F-F boys hoops squads have high expectations
Coach: Ray Staver, 25th year, 340-257 (.570).
Last year: 17-8 (11-1, Mid Penn Colonial Division champions); lost in the first round of the District 3 Class 4A playoffs against Central York.
Starters lost: Wade Mills (P.O. First Team), Teagan Staver, Shuntan Hickman
Returning starters: Carter Van Scyoc (jr., G, 6-3, 9.2 ppg, P.O. Second Team); Cody Gustafson (sr., G, 6-2, 5.9 ppg).
Other top players: Clayton Stine (sr., G, 6-0), Brady Kuhn (sr., F, 6-4); Alaric Hickman (jr., F, 6-2); Zach Cullen (jr., G, 5-11); Adam Houser (so., G, 5-9); Carson Helfrich (so., G, 5-9); Kyle Yost (sr., F, 6-0); Aaron Ross (jr., G, 5-9)
Outlook: Staver said, "We had a good summer, and if we're able to do the things we did well over the summer during the season, I think we can be pretty successful. Offensively, we'll be able to score, but rebounding might be a concern. Our defense has certainly gotten better over the summer. Our division is going to be pretty good, but we think we can be right there. One thing this group does is compete. Our two kids coming back from last year are two high-level competitors."
Notes: Ship lost an average of 31.3 points per game with its three graduations ... The Greyhounds are the two-time defending champ of the Colonial Division ... Staver is the reigning P.O. Coach of the Year ... Returning starters Gustafson and Van Scyoc joined the team late after the football team advanced to the district championship.
Season opener: Friday, vs. New Oxford at Gettysburg Warrior Tip-Off Tournament, 6 p.m.
Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils
Coach: Rick Lewis, first year.
Last year: 15-8 (10-2 Mid Penn Colonial Division); lost in the first round of the District 3 Class 4A playoffs against Reading.
Starters lost: Sam Sprague, Spencer Meyers.
Returning starters: Casey Hoover (sr., G, 6-1, 16.5 ppg, P.O. First Team); Bryan Gembe (jr., F, 6-3, 9.5 ppg, P.O. Second Team); Ian Gelsinger (jr., F, 6-2, 6.3 ppg), Brandon Stuhler (jr., PG, 5-11, 8.3).
Other top players: Ben Freeman (jr., F, 6-3); Bryson Robinson (jr., F, 6-1); Cam Hileman (jr., G, 5-6)
Outlook: Lewis said, "The kids are really picking up what we're trying to do. We have some very good basketball players with high basketball IQs. I'm pleased with how they've bought in. We've brought in some new concepts offensively and defensively. Our height is a concern, and defensive rebounding is my biggest concern. We don't have to win the boards, but we can't get killed on the boards. We have Chambersburg first, so that'll be a nice test right off the bat."
Notes: Hoover is just 52 points away from hitting 1,000 for his career ... Gary Martin took a job at Susquehanna Township after six years as G-A's head coach ... The Blue Devils graduated two of the tallest players in their starting rotation ... G-A was picked first in the MPC Colonial Division preseason coaches poll conducted by PennLive.
Season opener: Friday, in Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament, vs. Chambersburg at Waynesboro, 5 p.m.
James Buchanan Rockets
Coach: Larry Strawoet, 15th year, 156-181 (.463)
Last year: 13-10 (5-6 Mid Penn Colonial Division); lost in a District 3 Class 3A play-in game to Lancaster Catholic.
Starters lost: Ryan Hege (P.O. First Team); Zach Vosburg; Cody Tacker; Gage Piper; Toby Sowers
Returning starter: Hunter Sowers (sr., F, 6-2, 4.9 ppg)
Other top players: Jared Pine (sr., G, 5-7, 5.9 ppg); Hunter Reath (jr., G, 5-7); Micah Wise (sr., G/F, 5-10); Josh Summers (sr., G/F, 5-10); Dan Corcoran (so., G, 5-8); Owen Stoner (so., G, 5-8); Kelby Friese (jr., F, 6-4); Noah Wise (so., F, 6-0); Justin Hissong (fr., G, 5-8); Dalton Eckard (fr., G/F, 5-10)
Outlook: Strawoet said, "Our overall goal is to compete in each game, game in and game out. Obviously the learning curve for this group is a lot quicker because of what we lack in varsity-level experience, but they don't have much choice. Each game, we're going to learn from our mistakes, and hopefully we can continue to defend well, rebound the ball and limit our turnovers."
Notes: Hege was the Rockets' biggest loss to graduation; he averaged a double-double last season ... JB graduated nearly 80 percent of its scoring from last season ... Sowers and Pine are the only players with real varsity experience.
Season opener: Friday, in Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament, at Waynesboro, 8 p.m.
