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2021-22 District 9 Boys’ Basketball Preview Powered by Potter County Campground

Griffin Ruhlman will try to help Brookville get back to the PIAA championship game this year. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick's work here

2021-2022 District 9 boys’ basketball previews powered by Potter County Campground.

A-C VALLEY

2020-21 record: 12-8
Head coach: Tony McGarvey
Top returning players: Jay Clove (So., C, 4.8 ppg), Alex Preston (Jr., F2.4 ppg), Ryan Cooper (Jr. PG, 2.0 ppg), Landon Chalmers (Jr., F, 4.4 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Levi Orton (School’s all-time leading scorer – 1,703 points), Eli Penny, Tanner Merwin, Broc Weigle
Key newcomers: Brody Dittman (So, G), Lane Bauer (Jr., F), Seth Best (Jr., F), Ian Runyan (Jr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: Replacing the six seniors from last year who were the core of the team from the two previous seasons … Learn who will be stepping up and into these roles … Having no seniors this year to lead the way after having a solid senior group the last twp seasons is the biggest concern heading into the season … Looking on the past two seasons success to lead us this year and into next year as well.

AUSTIN

2020-21 record: 6-12
Head coach: Jon Ogden (1st season)
Top returning players: Cameron Rees (Sr. G, 1.6 ppg), Jacob Hooftallen (Jr., G7.3 ppg), Adam Lucas (Sr., F, 2.4 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Jackson Glover (1,000-point scorer – 1,199 points), Aydan Nicka, Skylar Crawford
Key newcomers: Hunter Bundy (Jr., F), Keaton Shupe (Jr., G), Dawson Hooftallen (So., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: One key to our success this year will be how well we can show some balance. We have the potential to have both inside and outside threats. If we can get it all working together I feel we will see some success. We have some good leaders on this team and I expect them to push our younger guys to work hard and develop into solid contributors. I also feel if we can get some younger guys stepping up that will help with our lack of depth at some positions. Overall. I am excited about our potential and look forward to seeing what we can do.

BRADFORD

2020-21 record: 8-11
Head coach: John Bennardi (1st season)
Top returning players: Cam Austin (Sr., F, 11.5 ppg), Dalton Dixon (Sr., F/G, 7.4 ppg), Jerid Wilmoth (Sr., G, 7.8 ppg), Jake Franz (So, G, 6.9 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: None listed
Key newcomers: None
Coach’s keys to the season: We have to build a cohesive group that understands what it takes in the pursuit of victory. We have to learn to make better decisions with the basketball and play every offensive and defensive possession one at a time. If we can do this we believe it will serve as a catalyst for us to move forward.

BROCKWAY

2020-21 record: 3-14
Head coach: Rick Clark
Top returning players: Noah Adams (Sr., G, 8.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg), Marcus Bennett (Sr., G, 4.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.2 apg), Austin Schmader (Sr., F, 3.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Jared Marchiori (Sr., G/F, 3.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg), Alex Carlson (Jr., G, 3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Marcus Copelli, Lewis Painter, Aiden Bullers
Key newcomers: Aiden Grieneisen (Jr., F), Dylen Coder (Sr., F), Joe Hertel (Sr., F), Reese Yahner (So., F)
Coach’s keys to the season: For the returners to use their experience and gel as quickly as possible with the newer guys to the varsity level and to keep working hard to improve each day. The returners played very well at times last season so use those lessons to finish better and play more consistently for 32 minutes a night,

