Parity is again the theme in boys basketball in Northern Nevada.
Galena, the defending Northern Division I champion, lost several key pieces but has a lot remaining and the Grizzlies added some talented newcomers. Galena should be strong from the start as other teams figure out lineups and matchups.
McQueen should be much improved and will look a lot different than it did last year as the Lancers now have Octavian Corley (6-foot-10) and his brother Kejohn Corley (6-5) in the middle. Last season, Tavian Cheaton-Dayton was the tallest McQueen player at 6-foot-2.
Spanish Springs is loaded, again, with Marcus Loadholt and Josh Prizina always capable of taking over a game.
And Carson has a veteran, athletic team. The Senators lost to Galena in the Northern Region championship last season.
“In my opinion, Galena will be head and shoulder, will be better than everyone, out of the gate,” McQueen coach John Franklin said. “As crazy as it sounds, I think we’re balanced. The leagues are balanced. It’s anybody’s show.”
Head coach: Ralph Fields
Record last season: 18-9 overall, 9-5 league
Key returners: Axa Pickering, senior, post; Johnny Reilly, senior, post; Aidan Cantwell, junior, wing.
Key losses: Derek Novsek, Zack Teats, James Cantwell, Adrian Luna, Collin Bernard
Outlook for the season: The Miners lost a lot of talented seniors, but Fields, in his second season, thinks he has the talent coming in to replace them. “I’m excited about it. We’ve got some great kids. They’re so much fun to coach and fun to be around. I’m looking forward to the season,” Fields said.
Head coach: Carlos Mendeguia
Record last season: 14-8 overall, 13-3 league
Key returners: Tez Allen, junior; Asa Carter, senior; Jayden DeJoseph, junior.
Key losses: Cameron Price, Dilyn Rooker, Kyle Steele.
Outlook for the season: Mendeguia has eight returners including three who started last season. He will have some members of the Senators football team including Asa Carter who is one of the best athletes in Northern Nevada. “On paper we look good. The league is really even, there’s a lot of parity this year,” Mendeguia said.
DeJoseph can play inside and outside and will be counted on.
Head coach: DJ Moore
Record last season: 6-14
Key returners: Brett Cooper, senior; Cameron Criss, senior
Key losses: Tyler Riley, David Nicholas
Outlook for the season: Moore is in his first season at Damonte and he has five returning players, but the enthusiasm is there. “(Cooper) and (Criss) are great leaders, they lead by example and they’re vocal enough to get guys to follow them,” Moore said. “If we can get some rotations going, we can play at a fast pace.”
Head coach: Corey Thacker
Record last season: 10-17 overall, 8-8 league
Key returners: Michael Johnson, senior; Jace Hart, senior, Zach Kellar, senior,
Key losses: Connor Lyons, Sam Broersma, Alex Tessman
Outlook for the season: The Tigers have an experienced team with seven seniors and seven juniors, but have some big shoes to fill with the departures of Broersma and Tessman.
Head coach: Brian Voyles
Record last season: 24-7 overall, 13-3 league
Key returners: Dillon Voyles, junior, forward; Noah Peck, senior; Zach Williams, senior
Key losses: Josiah Wood, Zack Lessinger, Jared Ford
Outlook for the season: The Grizzlies won the Northern Division I title last season. They lost a lot of talent from that team, but return quite a bit and add some talented newcomers. Brian Voyles will have four sophomores on the varsity, including sophomore Moses Wood (6-6), the younger brother of Josiah. Derek Kline, also a sophomore who played quarterback on the football team, joins the varsity and his skills will translate well to the hardwood.
Head coach: Luke Archer
Record last season: 1-23, 0-13
Key returners: Tony Sanchez, Gerald Roscom, Zonathan Williams, Malik Youmes, Ja’Lawnie Thomas.
Key losses: Treci Blanton, Tre Williams
Outlook for the season: Archer, in his first season at Hugm has a few returners he plans to build around as he hopes to play a quick, up-tempo style. He’s truing to get the Hawks accustomed to his style of playing and coaching. “I think we can be successful. We’ll have to stay on top of them and their focus. We’re still introducing things,” he said. “We’re sort of starting over. It’s just been basic stuff, for now, but the kids want to get into it. I think we’ll be OK.”
