchell (7.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Van (6.3 ppg) to lead a Diamondback squad that is aiming for a playoff berth.

“Desert Oasis is looking for significant improvement this year as many young players from last year’s team are returning and we fight to be competitive for a playoff spot in a very difficult league,” Bedowitz said. “The team’s hard work over the summer makes us optimistic on achieving our goal.

“Our style of play and overall athleticism should make us an exciting team to watch. Led by senior captain Jake Heese, we look to take a large step forward.”

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DURANGO

Head coach: DeShawn Henry, 11th season

2016-17 record: 10-12 (7-5 Southwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: G Anthony Hunter (So.), G Nick Blake (Jr.), F Vernell Watts (Sr.), F Leandre McIntyre (Sr.), F Jovan Lubura (Sr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers bring back six lettermen, but must replace three of their four leading scorers, two of whom also were the team’s top two rebounders.

Hunter (9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game) and Blake (6.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg) both could help pick up some of the scoring slack. Watts (5.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Lubura (3.2 ppg) and McIntyre likely also will be among the leaders of a group that hopes to make it back to the postseason this year.

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ELDORADO

Head coach: Reginald Ingram, fifth season

2016-17 record: 3-19 (1-7 Northeast, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (four)

Top players: G Jordan Cater (Sr.), G Kemo Bell (Sr.), F Jonathan Thomas (Jr.), F Dexter Davis (Sr.), G Patrick Parkes (Jr.)

Outlook: The Sundevils struggled to find success last season, but that may not be the case this year.

Ten lettermen return, including a pair of double-figure scorers in Cater (14.7 points, 1.6 assists per game) and Bell (10.4 ppg, 4.6 rebounds per game).

Davis (7 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Thomas (7 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Parkes (5.8 ppg) also return to help guide a team that should contend for a playoff spot and has plenty of potential.

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FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Bret Walter, 21st season

2016-17 record: 17-10 (9-3 Northwest, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (four)

Top players: G Jaylen Fox (Sr.), F Elijah Kothe (Sr.), G Josh Hong (Sr.), G Brevin Walter (Jr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders’ return to Class 4A last year certainly was a success. They’re hoping to build off of that this season.

Kothe (13.6 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game), Fox (12.9 ppg, 3.4 apg), Hong (4.0 ppg, 3.1 apg) and Brevin Walter (9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) all return to a squad that will look a lot like last year’s team.

“We return 10 players off last year’s team,” Bret Walter said.

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FOOTHILL

Head coach: Kevin Soares, 19th season

2016-17 record: 23-10 (7-3 Southeast, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Marvin Coleman (Sr.), G Jace Roquemore (Jr.), G Michael Shaw (Sr.)

Outlook: A year after finishing as the Sunrise Region runner-up, the Falcons bring back seven lettermen, including three starters.

Coleman (15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists per game) could be among the top players in the state. Roquemore (10 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg) and Shaw (6 ppg, 4 rpg) also are capable of big things.

“Shooting will be our strength this season,” Soares said. “If we can guard the ball on defense and our main guys show up every night to play, we will have a shot at the regional title and a state berth.

“I like this team and their chances.”

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GV CHRISTIAN

Head coach: Eric Rolwing, fifth season

2016-17 record: 8-17 (independent)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: G Moses Valencia (So.), G Collin Killoran (So.), F Uriel Gutierrez (Sr.)

Outlook: Valencia (10.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game), Gutierrez (6.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Killoran (5.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg) all return to help lead the Guardians this season.

In all, six lettermen are back.

“We lost some important pieces from last year’s team, but we have a group that is focused on getting better every single day,” Rolwing said. “We are looking forward to growing as a unit as the season progresses.”

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LAKE MEAD

Head coach: Jeff Newton, 24th season

2016-17 record: 9-15 (5-11 Class 2A Southern, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (four)

Top players: Mitchell Dolinar (Sr.), Ryan Kennedy (So.), Kai Madela (Sr.), Josh Thorell (Sr.)

Outlook: Madela (9.4 points per game) is the top returning scorer for the Eagles, and should get plenty of support from Thorell (6.1 ppg, 5.7 rebounds per game), Kennedy (5.1 ppg) and Dolinar (3.2 ppg).

Returning four starters should help the Eagles contend for a playoff berth.

“Once again the depth in Class 2A presents a challenge night in and night out for all the teams,” Newton said. “We have nine seniors who will work hard and compete well in one of the most competitive leagues in the state.”

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LAS VEGAS

Head coach: Jason Wilson, 10th season

2016-17 record: 13-13 (4-4 Northeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: Donovan Joyner (Sr.), Mory Souhamoro (Sr.), Zach Matlock (Sr.)