BROOKVILLE

2020-21 record: 22-3 (Beat Kane for D9 3A title; Beat Chestnut Ridge for D5-9 Subregional title; Lost to Loyalsock in PIAA championship game – 1st PIAA title game in school history)
Head coach: Dalton Park (D9and10Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year)
Top returning players: Griffin Ruhlman (Sr., 9.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Danny Lauer (Sr., 9.3 ppg, 40 3-pointers), Hunter Geer (Sr., 9.0 ppg, Shot 62.6% from the field), Ian Pete (Sr., 4.9 ppg, 1.4 spg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Jace Miner (D9and10Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year), Robert Keth
Key newcomers: Noah Peterson, Clayton Cook
Coach’s keys to the season: We played in the New Castle league this fall and we held our own against some pretty big teams out there and we’re just trying to improve on all things we did there to start the season in mid-season form. Right now, the hardest thing is we’ve got a lot of kids, a lot of depth and just keeping them all happy is going to be a hard thing to do. We don’t have the same makeup as last year, but in other ways, we are better because we’re less predictable. With all the kids we have, they know they have to work on defense or their role diminishes. So we can push that and, hopefully, that entices them to work hard.

CAMERON COUNTY

2020-21 record: 15-5 (Lost in D9 1A Semifinals to Johnsonburg)
Head coach: Marcus Brown
Top returning players: Hayden Brown (Sr., F, 12.1 ppg, 5 rpg), Camdyn Allison (Jr., G, 3.9 ppg, 3 apg), Alan Erickson (Sr., F, 11 games, 1.4 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Caden Beldin (1,000-point scorer – 1,233), Gavin Morton, Dylan Guisto
Key newcomers: Brevin Lewis (Jr., G), Landon Farren (Fr., F)
Coach’s keys to the season: To succeed this season we need to be able to have good long offense possessions instead of just throwing up the first shot we get. We need to be disciplined on offense and aggressive on defense.

CLARION

2020-21 record: 17-10 (Won D9 Class 2A title; Advanced to PIAA semifinals where it lost to Berlin Brothersvalley)
Head coach: Scott Fox
Top returning players: Christian Simko (Sr., F, 10.9 ppg), Dawson Smail (So, G/F, 2.3 ppg), Aidan Quinn (Sr., G, 22 games, 15 points), Ryan Alston (Sr., G, 19 games, 18 points), Gabe Simko (So. F, 20 games, 19 points)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Cal German (1,000-point scorer, 1,663 points), Beau Verdill, Hunter Craddock, Ethan Burford
Key newcomers: Devon Lauer (So, G), Kameron Merrell (So, G/F), Derek Smail (Fr, F)
Coach’s keys to the season: Continue to improve throughout the season as we become more experienced. Play together and play aggressive defense.

CLARION-LIMESTONE

2020-21 record: 8-12
Head coach: Joe Ferguson
Top returning players: Jordan Hesdon (Jr., G, 10.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.2 rpg; 176 career steals), Ryan Hummell (Jr., G, 5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 spg), Bryson Huwar (Sr., Missed last year with an injury), Rylie Klingensmith (Jr., G, 5.6 ppg), Tommy Smith (So, G/F, 5.8 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Hayden Callen (1,000-point scorer – 1,613), Braden Rankin, Hayden Siegel
Key newcomers: Alex Painter (Jr.), Nate Megnin (Sr.), John Burke (Jr.), Ty Rankin (So.), Jack Callen (So.), Jack Craig (So.), Jase Ferguson (Fr.), Logan Lutz (Fr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are once again a heavy-laden younger team. Lack of experience will probably be an issue early on so a big key will be to stay positive mentally and work at our weaknesses as they are exposed. We don’t have a lot of height so we will be depending on our quickness and ball-handling skills since we are mostly guard-heavy. To be able to compete we will have to play really good defense and be willing for all the guys on the floor to crash the boards. Also, without a prolific scorer, we will have to depend on each guy contributing in the scoring column.