Coach: Tom Hoffman, 17th year, 156-215 (.420)
Last year: 6-15 (5-7 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Starters lost: Dakota Rhyne, Ogo Akamelu.
Returning starters: Cameron Keck (sr., G, 6-1, 13.8 ppg, P.O. First Team); Kyle Hoffman (sr., PG, 5-8, 8.2 ppg, P.O. honorable mention); Mitch Neterer (sr., G, 6-0, 8.3 ppg); Evan Hine (sr., F, 6-2, 5.1 ppg)
Other top players: Nick Sims (sr., F, 6-4); Logan Weibley (jr., F, 6-0); Jay Alvarez (so., G/F, 6-1)
Outlook: Hoffman said, "We have four guys returning who got a lot of playing time, and that gives us a real good foundation to begin with. The experience factor is there, and all four of them can play. We're going to try to keep some of the momentum that we had going late last season. I think I'm the world's worst coach at predicting how we'll do. The talent is there; the desire to be successful is there; and we have a nice blend of young guys mixed with our experience."
Notes: After starting the season 1-11, Waynesboro went 5-4 in its final nine games last year ... 'Boro plans to play one freshman, Cole Rhyne, and it has a sophomore class of four players that may see some time off the bench.
Season opener: Friday, in Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament, at home vs. James Buchanan, 8 p.m.
Southern Fulton Indians
Coach: Kent Hendershot, 24th season, 424-169 (.715)
Last year: 22-6 (15-1 Sideling Hill League, 14-0 Inter-County Conference); SHL champs and ICC runner-up; won the District 5 Class 1A championship over McConnellsburg; lost in the second round of the PIAA-1A playoffs to Constitution.
Starters lost: Trent Rider (P.O. First Team); Zach Clark
Returning starters: Dylan Gordon (sr., G, 6-4, 17.0 ppg, P.O. Player of the Year); Carl Potter (sr., G, 6-1, 6.5 ppg); Branden Lynch (jr., C, 6-5, 4.9 ppg)
Other top players: Chase Varner (sr., G, 6-1); Mitch Potter (jr., G, 6-0); Tanner Elbin (sr., F, 5-10); Austin Schreiver (sr., G, 5-10); Dylan Ensor (jr., G, 5-7).
Outlook: Hendershot, "I think we have the potential to be pretty solid. We're certainly a long way from that right now, but the chemistry seems pretty good. The kids are working hard, and we've gotten better in our first two weeks. Defense will be a strong point for us by the end of the season. We may struggle to score points, especially if DG (Dylan Gordon) is contained. We have to find some other scorers, and consistency is probably the key word for us."
Notes: Gordon returns after averaging nearly a double-double last season ... While most of the SHL and ICC teams have moved up to Class 2A or 3A, SF remains in 1A for boys basketball ... So. Fulton and Shanksville are expected to be some of the top teams in the district.
Season opener: Friday, at Hancock, 7 p.m.
Coach: Drew Washabaugh, first year.
Last year: 21-5 (14-2 Sideling Hill League, 12-2 Inter-County Conference); District 5 runner up; lost in the first round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs to Sewickley Academy.
Starters lost: Jake Boehme (P.O. First Team); Quintin Miller; Ryan Koontz; Ian Cheatle; Landon Richards
Returning starter: Chase Novak (sr., G, 6-2, 11.2 ppg, P.O. Second Team)
Other top players: Nic Culler (sr., G, 5-7); Chance Hawbaker (sr., F, 6-2); Ethan Barclay (sr., G/F, 6-4); Nehemiah Romig (so., F, 5-10); Dominick Reed (so., F, 6-2); Brice Feagley (jr., F, 6-0); Cale Harmon (jr., G, 5-11)
Outlook: Washabaugh said, "Our expectations are to get a top seed in the district and make it to the district championship. We lost a lot but our other three seniors (Culler, Hawbaker and Barclay) probably could've played varsity last year if we didn't have such a strong team. We aren't experienced in varsity time, but we definitely have the talent. Chase is the only guy with varsity experience, myself included, so we've put a lot on him. Ethan and Nic are also on the soccer team, so they have district experience anyway."
Notes: McConnellsburg lost the majority of its scoring from last year; Boehme, Miller, Cheatle and Richards averaged 36.5 points per game ... Washabaugh was the JV coach the last two years. ... Novak is 92 points away from 1,000 for his career ... The Spartans moved up to Class 2A this season.
Season opener: Monday, at Southern Huntingdon, 7:30 p.m.
Coach: Jeff Winegardner, first year.
Last year: 5-17 (3-13 Sideling Hill League, 3-11 Inter-County Conference).
