Outlook: The Knights bring back Riley, who averaged 17 points and 3.4 steals per game last season and was a Times Player of the Year candidate. George Wunder said via email his squad “will rely on our returning players who earned lots of minutes last season. Our seniors have done a great job getting our team ready to play and we will rely on their leadership.”
Key returners: Jaeden Heiser, junior G; Liam McGrath, junior G; Ryan Rill, junior F; Travis Williams, senior F
Outlook: Key returns four starters, led by a first-team all-county pick in Rill (14.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg). The Eagles also bring in 6-foot-5 senior forward Joseph Venable, who transferred from Chesapeake High in Baltimore and is committed to play at Penn State-Brandywine next year. “Excited to see how the boys progress this season. Practices so far have been intense, competitive,” Kimble said via email.
Outlook: The Lions took out rival Century last season to play in the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history, but they enter a new season minus two first-team all-county players in Scheufele (13.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Connor Stewart (9.8 ppg). Shane Stewart returns after a first-team all-county sophomore year, however. “This season will be about getting players the opportunity to compete,” Tombs said via email.
Key losses: Brett DeWees, Hunter Leaman, Connor Rugguri, Christopher Wunder
Key returners: Zach Bowen, Senior G; Jackson Klingenberg, senior G
Outlook: Last year’s offense ran through DeWees, and rightfully so — the reigning Times Player of the Year led Carroll in scoring and rebounding. Now, Wunder has a veteran backcourt to lead the way with Bowen and Klingenberg. Bowen averaged 10 points per game as a junior and shot 76.8% from the free-throw line. “Everyone is excited to be back in the gym,” Wunder said via email. “It has been a challenge this year with all the new protocols and losing some players to quarantine, but we are working hard in practice trying to develop team chemistry.”
Outlook: The loss of Anderson to graduation means the Cavaliers are without their leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (6.5 rpg) from a year ago. Also graduated is Chesney, who led Carroll in assists per game at 4.0. But SC brings back Pavlik, who averaged 9.2 points as a sophomore. Carnes said via email this year’s squad is a “young team with good depth,” and ”should be very competitive.”
Coach: Steve Byrnes, 1st year
Last year: 16-7, 10-2 CCAL
First game: Jan. 6 at South Carroll
Key losses: Denio Blaney, Tyler Buberl, Chandler Gentzel, Nico Graham
Key returners: Connor Levinson, senior F; Erick Stranko, senior G
Outlook: The Owls finished second in the county standings backed by a first-team all-county pick in Blaney and a pair of second-team selections in Gentzel and Graham. That crop has since graduated, and Byrnes is back as Westminster’s coach (he coached the Owls from 2009-15). “We do know we will play hard and compete,” the coach said via email. “It’s a great group of guys who are hungry to play ball, especially in this challenging year.”
Outlook: Wins have been hard to come by in recent years for the Falcons, who are 6-62 over the last three seasons. Wynne is next in line to try and turn things around, and he has veterans in the backcourt to lean on in Popielski and Sabad. “The Falcons are excited for the opportunity to compete this winter against quality competition,” Wynne said via email. “Several key pieces return from last year’s team, combined with hungry newcomers eager to prove themselves. Look for a scrappy Falcons team to seek consistency as the season progresses.”