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Basketball: SPSL North boys, girls preview capsules

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on Dec. 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm with No Comments »
December 8, 2011 11:18 am

SPSL NORTH BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW CAPSULES

Feature on Mount Rainier standout sophomore Adrian Davis – click here

CRYSTAL BALL
1. Mount Rainier (10-10)
2. Kentwood (17-10)
3. Kent-Meridian (12-12)
4. Tahoma (5-15)
5. Kentridge (21-10)
6. Kentlake (10-13)
7. Jefferson (6-14)
8. Auburn Riverside (8-12)
9. Auburn (21-7)
*2010-11 records

STARTING FIVE
G Adrian Davis 6-2 Soph. Mount Rainier
Took the league by storm as a freshman, averaging 19 points per game

F Jaron Heck 6-3 Sr. Kentlake
First-team all-league pick averaged 17.7 points per game

F Martel Taylor-Barone 6-4 Jr. Kent-Meridian
One of a few great athletes on a team hungry for the postseason

F Taylor Jones 6-6 Sr. Kentwood
Conquerors big man can play inside and outside

G Jawan Stepney 6-1 Soph. Kentridge
Wasn’t afraid to take big shots at big moments as a freshman

FASTBREAK
In its second season in the SPSL North, Mount Rainier could win the league title. Guard Adrian Davis is electrifying and has a talented supporting cast in point guard Malik Rogers, forward Caden Rowland (14 ppg) and Dawane Clay, who can clean up the boards. … Kentwood didn’t lose a step in coach Brian Davis’ first season last winter. The Conquerors reached the finals of the West Central District tournament and have enough talent and experience to make challenge for the league title and make another postseason run. Forward Taylor Jones will get the most attention from opponents, but guards Isaiah Malvar, Jeremy Smith and Austin Benson, who scored 25 points in a win against Eastlake last week, are experienced and know what it takes to win – they were part of the team that won the state title in 2010. … Kent-Meridian coach Brian Lockhart likes his team’s athleticism and unselfish nature. The Royals were a preseason pick to finish near the top of the league standings. If K-M stays focused forwards Martel Taylor-Barone and Abu Kamara and guards Mike Banks and Arman Brar might lead the Royals to their first trip to the state tournament since 1992. Lockhart said two players that were expected to be valuable contributors to a charter school in Texas. … In a league without many true centers, Tahoma’s 6-10 Paul Loranger should make life miserable for opponents. Loranger is one of three juniors, along with guards Dominic Smith and Ethan McCormack, that could make Tahoma tough. Senior forward Jason Smith adds athleticism to the Bears. …Returning starters forward Jaron Heck and guard Austin Pernell are back to lead a Kentlake squad that boasts good speed. Heck, who averaged 17.7 points per game last winter, is one of the best scorers in the league. Forward Dedrian Miller and guard Ayanle Jama also have experience. … Kentridge will find out what life is like after state player of the year Gary Bell. The Chargers are youthful and short on experience, but they’ve got some talent. Guards Roddy Hanson, Nate Tabisula, Da’Lorian Sampson and Jawan Stepney are top returners. Sophomore forward Danny Torlai already has made an impact, scoring 20 points in a win over Jefferson last week. … Jefferson could have one of the best backcourts in the league, and it could be that way for a couple seasons. Junior guards Daniel Park ( 9.7 ppg, 3.3 apg, 3.1 rpg) and Daryon James (8.2 ppg) return and transfer Josh Duckworth will be a major contributor. Coach Kyle Templeton says his team will rely on its shooting and defense to overcome its lack of height. … Auburn Riverside has two returning starters, though the Ravens expect to get production from Prince Ligon, Jaray Bates, Cody Crawford and Spenser Armstrong. Newcomers Cody Crawford and Bridger Harlington will also contribute. … With no returning starters, Auburn’s going to take some lumps. Forward Nik Edwardson and guard Harold Lee are the Trojans’ top returners.

SPSL NORTH GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW CAPSULES

CRYSTAL BALL
1. Mount Rainier (22-7)
2. Auburn Riverside (21-5)
3. Kentwood (19-8)
4. Jefferson (8-11)
5. Auburn (8-14)
6. Tahoma (9-14)
7. Kentridge (2-17)
8. Kentlake (6-14)
9. Kent-Meridian (2-18)
*2010-11 records

STARTING FIVE
P/W Brittany McPhee 5-11 Soph. Mount Rainier
Already one of the best players in the state; averaged 21.4 points, 12.8 rebounds per game

PG Kendall Foster 5-5 Jr. Auburn Riverside
Second-year starter has scored in double-figures in first two games this season

P Kiana Gandy 5-10 Sr. Mount Rainier
Polished post player averaged 11.4 points, 7.4 rebounds last winter

G Sarah Toeaina 5-10 Soph. Kentwood
Another talented underclassman with incredible athleticism

G Jada Piper 5-10 Jr. Jefferson
One of the top players in the league, was second-team all-SPSL North

FASTBREAK
Mount Rainier is loaded and ready to make a deep postseason run. With four returning starters, led by uber-talented post/wing Brittany McPhee, the Rams are poised to climb into the top echelon of girls basketball teams in the state. McPhee earned co-MVP honors in the SPSL North after averaging 21.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. Twin sister Jordan McPhee, a point guard, plays great defense (averaged 2.9 steals per game) and also make things happen on the offensive end, averaging 8.8 points and 3.7 assists per game. Post Kiana Gandy is a returning second-team all-league selection and guard Amber Guillot, who averaged 5.2 points per game, is also back. Mount Rainier added depth inside with the addition of Emily Fiso, a 6-foot freshman. … Don’t call it a rebuilding year at Auburn Riverside – the Ravens are again one of the top teams in the SPSL North – but this is a young team, coach Terry Johnson said. Seniors Jalea Crump and Karina Gee and junior guard Kendall Foster are Auburn Riverside’s top returners. … Kentwood will be guided by its third coach in four seasons in Lisa Ashley, who has been with the program for three seasons as an assistant. The Conquerors have talent in Sarah Toeaina and Alycea DeLong. … Looking for a surprise team? Jefferson might be it. The Raiders have four starters back, including guards Jada Piper and Christy Kullberg, who earned all-league honors. Jefferson added guard Nyanda Preston, a transfer from North Carolina. Jefferson is solid along the perimeter. …Like Jefferson, Tahoma could challenge to finish among the top three teams in the league this season. The Bears welcome back four starters – guards Jordan Eberhardt and Cheyenne Haverfield, wing Savanna Haverfield and post Chardonae Miller. Eberhardt and Savanna Haverfield were honorable mention all-league selections. Tahoma lacks height, but coach Keith Wasberg believes his team’s versatility, creativeness and chemistry will give the Bears a boost. … Kentlake has three starters back at key positions. Point guard Alyssa Simonson, center Stephanie Luce and forward Paige Engeland will lead the Falcons. Luce, a 6-foot-4 junior, is on the verge of a breakout season.

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