Outlook: After an injury-filled campaign last year, the Wildcats are hoping for better results.

Joyner (15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game) should be among the leaders on a team that brings back six lettermen. Matlock (5.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Souhamoro (4.1 ppg) also are expected to contribute.

“We are hoping to compete at a high level with everyone we play against,” Wilson said. “We’ll have to have some guys who were role players last year step up to replace the loss of Marquise Raybon (16.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.6 blocks per game) and collectively fill the void in points and rebounds.

“We’re looking to work daily to become better, compete for a home playoff game and hopefully be healthy and playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”

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LEGACY

Head coach: Jack Tarango, eighth season

2016-17 record: 8-18 (1-11 Northwest, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: F D’Eric Marlowe (Sr.), G Chris White (Sr.), C Jaylon Lee (So.)

Outlook: White (13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds per game) and Marlowe (13.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg) both were starters last season and return to guide a Longhorn team that should be more competitive.

“Legacy will be much improved talent-wise from top to bottom and will look to improve on last year’s 8-18 campaign,” Tarango said. “A mix of experience and talented youth will increase the competitiveness from a season ago and will make for an exciting 2017-18 season.”

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LIBERTY

Head coach: Stefan Berg, fourth season

2016-17 record: 13-15 (5-5 Southeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: G Cameron Burist (Sr.), G Julian Strawther (So.), G Jordan Holt (Sr.), G Davion Ware (Sr.), F Jordan Wafer (Jr.)

Outlook: Five lettermen return for the Patriots, who seem to have a nice combination of size, experience, youth and skill.

Burist (10.6 points, 6 rebounds per game) and Strawther (10.5 ppg, 6 rpg) should be among the leaders on an offense that will also see contributions from Holt (6 ppg, 4 assists per game), Ware (4 ppg) and Wafer (3 ppg, 4 rpg).

“We have a mixed group this year,” Berg said. “A few guys have a lot of experience playing varsity basketball, and some players do not have much experience but will contribute for us.

“We are very excited for the season, ready to compete and play hard all season. Our league is very competitive from top to bottom.”

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LIBERTY BAPTIST

Head coach: Tom Andrews, first season

2016-17 record: 7-10 (Independent)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (four)

Top players: F Christian Rameriz (Sr.), F Trevor Campbell (So.), F Bryan Smith (Jr.), G Issiah Smith (So.)

Outlook: Andrews takes over for Clayton Sullivan, who coached the team for 12 seasons before accepting a college coaching position.

The Knights return four starters as they make their Class 1A Southern League debut, but they are still young.

“What the team lacks in experience, they make up for in feistiness and intense competitiveness,” Andrews said. “Their goal is to surprise some of the more experienced teams and make a run in the playoffs.”

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LINCOLN COUNTY

Head coach: Sean FitzSimons, first season

2016-17 record: 6-17 (4-12 2A Southern, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Benson Wadsworth (Sr.), G Elijah Harr (Sr.), G Kobe Walker (Jr.), F Noah Smith (Jr.)

Outlook: After a successful five-year run as head coach at Virgin Valley, FitzSimons returns home to the Lynx and hopes to turn around a program that has had a rough past two seasons.

Four lettermen are back to help the Lynx try to contend in a highly-competitive league.

“I am ultra-excited to coach this group of young men,” FitzSimons said. “We have a decent returning nucleus that should help with team chemistry.

“We face an uphill challenge in a very-competitive league. Hopefully, we look to put the pieces together in order to compete for a playoff spot come February.

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MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Dallas Larsen, 10th season

2016-17 record: 8-19 (1-9 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Nathaniel Thompson (Sr.), G Trey Jones (Sr.), F Derek Reese (Jr.)

Outlook: Thompson averaged 14 points and 5.1 rebounds, and Jones chipped in 9 points and 2.4 assists for the Pirates last season.

They’re two of only three returnees for Moapa Valley.

“With a very young team, we are looking to surprise people this year,” Larsen said. “We have a lot of talented kids but we have not played together, so we need to use the preseason to find our chemistry.

“By the end of the year, we hope to be competing for a playoff position.”

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MOJAVE

Head coach: Adam Schwartz, second season

2016-17 record: 4-22 (2-8 Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (five)

Top players: F John Harper (Sr.), G/F Chris Jackson (Jr.), G Tyrice Pender (Sr.), F/G Isaiah Harper (Jr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers struggled to find success last season, but should be in a much better situation to compete this year.

“We should be much improved as we return our top seven guys from last years team,” Schwartz said. “We have a lot of experience returning and have added some pieces from our successful lower levels.