Starters lost: Sawyer Rosenberry, Layton Hoffmann
Returning starters: Mikell McGee (sr., G, 24.1 ppg, P.O. First Team); Lucas Wingert (jr., F, 11.9 ppg, P.O. Second Team); Austin Raymer (sr., F)
Other top players: Colby Adams (jr., C); Brandon Winegardner (jr., G); Dylan Seibert (jr., F/G); Kyler Goshorn (so., G); Timber Brookens (so., F/C); Frankie Ryder (so., F); Darston Warren (fr., G); Weston Moats (so., F), Billy Peppernick (so., F).
Outlook: Winegardner said, "We have a pretty good scorer in Mikell coming back, so we're looking to improve from last year. We only lost two seniors, so we have a good core group coming back, and we want to be pretty competitive this year."
Notes: McGee is tracking down 1,500 career points; he currently has 1,325. "I think that's an attainable goal," Winegardner said. "He needs a little over 100 to beat the all-time record." ... Wingert had a breakout season last year, averaging nearly a double-double.
Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. Tussey Mountain, 7:30 p.m.
Forbes Road Cardinals
Coach: Trent Black, second year.
Last year: 6-16 (4-12 Sideling Hill, 4-10 Inter-County Conference).
Starters lost: None.
Returning starters: Aaron Schepis (sr., G, 5-10, 11.3 ppg, P.O. Second Team); Matt Brown (sr., F, 6-1, 9.4 ppg, P.O. honorable mention); Brycen Hohman (jr., G, 6-1, 8.1 ppg); Grayson Hall (6-0); Michael Fleck (6-1)
Other top players: Owen Gilbert (sr., F, 5-11); Talon Blair (jr., G, 5-11); Jackson Chilcote (sr., G, 5-9).
Outlook: "We were basically a JV team last year, and we grew up a lot. Hopefully good things are going to be coming. Our guard play should be pretty good, and we want to press the tempo a bit. So far, our boxing out and rebounding is pretty weak at the moment. We gotta work on the boards, and get our guide blocks down. We just gotta get after it."
Notes: Like Southern Fulton, Forbes Road remains a Class 1A team while many others in the league have moved up ... Gilbert returns after a season-ending injury in the fourth game last season ... Schepis is a four-year starter.
Season opener: Monday, at home vs. Northern Bedford, 7:30 p.m. ... Friday, home vs. Everett, 7 p.m.
Shalom Christian Flames
Coach: Danley Shank, seventh year, 65-66 (.496)
Last year: 22-8 (11-3 Mason Dixon Christian Conference); won the MDCC Championship with a defeat of Shenandoah Valley.
Starter lost: Barrett Eshbaugh
Returning starters: Jonah Stains (sr., F, 6-1, 21.2 ppg, P.O. First Team); Cameron Roseman (jr., G, 6-1, 12.9 ppg, P.O. Second Team); Micah Lehman (sr., F, 6-0, 7-3 ppg); Chase Martin (sr., PG, 5-10, 3.6 ppg)
Other top players: Coby Roseman (sr., G, 6-2), Travis West (jr., F, 5-11)
Outlook: Shank said, "This year, we definitely look to build off of our run in the conference tournament. Everyone is going to be bringing their best games; we won't be able to surprise anyone this year, so we have to be prepared day and and day out. The only thing you have to be careful is it doesn't lead to complacency. But I think our guys know they'll have their hands full. Our conference has some very good teams."
Notes: Shalom has also won two straight MDCC championships in boys soccer, which has many of the same players ... Shank predicted Broadfording, Shenandoah Valley, Faith and Heritage to be some of the toughest teams in the conference ... Stains surpassed 1,000 points last season.
Next game: Friday, at Calvary Christian, 7 p.m.
Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers
Coach: Austin Sanders, first year.
Last year: 1-19 (0-14 Mason-Dixon Christian Conference)
Starters lost: Noah Eckert
Returning starters: Spencer Propst (sr., PG, 5-7); Jesus Pena (jr., G, 5-9, P.O. honorable mention); Aaron Johnson (sr., F, 6-0)
Other top players: David Bolich (sr., F, 6-1); Grant Carter (so., G, 5-11); Triston Horn (so., G, 6-1); Nathan Statler (so., F, 6-2); Eli Black (so., G, 5-11)
Outlook: Sanders said, "I just keep telling the guys that every day we want to get better today. Wins and losses are going to come and go, but at the end of the season, if we're better in February and March than we were in November, that's success. I have a great coaching staff, and we're bringing some new stuff, so there's definitely a learning curve there. But we're really preaching effort and intensity."
i just keep telling the guys that every day we want to get better today. wins and losses are going to come and go, but at the end fo teh seasn, if we're better in feburary march tan we were in november, that's usscceful. i got a great coaching staff, and we're bringing in some new staff, so that's definitely a leraving curve there. really preaching effort and intensity.
Notes: Sanders is CVC's athletic director; he's a former player and the son of last year's coach, Mike Sanders ... Jackson Park did not come out this year.
Next game: Friday, at home vs. Shenandoah Valley, 7 p.m.