Columbia Crimson Tide
Coach: Adrian White (first season)
2014-15 record: 14-14
Returning starters: Justin Walton (5-10, SR, G)
Others to watch: Jack Hess (6-0, SR, F), Jarod Kashner (6-2, SR, F)
The skinny: The Crimson Tide had a historic run in 2014-15 when they slipped into the District Three Class AA tournament and made it all the way to the championship game and a state tournament berth.
Not happy with just being there, the Crimson Tide defeated Parkway Center City for their first PIAA tournament win in two decades.
Now with most of their starting lineup gone and former head coach Matt Johns at Manheim Township, first-year head coach Adrian White will have to put some new pieces together in hopes of leading his team to another playoff season.
Lancaster Catholic Crusaders
Coach: Joe Klazas (11th season)
2014-15 record: 15-9
Returning starters: Thomas Gonzalez (6-2, SR, F), Sean Landis (6-4, SR, F), Chad Wenger (5-10, SR, G)
Others to watch: Sean Henry (6-5, SR, F), Bryan Downey (5-10, JR, G), Andrew DeBord (6-0, SR, G)
The skinny: The Crusaders finished second in Section Four in 2014-15, which clinched them an L-L and district playoff berth.
Catholic will have to replace most of their backcourt this season but do bring back a lot of experience under the basket in Thomas Gonzalez and Sean Landis.
Lancaster Mennonite Blazers
Coach: Geoff Groff (eighth season)
2014-15 record: 18-6
Returning starters: Kyle Kerr 5’8, JR G, Javan Terry 6’1, JR F
Others to watch: Cody Hurst (6-1, SR, F), Carter Hurst (5-10, Soph, G), Nate Jean-Phillippe (5-8, SR, G)
The skinny: The Blazers took home a Section Four title in 2014-15 but underachieved in the District Three Class AA tournament after being ousted by section rival and No. 10 seed Columbia.
Now Geoff Groff’s squad must try to reload if they want to defend their section crown. Junior Javan Terry showed a lot of promise in the paint in 2014-15 and, with another year under his belt, could be a real force for the Blazers this season.
“We have good energy and team speed but lack experience,” Groff said. “We also need to replace 50 points a game. Success will be related to how quickly we can develop a new team dynamic and a trust in one another.”
Pequea Valley Braves
Coach: Jim Shipper (third season)
2014-15 record: 9-13
Returning starters: Chad Mullen (5-11, SR, G), Jason Stoltzfus (5-10, SR, G)
Others to watch: Juriel Gray (5-10, SR, G), Gabe Allgyer (5-8, SR, G), Isaiah Glick (6-1, SR, F)
The skinny: The Braves showed promise in their 2014-15 campaign; finishing third in Secton Four but winning their final four section games including an OT win against Lancaster Catholic.
With a talented backcourt of Chad Mullen and Jason Stoltzfus returning, Pequea Valley will look to make even more noise in the Section Four race in 2015-16.