“No one thinks about us as being one of the better programs in our division or Class 3A, and it is our goal to change that perception. We are going to play hard and compete every day and will hopefully put Mojave basketball back on the map.”

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PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Michael Strong, first season

2016-17 record: 25-3 (7-1 1A Southern, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (one)

Top players: F Culen Highbe (Sr.), F Richard Lewis (Sr.), G Brodey Maxwell (Sr.), G Hunter Hollingshead (Sr.), G/F Asher Haworth (Sr.), F Haigen Huntsman (Sr.), G Stockton Maxwell (Jr.)

Outlook: As always, the Panthers got a little bit later start than most of the rest of the field because of the success of the school’s football team.

With eight letter winners returning from a squad that advanced to the Class 1A state title game last year, it shouldn’t take long for the team to get up to speed.

“We are excited about our team this year,” Strong said. “Our goal is to win and build off of last year’s success.”

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PALO VERDE

Head coach: Paul Sanchez, sixth season

2016-17 record: 10-16 (5-7 Northwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Dylan Yoro (Sr.), G Mitch Olsen (Sr.), F Daniel Bellinger (Sr.), G/F Crew Peterson (Sr.), G Tieman Allen (Sr.)

Outlook: Last year’s junior-laden team has become a year older and more experienced.

Peterson (6.2 points, 3 assists per game), Bellinger (5.7 ppg, 8 rebounds per game), Olsen (5.7 ppg, 3 apg), Yoro (5.7 ppg, 2 apg) and Allen (2.7 ppg) are among seven returnees for the Panthers.

“We have a veteran team returning, expecting to compete for the Northwest League (title),” Sanchez said.

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RANCHO

Head coach: Ronald Childress, fifth season

2016-17 record: 13-15 (6-2 Northeast, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Jahleel Stevens (Sr.)

Outlook: Stevens is back at full strength after playing in only four games last year and missing the remainder of the season with a broken wrist.

He averaged 9 points and 3 assists and is expected to be the team’s catalyst.

“This inexperienced Rams team will only go as far as senior point guard and three-year starter Jahleel Stevens can take it,” Childress said. “The Rams will depend on speed and aggression to make up for a lack of size.”

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SANDY VALLEY

Head coach: Brian Kahre, 10th season

2016-17 record: 7-11 (1-7 1A Southern, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (two)

Top players: G Brandon Eastham (Sr.)

Outlook: Eastham (7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds per game) returns to help lead a young team.

The Sidewinders return just five lettermen and were freshmen-heavy last year.

“We are a younger squad this year looking to build upon what we started last year,” Kahre said. “We have a great group of guys that are willing to work hard to improve. The team has set their goals to improve their teamwork and make the playoffs.”

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SHADOW RIDGE

Head coach: Pat Welby, second season

2016-17 record: 14-10 (4-8 Northwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: G Garin Macfarlane (Jr.), G Anthony Jaramillo (Sr.), C/F Richard Box (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs narrowly missed out on a postseason berth last season and are hoping for better results this year.

Macfarlane (6.2 points, 3.1 assists per game) and Box (2.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg) are among those expected to contribute this season. Jaramillo could be a big addition after missing last year because of an injury.

“The Mustangs look to build on the positive results of last season’s 14-10 overall record and qualify for and advance in the playoffs,” Welby said. “Several newcomers will be expected to step up and contribute right away at the varsity level.

“We have little returning varsity experience, but a talented and hard-working group will represent Shadow Ridge on the court.”

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SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Keith Ulrich, seventh season

2016-17 record: 13-14 (7-5 Southwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: G Maka Ellis (Sr.), G Maitland Williams (Sr.), F Jalen McFadden (Sr.), G Mo Washington (Sr.), G Isaiah Veal (Jr.), G David Howard (Sr.), G Calvin Richards (Jr.)

Outlook: It’s hard to find a much more talented backcourt than the one the Mountain Lions will roll out this season.

Ellis, who has committed to Columbia, was a first-team all-state honoree last year when he averaged 25 points and 9 rebounds per game. He’s joined by Williams, who is back at Sierra Vista after averaging 12 points in 11 games at Desert Oasis last season. Howard (3 ppg), Richards (6 ppg, 2 assists per game), Washington (4 ppg, 2 apg) and Veal (4 ppg) all are expected to contribute.

McFadden (6 ppg, 3 rpg) is back at forward for the Mountain Lions.

“We return nine players with varsity experience from a playoff team in 2016-17,” Ulrich said. “As a team, we hope to improve each day and be in position to win a playoff game in February.”

