Pikes Peak-area boys' basketball team capsules

Photo - Sand Creek fans at the Sand Creek and Vista Ridge boys basketball game at Sand Creek High School on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
Sand Creek fans at the Sand Creek and Vista Ridge boys basketball game at Sand Creek High School on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

5A Colorado Springs Metro League


Coach: David Thomas (third season)

Returning starters: F Jareth Morey, sr.; F Ashton Rogers, sr.; G Bryce McKee, jr.

Other top players: G Kaddin Standley, sr.; G Ladarius Mays, soph.; F Justin Dwinell, sr.

Outlook: "I have been blessed with a group that has bought into the system and wants to play hard for one another," Thomas said.

Notes: The Cougars haven't had a winning season since 2012-13.



Coach: Eric Steinert (Second season overall, first with Doherty)

Returning starters: F Joe Golden, sr.; G/F Kyrele Benford, sr.

Other top players: G DeMarious Carey, sr.; F Alijah Bates, jr.; G Eddie Whitmore, jr.

Outlook: "We are the most excited about playing a fast-paced, up-tempo style of basketball that will be fun to watch," Steinert said.

Notes: The Spartans hope their fast-paced offense will wear down their opponents.



Coach: Ivan Chambers (17th season overall, seventh at Liberty)

Returning starters: F Moz Doria, jr.; G Kyle Bohuslavsky, sr.; G Jacob Burns, sr.

Other top players: G Sean Bohuslavsky, jr.

Outlook: "Rampart and Doherty are the front-runners in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League, but overall the league should be very competitive this year," Chambers said.



Coach: Jimmy Grantz (25th season)

Returning starters: G Ty Mack, sr. G/F Darien Meyers, jr.; G Brayden Grantz, jr.; G Hank Myers, jr.; F Torrell Crowell, sr.; G Isaiah Robinson, jr. (all started multiple games last season).

Top players: G Julian Davis, sr.; F/G Will Lallis, sr.; G JT Uhden, sr.; F Jadin Burney, sr.; F Eli Lorentz, jr.

Outlook: "We return seven players with varsity experience and I am excited about the athleticism and versatility of this team," Grantz said.

Notes: Following two winning seasons, the Terrors were 6-17 a year ago.


Pine Creek

Coach: Joe Rausch (fourth season)

Returning starters: G Grant Wilkinson, jr.

Other top players: G Max Lofy, soph.; C Sam Bishop, sr.

Outlook: "Very young team," Rausch said. "As many as six or seven sophomores could see major varsity time. Unselfish group of kids."

Notes: The Eagles haven't had a winning season since 2010-11.



Coach: J'on St. Clair (24th season, ninth at Rampart)

Returning starters: C Dawson Carper, sr.; G Josh Kavalec, sr.; G Xavier Johnson, sr.

Other top players: G Brandon Sanger, jr.; G Kyle Manson, sr.; G Jack McReynolds, sr.

Outlook: St. Clair's goal is to "win league and make the Sweet 16."

Notes: Johnson is a transfer from Rocky Mountain High School.


4A/5A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference

Air Academy

Coach: Barry Clark (10th season)

Returning starters: G Niko Lunt, sr.; G Brock Bendrick, sr.; G Luke Louthan, jr.; G Calvin Yocum, sr.; G Thad Dewing, soph.

Other top players: G Josh Biddle, sr.; F/C Ryan Self, sr.; G Grant Shandy, jr.

Outlook: Clark said he's most excited for "the chance to compete."

Notes: Air Academy had a brand-new team last year and went 1-22.


Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Elgin Fitzgerald (third season)

Returning starters: G Ryan Wallis, sr.; F Luke Martin, sr.; F Will Louis, jr.; G Nick Bassett, jr.

Other top players: F Javonte Johnson, soph.; F Jaedn Harrison, soph.

Outlook: "We have a lot of experience coming back from last year's playoff team," Fitzgerald said. "We also have some good young players ready to contribute.

Notes: Martin signed his intent to play for Colorado Christian.


Discovery Canyon

Coach: Paul Campbell (eighth season, second at Discovery Canyon)

Returning starters: G Seth Clawson; C Chase Rogers; F Zach Anderson.

Other top players: G Daryn Whisman; G Caleb Groteleuschen; F Caleb Blackburn, sr.