CLEARFIELD

2020-21 record: 20-6 (Won 7th straight District 9 title by taking D9 4A crown; Won D8-9 Subregional; Lost in opening round of PIAA playoffs to Lincoln Park)
Head coach: Nate Glunt
Top returning players: Cole Miller (Jr., G, 14.7 ppg, 5 rpg, 543 career points), Ryan Gearhart (Sr., G, 6.0 ppg), Isakk Way (Sr., F, 21 games, 22 points)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Karson Rumsly (1,000-point scorer, 1,129), Nick Ryan, Luke Winters, Matt Pallo
Key newcomers: Luke Pallo (So.), Andon Greslick (Jr.), Nate Natoli (Sr.), Nick Collins (Sr.), Caleb Witt (Sr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: We have to play physical in the paint because we don’t have a lot of height so we must attack the defensive glass with five guys at all times. We also have a lot of inexperienced players at the varsity level so players getting comfortable playing with each other in those environments are big challenges for us this season.

COUDERSPORT

2020-21 record: 14-6 (Lost to Karns City in D9 2A title game)
Head coach: Scott Easton
Top returning players: Christian Furman (Sr., 6.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Garrett Kellert (Sr., 3.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Brady Streich (2.1 ppg in 11 games), Logan Ruter (1.5 ppg in 15 games)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Hayden Keck (1,000-point scorer – 1,341), Derek Easton, Dalton Keglovitz, Brandt Kighlinger
Key newcomers: Andy Chen (Jr.), Mason Roessner (Fr.), Dylan Howard (So.), LT Myers (So.), R.J. Streich (So.), Corey Anderson (So.), Micah Batson (So.)
Coach’s keys to the season: Things that we really need to do are:
* Value each possession on both sides of the ball.
* Use our Athleticism to create opportunities for transition.
* Find an identity on defense and to focus on defending the rim and rebounding.
* Going to need a few younger, inexperienced players to step up and become good role players.

CRANBERRY

2020-21 record: 4-12
Head coach: Patrick Irwin
Top returning players: Preston Forrest (Sr., G, 3.5 ppg), Noel Bunyak (Jr., F, 7.3 ppg), Colin Zerbe (Jr., G, 3.0 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: JT Stahlman, Cameron Russell
Key newcomers: Ashton Weaver (Jr. G), Dane Ley (Jr., G), Devin Zerbe (Jr., F), Ryan Hanna (Jr., G), DaShawn Mitchell (Sr., F), Ethan Merryman (So., G), Niko Blauser (Fr., F)
Coach’s keys to the season: In the grand scheme of our building a house, we are focusing on a strong foundation, so that means success will be marked by things like not missing rotations on defense and knowing what our responsibilities are. Offensively, it will be marked by finishing each possession with a quality shot. Without these things, everything else will be irrelevant for us. Team chemistry and an understanding of our roles will also be a key, as we will likely be deeper than we have been the past few years.

CURWENSVILLE

2020-21 record: 3-12
Head coach: Matt Wassil
Top returning players: Ty Terry (17.2 ppg), Dan McGarry (5.1 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Trevor Lansberry, Scott Condon
Key newcomers: Freshmen class – I think they have the potential to make a solid impact. There will obviously be an adjustment period for them. Fortunately, we have enough balance that we can bring them along at an appropriate pace.
Coach’s keys to the season: I think offensively we’ve looked really good. We also have the ability to put different types of lineups on the court so I think we will be more versatile than in the past … We have to have a grit to us. We need to get physically and mentally stronger. If we find some toughness we will be successful.

DUBOIS

2020-21 record: 17-6 (Lost to eventual PIAA 5A champion Cathedral Prep in District 8-9-10 5A Subregion title game)
Head coach: Dave Bennett
Top returning players: Chooch Husted (Sr., F, 4.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Ryan Kovalyak (Sr., PG, 23 games, 7 points), Al Pasternak (Sr., F. 1.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Joey Foradora (Sr., G, 1.2 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Nick Felix, Lennon Lindholm, Jordin Sommers, Nick Farrell, Michael Orzechowski, Brady Woodward
Key newcomers: Andrew Shaffer-Doan (Jr., G), Drew Gudalis (Jr., G), Ben Hickman (Jr., F)
Coach’s keys to the season: DuBois must replace 90.8% of their scoring from last season It is critical that we overcome our lack of experience early in the season since we have to replace our top 6 players from last year. We have a strong core with 4 seniors and 4 juniors, but their roles will be significantly different than last season. We must continue to develop strong defensive players, so we are always in a position to compete. We also have to establish our offensive identity. Continuing to develop the sophomore class to provide additional depth will be very important also.

