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Century

Coach: George Wunder, 18th year

Last year’s record: 20-4 (11-1 CCAL)

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Next game: Dec. 9 at Ben Franklin, 5:30

Key losses: Jake Diehl, Matt Huber, Jared Lamb, Carter Truby

Key returners: Spencer Copley, senior F; Matt Daniel, senior G; Justin Wunder, senior G

Outlook: The Knights got off to a good start last week when they took down Owings Mills by 11 points, led by 20 from Justin Wunder. The shooter led Carroll in 3-point percentage last winter, and he’s the only starter back from a year ago. “Although we have only a couple of players with varsity game experience, everyone is working hard and getting better each day,” George Wunder said via email.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Ryan Kimble, 12th year

Last year’s record: 7-16 (2-10 CCAL)

Next game: Dec. 10 vs. Catoctin, 6:30

Key losses: Matt Diehl, Noah Vipond

Key returners: Cameron Brooks, senior G; Jaeden Heiser, sophomore G; Liam McGrath, sophomore G; Ryan Rill, sophomore G

Outlook: FSK is young, but has three sophomores that started last season. Ryan Rill led the way with 7.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and Kimble might lean on him to fill the void left by Vipond (last year’s leading scorer and rebounder). “If the players share the ball well and become connected on defense, this is a team that could become good during the course of the season,” Kimble said via email.

Liberty

Coach: Brian Tombs, 8th year

Last year’s record: 20-3 (11-1 CCAL)

Next game: Dec. 10 vs. Franklin, 5:30

Key losses: Cam Blankenship, Tim Cortese, Tristan Kent, Ryan Luthe, Jack Merchak

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Key returners: Nate Kent, senior F; Peyton Scheufele, senior F; Connor Stewart, senior G

Outlook: Replacing the two-time reigning Player of the Year in Tristan Kent (18.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg) is Liberty’s top chore. Tombs is also his top guard in Merchak (12.5 points, 4.1 assists per game). But the Lions bring back Scheufele (11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Stewart (10.1, 3.8 apg, 2.6 steals). “I do look forward to seeing what the ceiling will be for this group of guys,” Tombs said via email.

Manchester Valley junior Brett DeWees takes a shot in the fourth quarter of the Lions' 63-61 win over the Mavericks in Manchester Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.
Manchester Valley junior Brett DeWees takes a shot in the fourth quarter of the Lions' 63-61 win over the Mavericks in Manchester Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Manchester Valley

Coach: Chris Wunder, 1st year

Last year’s record: 5-18 (4-6 CCAL)

First game: Dec. 10 vs. Fallston, 6:30

Key losses: Dayne Koontz, Hunter Olshefski

Key returners: Brett DeWees, senior G; Dahon Saunders, senior G

Outlook: Saunders returns as the Mavs’ leading scorer (11.0 ppg) from last season, and DeWees chipped in with 9.8 points per game. Man Valley has size in 6-6 senior Connor Ruggeri, and athletcism in its backcourt to boot. “We are focused competing every day and building team chemistry with all of our new players,” Wunder said via email.

South Carroll

Coach: Jim Carnes, 5th year (31st overall)

Last year’s record: 9-15 (6-6 CCAL)

Next game: Dec. 10 at Marriotts Ridge, 5:30

Key losses: Dylan Graham, Carson Scott, Andrew Warehime

Key returners: Luke Anderson, senior F; Carter Chesney, senior G; Dylan O’Neill, senior F

Outlook: The Cavaliers graduated their starting five from last season, and Carnes said via email SC was still tinkering with a lineup a few days before the start of the new campaign. Scott averaged 14.6 points per game, and Graham averaged 13.2 . The Cavs do have athletes, however — O’Neill and Brady Keeley are coming off football seasons, and Chesney is the reigning Times Player of the Year in boys soccer.

Westminster

Coach: Brett Kanther, 5th year (10th overall)

Last year’s record: 14-10 (7-5 CCAL)

Next game: Dec. 10 at Mt. Hebron, 5:30

Key losses: Drue Giles, Joe Wright

Key returners: Denio Blaney, senior G; Tyler Buberl, senior G; Michael Prozeller, senior G

Outlook: The Owls return depth in their backcourt, and they’re adding former Winters Mill players Chandler Gentzel, Nico Graham, and Alan Jean Joseph as well. Gentzel led Carroll County in scoring last year at 19.6 points per game. Kanther said via email Westminster put together its best preseason in a decade in terms of intensity and work ethic.

Winters Mill

Coach: Devon Lesniak, 3rd year

Last year’s record: 3-20 (1-11 CCAL)

Next game: Dec. 9 at Hereford, 5:30

Key losses: Chandler Gentzel, Nico Graham

Key returners: John Bodden, senior F; Khy Torian, senior G

Outlook: Lesniak and the Falcons will look to fill an offensive void with the transfer of Gentzel, and inexperience might be an issue. But Winters Mill has eight seniors on its roster to provide leadership. “We have had a great start to the season as the kids have worked very hard, been very coachable and eager to improve,” Lesniak said via email.

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