Outlook: "Great young men with high character," Campbell said. "Excited to see their growth and development."

Notes: Blackburn, a golfer, joins the team and is expected to have a major impact.



Coach: Mark Watley (fifth season)

Returning starters: G Noah Martinez, sr.; G Reece Warren, sr.; F Mitchel Ballage, sr.; F Brendan LaRose, sr.; F Rhaven Brown, jr.

Other top players: F Antonio Walker, jr.

Outlook: "The players understand and have embraced the style of basketball we want to play on both ends of the floor," Watley said. "I believe that the experience of this senior group, combined with the improvements from our great offseason, will make us very competitive."

Notes: The Falcons improved from eight wins in 2015-16 to 12 wins last season.



Coach: Bill Benton (fifth season)

Key starters: F Joel Scott, jr.

Other top players: G Noah Baca, jr.; G Matthew Ragsdale, jr.; G Salim Nehme, sr.; F Carter Kreischer, sr.; F Tre McCullough, jr.

Outlook: "A very talented group, athletic, very good shooting team," Benton said. "We have versatility in our rotation. Guys can play multiple positions."

Notes: L-P has gone to at least the state semifinals seven of the past nine seasons.


Palmer Ridge

Coach: Nick Mayer (10th season)

Returning starters: G Nick Boldvich, sr.; F Cory McLellan, sr.; C Zach Hester, sr.

Other top players: G Kyle Cordova, sr.; G Nathan Kugler, sr.

Outlook: "We look forward to competing in the top conference in the state," Mayer said. "I am fortunate to coach a group of kids that play hard and care about each other."

Notes: The Bears have had three winning seasons in the last four years.


Sand Creek

Coach: Rob Hawkins (15th season overall, second at Sand Creek)

Returning starters: None.

Other top players: G JeVaughn Williams, jr.; G Brandon Galvan, sr.

Outlook: "The unknown," Hawkins said.

Notes: Sand Creek lost D'Shawn Schwartz, who is now at CU, from a year ago.


Vista Ridge

Coach: Joe Hites (33rd season)

Returning starters: Raymon Harper, sr.; Micah Hilts, jr.; Tristan Pratt, jr.; Julius Dowell, jr.

Other top players: Eric Hooks, sr.; Darrius Sharp, sr.; Caleb Warren, sr.; Payton Kaiser, jr.

Outlook: "Looking forward to the journey," Hites said.

Notes: Vista Ridge lost to eventual state champ Eaglecrest in the 5A round of 16.


4A Colorado Springs Metro League


Coach: Terry Dunn (24th season)

Returning starters: G Derrian Reed, sr.

Other top players: None listed.

Outlook: "(We are a) very young squad that lost eight seniors and four starters," Dunn said. "(Have) only one returning starter with a host of young players who have to grow up very fast."

Notes: The Stallions lost to Lewis-Palmer in the 4A round of 16 last season.


The Classical Academy

Coach: Kevin Wenger (third season)

Returning starters: G Jared Belcher, sr.; F Jonny Stephens, sr.

Other top players: None listed.

Outlook: "We are getting back to my roots and passions as a coach," Wenger said. "We are focusing heavily on defense and rebounding. My hope and goal is that our style of play will be very different and much more effective than we have been in the past two years."

Notes: The Titans have eight seniors on varsity.



Coach: Mark Munoz (21st season)

Returning starters: F Tre Pierre; F TJ Davis; G Lucas Lacy.

Other top players: G Myreik Goodwin; F/G Randall Days.

Outlook: "We have a strong group of seniors that like playing hard and respect their teammates and opponents," Munoz said.

Notes: The Gladiators went 17-8 last year and won their first-round game in the postseason.


Woodland Park

Coach: John Paul Geniesse (fourth season)

Returning starters: G Skye Ciccarelli, jr.; G Josh Bodin, sr.; F Kodi Newsome, sr.

Other top players: G Dempsey Battin, sr.; F Evan Owen, sr.

Outlook: "We return our top four scorers from last season and look to build upon the success of last year," Geniesse said.

Notes: The Panthers are looking for their first winning season in 17 years and a berth into the state tournament for the first time in a decade.


