While the high school basketball season ended on a disappointing note for the Northern Nevada large school teams, there were some scintillating performances throughout the year and many reasons to be excited for next season.
Las Vegas-area schools dominated the Division I and I-A state games in the state tournament last week. But in the smaller schools, the Whittell boys and Owyhee girls won championships. And the Incline girls played one of the most exciting games of the tournament, before losing by a point to White Pine, which used to play in the North.
Looking ahead to next season, both the Carson and Reno boys, who won the Sierra and High Desert Leagues, respectively, will have to reload as both lose several seniors. But Carson has two top players returning to build around, Jayden DeJoseph and Tez Allen, who helped the Senators go undefeated in league play and take the Northern Region title. The Senators should contend again.
Reno loses nine seniors and the bulk of its scoring, although Drew Rippingham is a junior who can score and he will be back.
Bishop Manogue was very young this season with the freshmen Bansuelo brothers getting extensive playing time. The Miners finished second in the Sierra League and lose three seniors and will be solid again.
Spanish Springs was also young and finished second in the High Desert. The Cougars have two of the region’s top players returning, Marcus Loadholt and Josh Prizina, both juniors this year, along with Chase Barlow and sophomore Jalen Townsell.
Galena came on strong when the younger players figured things out. The Grizzlies lose two talented seniors, Zach Williams and Noah Peck, but return one of the area’s top players, junior Dillon Voyles and two sophomores who saw extensive playing time and improved greatly over the season, Derek Kline and Moses Wood.
McQueen could be hurt by graduation as leading scorer Octavion Corley is a senior, along with Garrett Ill, Jaylan Franklin and Orlando Easter. Second-leading scorer Tavian Cheathon-Dayton should be back, though.
Reed finished fourth in the HDL and got most of its scoring by younger players, including juniors Lincoln Turner and Jeremy Ramos. The Raiders were also getting used to a new coach and will be in contention next year.
Douglas, which finished fourth in the Sierra League, loses seven seniors, including most of its scoring and will be looking to rebuild a bit.
Damonte Ranch will be mostly starting over as the Mustangs lose seven seniors, including leading scorer Brett Cooper. Nyaabila Apambire is a junior and will be leaned on heavily.
On the girls side, Bishop Manogue returns the bulk of its team that went undefeated in league play and won the Sierra League. Tawnie Henderson and Hannah Bingham are departing seniors, but Katie Turner, Malia Holt and Maddie Camacho are juniors and key players in the Miner machine.
Reno loses three seniors, including four-year varsity players Mallory McGwire and Daranda Hinkey, from the team that won the High Desert and lost one league game. And thise two will be missed greatly. But coach Shane Foster always seems to have talented players in the wings ready to take over and return state titles to the Huskies.
McQueen finished second in the HDL and loses seniors Sadaria McAlister, Holly White and Sarah Higgins. But the Lancers have some good young players to build around including Izzy Warren, Kaila Spevak and Kate McAninch.
North Valleys will have some rebuilding to do as three seniors played extensively, Passion Burrell, Morgan Daniels and Sami Dinan. Look for Shelise Darrough and Jada Casper to step up.
Reed did not have any seniors, but still played well and qualified for the Region tournament and should be a force next season. Two sophomores played quite a bit, Serene Townsell-Williams and Taylor Johnson.
Damonte Ranch loses eight seniors, including Morgan Waller, Meagan Carlson and Kyra Bruesewitz. Sophomore Alexus Hunter is electrifying on the court and will be the team leader the next two seasons.
Douglas loses five seniors, including Maddy Lowe, but had many younger players get valuable court time and the Tigers should be a force.
Galena played well at times and, although the Grizzlies lose four seniors, they return some solid players in sophomores Kristin Farrell and Reilley Moss and junior Josie Peck.
Carson loses seven seniors, but has six juniors coming back and freshman Haley Garver.