The boys basketball programs at Annapolis Area Christian School, Granite Baptist and Key School aren't undergoing any major reconstruction this season, but their coaches say their teams will endure some sort of rebuilding process.
Granite Baptist first-year coach Keith Conley, who is taking over the head coaching job for Rick Scarfi, says his team is in "somewhat of a rebuilding stage" after losing its leading scorer and top rebounder from last year's club that went 17-4 and won the six-team Potomac Athletic Christian Conference championship.
Gone from the Braves of Glen Burnie are Shad Baab, who averaged 24 points a game last season, and Buddy Grammer, who averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds a game last season. Returning for Granite Baptist, however, is senior guard Gage Carter, who scored 15 points per game last season, and Ben Baab, a 6-foot-2 forward who scored just over five points a game.
Conley will have to rely on a number of inexperienced underclassmen to pick up the scoring slack, including sophomore point guard Jeremy Ark, 6-3 sophomore center Brad Parker, 6-2 freshman forward Danny Stubbs, 6-3 freshman forward Eddie Huntley and 5-9 freshman guard Eddie Johnson.
"We'll be stressing all-out, relentless pressure on the defensive end of the court. We'll really be hawking the ball," said Conley. "We're young and big and inexperienced so I want to keep the ball in transition as much as possible. I don't want them to have to do too much thinking."
Annapolis Area Christian School third-year coach Scott Gilman is hoping he won't have to rely too heavily on 6-2 senior Greg Raspa. Raspa averaged 25.9 points and 13.8 rebounds last season, and Gilman doesn't see his improving on those numbers with his squad sporting a new and improved balanced scoring attack.
"Greg may not get as many points this season because we have a lot more depth and a lot more quality overall this year," said Gilman, whose team went 12-9 last season while competing in the seven-member Christian Schools Athletic Conference.
Back from last year and poised to lend a hand in the scoring are 5-11 senior guard Kevin Moldenhauer, 6-foot senior swingman Mitch Cord and 6-2 sophomore forward Wes Campbell. They will get some assistance from 6-3 junior center Scott Mericle and 5-6 guard Brian Dennestadt.
"We're way ahead of last year at this point," said Gilman. "I think we'll be much improved. Our schedule and our league is tougher, but I'd still like to think we can compete for the championship."
With its independent schedule, Key School can't look forward to playing for any championships but what the Obezags can shoot for is improving upon last year's 6-7 record.
Second-year coach Dave Wilkerson has more depth to work with this season and a trio of proven scorers in senior Eric Leshinsky and sophomores John Ciferni and Peter Walsworth.
Rounding out the Obezags' roster are Neil Aissa, Jamaal Booker, Judd Legum, Jason Goldblatt, Brady Hammond, Trevon Crayton and Travis Hammond.
"We're still young but we should do better than last year," said Wilkerson. "We have more depth this year so I could see us having a pretty good season. I have a lot of faith in my guys and they have faith in me and that helps out a lot."