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC

2020-21 record: 13-10 (Lost to Cameron County in D9 quarterfinals)
Head coach: Dom Varacallo
Top returning players: Alec Srock (Sr., 13.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg), Jalen Kosko (8.2 ppg), Peyton Mauer (2.2 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Damon Foster, Dante Armanini, Ethan Kness, Harrison Starr
Key newcomers: Brendan Paisley (Jr.), Dylan Hanna (Jr.), Luke Swisher (Jr.), Ben Gritzer (Jr.), Neel Gupta (Jr.), Carter Kosko (Jr.), Andrew Green (So.), Brayden Fox (Fr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: Mental toughness … Our attack mentality on the offensive and defense end … Execution down the stretch in our conference games will prepare us for success in the postseason.

ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC

2020-21 record: 19-5 (Lost to Clarion in D9 1A semifinals)
Head coach: Aaron Straub (42nd season as a head coach – 914-267; 40th season as boys’ coach at ECC – 890-245)
Top returning players: Charlie Breindel (Sr., G, 10.9 ppg), Luke Jansen (Sr., G, 7.7 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Mark Kraus, Mason McAllister, Jordan DePrator, Joe Wolfe
Key newcomers: Adam Straub (Jr., F), Michael Jacobs (Jr., F), Jordan Wasko (So., G), Colby Nussbaum (So. F)
Coach’s keys to the season: Without a doubt we must keep our players healthy. With a current roster of eight, we have very little margin. Other keys – Leadership from our captains will be crucial – Charlie and Luke. We have very little experience returning. Of our 14 Varsity roster from last year four were lost to graduation and five decided not to play this year. We will need our five returning Varsity players to really step up, along with Colby. Also, a key will be the development of James as we are hoping that by the second half of the year we can get some important minutes from him.

FOREST AREA

2020-21 record: 0-17
Head coach: MIchaelle Bawden (1st year)
Top returning players: Allen Johnston (Sr., G, 7.4 ppg), Colton Kuntz (So. F, 6.2 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Jacob Eddy, Cameron Call, Brett Banks
Key newcomers: Keyon Custer (So, G), Mitchell Bawden (Fr., G), Zachery Carll (Fr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are a pretty inexperienced team. I’ll be asking some big things of some younger players, but I do have confidence if they stick to what we’ve been practicing and continue working as hard as we’ve had these last two weeks, we will have ourselves a pretty competitive team this year.

JOHNSONBURG

2020-21 record: 14-5 (Lost to Clarion in District 9 Class 1A title game)
Head coach: Dan Nelson
Top returning players: Jefferson Freeburg (Sr., PG, 3.1 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Gabe Watts, Cameron Stelene, Eric Christoff, John Douglas
Key newcomers: Aaron Myers (Jr., G), Jake Lobaugh (Jr., SF), Kole Asti (Jr., F), Luke Zimmerman (So., G), Eric Hoffman (So., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are a young and extremely inexperienced group. The key this year will be to mature and grow into a veteran group before the playoffs. To learn from each moment of every game either negative or positive. We need to learn the level of focus and commitment Varsity sports demands and we need to do it quickly.

KANE

2020-21 record: 8-6 (Lost to Brookville in District 9 3A title game)
Head coach: Caleb Landmesser
Top returning players: Andy Jekielek (Sr., G, 6.7 ppg), Jon Mishic (Sr., G, 7 games, 4 points), Justin Mishic (Sr., G/F, 9 games, 14 points), Jack Bell (Sr., G/F, 8 games, 4 points), Josh Greville
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Carson Whiteman, Zuke Smith, Mason Zuzek, Matt DeLuca, Bryce Bizzak
Key newcomers: Landon Darr (Jr., G), Sam Lundeen (So., G/F),
Coach’s keys to the season: A goal of ours this year is to commit to being an elite defensive team. We have a lot of guys that can score, but defensively we are pretty deep, and more importantly, mostly interchangeable, which allows for a great deal of variance in what we can run. If we commit to giving our maximum effort at all times, we’ll find success this year.