3A Tri-Peaks League

Colorado Springs Christian

Coach: Mark Engesser (seventh season)

Returning starters: G Noah Hopkins, sr.; F Jordan Greager, sr.

Other top players: G Brandon Pitt, jr.; G Mateo Mendoza, jr.; F Josh Erickson, soph.; G Caleb Stockton, fr.; G Kensley Smith, fr.

Outlook: "Everyone expects us to be down due to losing 3A Player of the Year Justin Engesser, but we will surprise some people," coach Engesser said.

Notes: CSCS has the most wins in the state out of any classification over the past six years. The Lions are 141-18 since 2011-12. 

Manitou Springs

Coach: Ken Vecchio (38th overall, 32nd at Manitou)

Returning starters: G Cole Sienknecht, sr.

Other top players: None listed.

Outlook: "We will be young and inexperienced, but have a strong desire to learn and get better," Vecchio said. "We will have decent size, and once we get everyone playing together, we should be decent. We have some new faces that could help us."

Notes: Manitou Springs lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champ Sterling a year ago.


St. Mary's

Coach: Jim Masterson (41st overall, first at St. Mary's)

Returning starters: G Jack Velten, sr.; G Draven Hackley, sr.; G Cam Raedel, sr.; G Tyler Englert, sr.; C Gabe Calhoun, jr.

Other top players: G Eddy Ferrara, jr.; G Domenic Hartman, jr.; C Jonathan Padrnos, sr.

Outlook: "(We have) all five starters back plus eight of 12 from last year," Masterson said.

Notes: The Pirates had six wins last year.


The Vanguard School

Coach: Joe Wetters (eighth season)

Returning starters: G Seth Fuqua; G Dominique Clifford; F Carter Milroy; G Tyler Wheeler-Temple; C Logan Lockhart.

Other top players: C Sterling Lee.

Outlook: "We return all of our starters from a team that finished third in the league a year ago," Wetters said. "Our backcourt of Fuqua and Clifford will be one of the most dynamic in the league."

Notes: Fuqua averaged 24.8 points last season.


2A Black Forest


Coach: Ryan Carter (fifth season)

Returning starters: F Charles Sparks, sr.; G Ben Kelly, sr.; G Bradley Glick, sr.; G Nathan Deputy, jr.

Other top players: None listed.

Outlook: "We will be fast and work hard on defense," Carter said.

Notes: The Bulldogs have not had a winning season since 2012-13.


Colorado Springs School

Coach: Christopher Earls (sixth season)

Returning starters: None.

Other top players: F John Nieman, jr.; F Dean Taylor, sr.; G Connor Jarolimek, sr.; G Matt Chavez, jr.

Outlook: "I am excited by the work ethic I see in practice and the commitment of these players to show improvement with each and every practice," Earls said.

Notes: Earls said his squad is very diverse - with players from several countries.



Coach: Jeffrey Zick (first season)

Returning starters: G Chiante Stewart, sr.; F Kyle Ager, sr.; F Jacob Searle, soph.

Other top players: G Garrison Dahn, sr.; F Jacob Tu'ufuli, sr.; G Clay Sanger, fr.

Outlook: "While we have lost many talented, all-conference players over the last two or three years, we still have high expectations for this team," Zick said.

Notes: The Thunderhawks have four straight winning seasons.


Evangelical Christian Academy

Coach: Bob Wingett (24th season overall, first with ECA)

Returning starters: F/C Justin Holt, sr.; G Cameron Rawlings, sr.

Other top players: G Jacob Kim, sr.; F Braydan Hekkers, jr.; F Brad Hartsock, sr.; F/C Josh Knehans, sr.; G Seth Schaap.

Outlook: "We are a very experienced group of young men," Wingett said. "They work hard and really like each other."

Notes: After a three-year break as a head basketball coach, Wingett is back.


Fountain Valley

Coach: Dominic Aragon (sixth season)

Returning starters: F Galen Kelly, sr.; G Jackson Blaylock, soph.; F Jack Knuettel, sr.; G Ben Low, sr.

Other top players: G Brian Jung, sr.

Outlook: "What excites our staff about the upcoming season is how the kids play unselfish basketball," Aragon said.

Notes: The Danes improved from two wins in 2015-16 to six wins last season.

Note: Schools not listed, did not report