Head coach: John Franklin
Record last season: 7-14, 5-11
Key returners: Jaylan Franklin, senior; Tavian Cheaton-Dayton, junior.
Key losses: Kyle Kirsch, Patrick Deleon
Outlook for the season: The Lancers added significant height and experience with Octavian Corley and Kejohn Corley. Franklin, in his season at McQueen, will alter his coaching style to take advantage of the pair. He said learning to play together will determine how well the team does.
“You have to keep it optimistic, or you’ll drive yourself crazy,” Franklin said. “The first part of the season I always look at as, it starts out ugly, just trying to get people to gel, teaching new systems.”
Franklin will have numerous lineup options, and can go either tall or fast.
“We’ll be solid. I’m not going to sit here and lie, we’ll be solid,” Franklin said. “But it’s going to take a couple of weeks for that to come to fruition. Once they learn to trust each other, they’re going t be solid.”
Head coach: Richard Peraldo
Record last season: 10-15
Key returners: Josh Mea, senior, point guard; Sean Flanery, senior, shooting guard; AJ Dennis, junior, guard.
Key losses: Octavian Corley, Tommy McGuire, Orion Claimon, Micah Millar
Outlook for the season: Peraldo, in his sixth season at North Valleys, has just three returning players and the Panthers will be young with five sophomores, four juniors and three seniors. “Once we learn how to play as a team, we’ll be OK,” Peraldo said. “We hope to have the run-and-gun style. This is the best group of shooters I’ve had in six years at North Valleys.”
Head coach: Zach Sanford
Record last season:
Key returners: Lincoln Turner
Key losses: Jamel Ramos, Alec Leighton, Devin Herbert, Cody DeHaan
Outlook for the season: Sanford, in his first season at Reed after being an assistant at Reno, has to replace a lot of talent as nine seniors graduated last spring. He said the Raiders junior varsity was strong last season and those players now on the varsity will be counted on. Jamel Ramos’ younger brother Jeremy Ramos is one of them. Jamel was the Player of the Year last season as he led the league in scoring. Sanford said Jeremy is similar to Jamel. “Our expectation is to compete and win. I fully expect for us to compete for League, Region and state titles, regardless of our age or inexperience,” Sanford said.
Head coach: Matt Ochs
Record last season:
Key returners: Mike Heyden, Karn Goraya, David Kyle
Key losses: Jouvon Edison, Wyatt Williams, Colton Crocco
Outlook for the season: The Huskies have plenty of experience back with eight seniors and should be able to build off last season. Ochs said the juniors are also talented and should see extensive playing time.
Head coach: Kyle Penney
Record last season: 13-3
Key returners: Marcus Loadholt, Josh Prizina
Key losses: Jacob White, Brandon Barlow, Jake Prizina
Outlook for the season: Penney has two of the area’s better players in Marcus Loadholt and Josh Prizina. Coming off a fairly successful season, Penney is cautiously optimistic, saying the Cougars will need players to step into leadership roles vacated by last years seniors. “(Loadholt) puts in a lot of time, he’s always in the gym, always texting to get in the gym. That’s the reason why he’s so good. The more time you spend, the harder you work, there’s a reward for that,” Penney said.
Head coach: Jose Parra
Record last season:
Key returners: Myster Smith, junior; Isaac Zinnerman, senior, point guard; Benn Ginn, sophomore
Key losses: Martin Orozco
Outlook for the season: Parra, in his second season at Wooster, is expecting a much better result this year. He’s really high on Ginn helping the Colts. “I want the guys to play hard every game and get better every practice. My expectations are through the roof,” Parra said. There’s a buzz in this gym.”
Head coach: Dan Schreiber
Record last season: 8-14
Outlook for the season: The Railroaders have more depth than they’ve had in a while and that should translate to more wins. Schreiber, in his fifth season at Sparks, said many of his players are versatile and can play anywhere on the court. He has six returning players. “We’ll be much better than we were the past two years. We struggled with depth,” Schreiber said. “It’s going to be interesting. We can mix and match 10 or 12 kids. The pendulum is swinging back. As coaches, we’ve got our work cut out for us.”