Conestoga Valley Buckskins
Coach: Brad Herr (ninth year)
2014-15 record: 10-6 L-L, 13-10 overall
Returning starters: Jovan Marrero (6-3, SR, F), Connor Whitacre (5-10, SR, G), Evan Showalter (6-1, SR, G/F), Jeremy Griel (6-0, SR, F), Grant Stoltzfus (6-0, JR, G/F)
Others to watch: Austin Monroe (5-11, SO, F), Tristan Thomas (5-10, SR, G), Theo Blantz (5-9, JR, G)
The skinny: Things could be shaping up for another memorable season in Witmer. Herr’s Buckskins return an experienced lineup that includes 2014 Section Two MVP Marrero, plus some solid contributors off the bench, after capturing the section title a year ago.
“We hope to build upon last season’s success with a continued emphasis on hard work, tough defense, and a team-oriented offensive system,” Herr said via email. “We expect our veterans to display consistent leadership in all aspects of the game, as well as in the classroom and the community.”
Coach: Mike Dolan (ninth year)
2014-15 record: 8-8 L-L, 11-11 overall
Returning starters: Jacob Hood (5-11, SR, G), Joey Lonardi (6-4, SR, F), Tayvon Beverly (6-1, SR, G), Thomas Anderton (6-0, SR, F)
Others to watch: Micah Garber (SO, G), Marcus Shutt (SR, G), Ben Norton (SR, G), Scott Stevens (SR, G), Jack Nesbitt (SR, F)
The skinny: Last year’s season-ending loss at Conestoga Valley on the final day of the regular season left the Bears with the short end of the stick — not to mention the loss of sizable post-players Tyler Rosepink and Zach Polites because of graduation.
But Anderton saw starter’s minutes a year ago, and Lonardi (13.6 ppg) was a Section Two All-Star. Hood and Beverly have been around, as well, so the Bears should be primed for another run.
Coach: Charlie Fisher (1st year)
2014-15 record: 3-13 L-L, 4-18 overall
Returning starters: Matthew McGillan (6-2, SR, G)
Others to watch: Kevin Welsh (6-2, SR, C), Alex Rummel (5-11, JR, F), Ben Molchany (5-10, JR, G/F), Nate Adams (JR, G), Sam Cable (SO, F)
The skinny: Fisher takes the reins at Ephrata after six years as an assistant under Manheim Central’s Chris Sherwood, whose team went on lengthy playoff runs each of the last two seasons. Good news for Fisher, the Mounts return Section All-Star Matt McGillan (17.3 ppg, 17 3’s) to an otherwise young squad.
How that translates this season is yet to be determined, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism as Ephrata seeks to scale the Section Two ladder.
Garden Spot Spartans
Coach: Ryan Trupe (6th year)
2014-15 record: 1-15 L-L, 3-18 overall
Returning starters: Javon McIntyre (6-1, SR, G), Brady Mellinger (6-1, SR, F)
Others to watch: Brett Cataudella (6-5, SR, F), Ethan Jones (6-4, SR, F), Daryl Hartman (6-0, SR, G), Jordan Shewbridge (5-11, SR, F), Brendan Bradley (5-7, JR, G), Jacob Arndt (5-8, SO, G),
The skinny: While there’s isn’t one particular scoring threat at the Spot, there’s plenty to like on a roster with eight seniors plus a healthy dose of size. McIntyre (5.8 ppg) and Shewbridge (5.9 ppg) should provide steady scoring, and Arndt (7.8) and Cataudella (8.5) racked up some serious points in a limited number of games last season.
Nothing’s definitive in November, but the Spartans have as good a chance as any at flipping last year’s script in their second year in Section Two.
Solanco Golden Mules
Coach: Scott Long (first year)
2014-15 record: 4-12 L-L, 7-14 overall
Returning starters: Desmond Kreider (5-11, SR, G), Dylan Hastings (6-7, JR, C)
Others to watch: Derek Lavin (5-11, SR, G), Robert McHugh (6-2, JR, F), Colin Kilgore (5-10, JR, F), Jared Braightmeyer (6-5, JR, C)
The skinny: After five seasons at Penn Manor, Long swapped his post leading the Millersville girls’ for a shot to coach the Quarryville boys’.
Fortunately, the inside-outside combination of Kreider (10.4 ppg) and Hastings (9.3 ppg) should lighten the scoring load for a Mules’ squad looking to replace six starting-caliber seniors. If coach, starters, and supporting cast can all jell together, the Mules should have little trouble climbing up with the pack.