WYOMING — In his first year as varsity boys basketball coach at Wyoming High School, Tim Edmonds led the Cowboys to the Cincinnati Hills League championship and was named Coach of the Year. The Cowboys finished 21-4, including 14-0 in the CHL.
For his 2015-16 encore, Edmonds returns four regulars and only one is a senior, as the Cowboys have a few “reload” seasons on the horizon.
Lonnie Grayson is back after winning CHL Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. He led the CHL in scoring at 19.1 per game and was fourth in the league in steals and fifth in field goal percentage. At 6-foot-1, he led the Cowboys in rebounding.
Mason Rogers will be in his fourth year starting for Wyoming and was first-team CHL. As a junior he averaged 8.5 points and five rebounds and is a consummate team player and tough defender.
Junior Jake Edmonds was second-team all-CHL as a sophomore and was second in the league in assists. He will be entering his third year on varsity. Garyn Prater is also a junior with considerable wingspan with the ability to break into double figures.
“We have a good combination of experience and youth,” Coach Edmonds said. “Four guys are returning who all saw significant minutes last year.”
The ace in the hole for Wyoming may be the younger son of Edmonds, Joey. Already placed into the limelight as Wyoming’s starting quarterback after the injury of Andrew Marty, Joey Edmonds is known in his age group in AAU circles and will also be joining his older brother Jake on the hardwood.
Before officially starting his high school career at Wyoming, Joey Edmonds was spanning the globe last summer with his Southwest Ohio Elite team draining threes and breaking ankles.
Wyoming opens on the road at Mount Healthy Dec. 1, then travels to CHL rival Indian Hill Dec. 4. The Cowboys home opener is Dec. 5 with Ross.
If Princeton’s going to turn the basketball team around, this season the Vikings will need some new guys to step up and take on leadership and scoring roles. Princeton lost a lot from last season’s 8-14 team, but coach Jamal Walker has been pleased with his team’s preparation going all the way back to the summer.
The Vikings have just one returning starter in 6-foot-3 sophomore Dominic Pierce, who averaged 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds a game last season.
Walker said Justin Newman, Gabe O’Neal, Darweshi Hunter, Aaron Levy and Devan Cook will all be asked to step in and play pivotal parts for the Vikings. Newman averaged 6.0 points per game and played in 21 games last season.
If they can play together in a new gym, the Vikings could be an improved team this year. They do have to find a way to replace nearly 36 points per game that graduated from last season.
“I like the fact that many of them played a lot of summer basketball, to me that shows that they are committed to getting better,” said Walker. “You can’t say you’re a basketball player but you’re never in the gym.”
Walker hopes that offseason dedication helps the gel together when they take the floor Dec. 1 at Oak Hills. Princeton’s home opener is Dec. 4 versus Lakota West.
With several experienced players returning from a team that shared the Greater Catholic League-South championship with Elder and La Salle, Moeller High School returns a deep basketball roster for 2015-16.
Playing without injured center Nate Fowler (now at Butler), the Crusaders were 18-9 (4-2 GCL-South) in their 15th straight winning season under Carl Kremer.
Moeller returns senior guards Trey McBride and Nate Georgeton and junior 6-foot-5 guard Riley Voss as starters. McBride averaged 11.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds and was first team GCL, second team all-district and honorable mention in Southwest Ohio.
Georgeton was second team GCL, averaging 7 points per game while dishing out 5.6 assists. Voss as a sophomore was second team GCL averaging 6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Adding depth are 6-foot-7 senior forward Sam McCracken, senior shooting guard Kenny Wead and 6-foot-5 junior guard Keegan McDowell.
“We have a team with considerable experience and great leadership,” Kremer said. “If we continue to grow collectively, we can be a very good team.”
Moeller starts the season Nov. 27 at Taft and then hosts Kings in their home opener Dec. 1. Dec. 26-31 they will participate in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Crusaders feature several college prospects.
“Nate Georgeton is signed with Division II Northwood,” Kremer said. “Trey McBride and Sam McCracken are still involved in the recruiting process, primarily with DII and NAIA schools. Underclassmen Keegan McDowell, Riley Voss and Isaiah Payton (sophomore) all have offers from DI or DII programs.”
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy is in good shape to knock heads with the upper echelon of the Miami Valley Conference this season.
The Eagles return seven lettermen from last year’s district runner-up squad. All-MVC Scarlet performers Erik Kohlan and Blake Southerland return as leaders of the team.
“Those two have led by example in the past, and they are doing it again this year,” coach Andy Keimer said. “They were outstanding in the summer and have been great in the weight room. They are doing everything right.”
Cory Combs, Cody Shiver, Tanner Southerland and Matthew Kadnar, among others, all could be key contributors for CHCA this year as well.
Every day in practice, Keimer is challenging his players to be the one who steps up and helps the team. He is hopeful that attitude carries over into the season. The Eagles play a tough schedule of MVC games and have contests against teams such as Alter, Elder, Mason and Milford.
“We hold ourselves accountable in everything we do,” the coach said. “The kids are excited about the year.”
Players to watch
Lonnie Grayson, Wyoming – CHL Player of the Year and first team for Coach of the Year Tim Edmonds as a sophomore.
Mason Rogers, Wyoming – four-year starter and first team CHL as a junior.
Jake Edmonds, Wyoming – second team CHL as a sophomore
Dominic Pierce, Princeton – a 6-foot-3 sophomore who averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 boards per game last year.
Trey McBride, Moeller – first team GCL, second team all-district and honorable mention Southwest Ohio for the Crusaders.
Nate Georgeton, Moeller-second team GCL and committed to Division II Northwood.
Riley Voss, Moeller-second team GCL 6-foot-5 junior evaluating DI and DII offers.