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SILVERADO

Head coach: Colin Darfour, first season

2016-17 record: 11-17 (3-7 Southeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: F Caden Farley (Sr.), F Martell Williams (So.), G Dajon Keeling (Sr.)

Outlook: Darfour, who had a successful run as Mojave’s coach before leading Clark to the Class 4A state title game last season, will try to work his magic with the Skyhawks.

Farley (13 points per game), Williams (10 ppg) and Keeling (5 ppg) all return from a team that qualified for the Sunrise Region playoffs last year.

“We have a great group of guys who have been working hard,” Darfour said. “We face an uphill climb in an ultra-competitive league. Our goal is to place ourselves in position to make the playoffs, and go on a run at the right time.

“If the players stay positive and fight their hearts out till the end, whatever outcome that results from that is success.”

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SKY POINTE

Head coach: Dasheem Jenkins, second season

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)

Outlook: The Eagles went through some growing pains in their first season as a team. They’re hoping that experience will prove beneficial as they join the Class 3A Sunrise League this year.

“We’re looking to improve from our inaugural season,” Jenkins said.

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SLAM ACADEMY

Head coach: Darryl Littlefield, second season

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (five)

Top players: G Londan Coleman (So.), G Jamaal Carr (So.), F Jake Bolsterholt (So.), G Walter Azcarate-Kirk (So.), G Jalen Cunningham (Fr.)

Outlook: The Bulls bring back 10 lettermen as they prepare for the program’s second season.

Coleman (24 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists per game) was a big-time weapon last season and should only get better. Bolsterholt (7 rebounds per game) also could play a key role.

“We have a year of playing together, and with the addition of a few new players we should be competitive against anyone we play,” Littlefield said.

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SOMERSET-LOSEE

Head coach: Darrius Banks, first season

2016-17 record: First-year program

Top players: G Maxwell Lewis (So.), G Branden Boltan (Sr.), G Jeremiah Bragg (Sr.)

Outlook: The Lions make their varsity basketball debut this season.

They’re hoping to build and improve throughout the year.

“It’s a very young group, and I’m looking forward to being very competitive in our inaugural season,” Banks said.

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SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Paul Blair, second season

2016-17 record: 5-22 (1-11 Southwest, sixth)

Returning starters: Two

Top players: G/F Jahlani Blair (Jr.), G/F Keelan Wickersham (Sr.), G/F Anthony Dodson (Sr.), G/F James Webster (So.)

Outlook: The Grizzlies return two starters as they hope to show improvement from last year.

We are a determined team to get our respect in the valley,” Blair said. “We are a motivated, energized, athletic bunch trying to make our way. We have a few new additions to our program, with the expectation of having an above-.500 record.

“Our coaching staff is anxious to see how this season turns out for our hard working student-athletes.”

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SUNRISE MOUNTAIN

Head coach: John Teran, fifth season

2016-17 record: 10-14 (4-6 Class 3A Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (two)

Top players: G Steven Adeyemi (Sr.), G Anthony Proby (Sr.), C Matthew Glen (Jr.)

Outlook: Adeyemi (15.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals per game) and Proby (5.1 ppg, 2.4 assists per game, 1.9 spg) return to lead an otherwise-inexperienced varsity group.

“After making the basketball playoffs for the first time in school history last year, the coaching staff feels that the program is headed in the right direction,” Teran said. “Graduation and transiency have left the shelves a bit bare for this season.

“Experience at the guard position will be stronger than last year. This young team will have to deal with a huge learning curve but with the development of 6-foot-6-inch junior Matt Glen and the continued development of Steven Adeyemi and Anthony Proby, this team should find its chemistry in time for conference play.”

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VALLEY

Head coach: Adam Zakos, third season

2016-17 record: 9-19 (1-7 Northeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top players: G Oscar Burns (Sr.), G Bryce Jones (Jr.), G Tommy Anderson (So.), F Josiah Newbern (Sr.), F Turner Lawson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Vikings went through some ups and downs last season, but bring back six lettermen and should be more consistent.

“We have a solid group of returning and first-year players,” Zakos said. “We feel we will put a competitive team on the court every time we play.

“We expect to be much improved this season.”

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VIRGIN VALLEY

Head coach: Mark Barnum, first season

2016-17 record: 20-9 (7-3 Class 3A Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (one)

Top players: F Jayden Perkins (Sr.)

Outlook: Barnum takes over a team that will have a boatload of new faces this year.

Of the 10 players on last year’s Bulldog team, eight graduated last spring. Perkins (6.8 points, 4.1 rebounds per game) is the lone returning starter and has spent the fall as a star on the school’s football team.

“We are young and inexperienced,” Barnum said.

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