KARNS CITY

2020-21 record: 23-3 (Beat Coudersport for D9 2A title; Lost to Seton La Salle in the PIAA quarterfinals)
Head coach: Zack Kepple (1st season)
Top returning players: Luke Cramer (So., F. 10.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 17 steals, 12 blocked shots, Shot 41.3% from the field; 2021 D9and10Sports.com Rookie of the Year), Micah Rupp (Jr., F, 6.7 ppg, 10 rpg; 2020 District 9 Rookie of the Year), Luke Garing (Sr., F 3.1 ppg, 6 rpg), Cole Sherwin (Sr., G, 4.5 ppg), Tate Beighley (So., G, 2.0 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Chase Beighley (School’s all-time leading scorer with 1,697 points), Nathan Waltman (1,000-point scorer – 1,049 points)
Key newcomers: Braden Grossman (Jr, Can play all positions), Jacob Callihan (So., F/G), Hobie Bartoe (So/, G)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are going to need a more overall team approach, with rebounding, points, and assists coming from everyone who plays. We will need 3 or 4 guys to average 10 points and 8 rebounds per game.

KEYSTONE

2020-21 record: 15-5 (Lost in D9 Class 2A semifinals to Coudersport)
Head coach: Greg Heath (38th season, 642-291; 2nd winningest coach in D9 history)
Top returning players: Bret Wingard (Sr., F, 12.6 ppg, 9 rpg, 59.5% shooter), Zander McHenry (Sr., 4.5 ppg), Cole Henry (Jr., C, 12 games, 2.1 ppg), Tyler Albright (Jr., G, 12 games, 9 points)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Colin Say, Brandon Pierce, Logan Sell, Gavin Hogue)
Key newcomers: Ian Keth, Sr. F), Brett English (Jr., G), Haden Foster (Jr., F), Liam Say (Jr. F).
Coach’s keys to the season: The key to our season is how quickly we are able to develop quality depth. There are many roles that have to be sorted out at this point. It will be important for players to understand and accept their roles.

MONITEAU

2020-21 record: 7-15
Head coach: Mike Jewart
Top returning players: Kyle Pry (Sr. 14.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.4 apg), Chason Delarosa Rugg (So., 6.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.4 apg), Ryan Jewart (Sr., 5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), Nathan Kelly (Sr., 2.0 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Mason Mershimer, Tanner Williams, Brady Thompson, Quinton Scriven
Key newcomers: Hunter Magerko (Sr.), Colton Thomas (Jr.), Aydan Jackson (So.), David Martino (So.), Landon Kelly (So.), David Dessicino (So.), Dylan Bush (Jr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: We will have a lot of contributions from players with little to no varsity experience, so the quicker they adapt to the speed and physicality at the varsity level the better we will be. We have the potential to be very explosive, but will only go as far as our senior leaders take us. We need to grow as a team if we are to meet our full potential. Our goal is to get better every game so that we are playing our best basketball at the end of the season, something we have struggled with in the past.

NORTH CLARION

2020-21 record: 8-14
Head coach: Ewing Moussa
Top returning players: Collin Schmader (Sr., G/F, 12.8 ppg, 6 rpg), Aiden Hartle (Jr., G, 9.2 ppg, 8 apg), Josh Daum (Sr., G, 8.8 ppg, 4 spg, 6 rpg), Cole Byers (Sr., G, 4.2 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 spg), Zeelan Hargenrader (Jr., G, 7.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 spg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Dylan Walters
Key newcomers: Tristian Sliker (Sr., F), Ethan Carll (So., F), Drake Irwin (So., G), Mason Shaftic (So, G)
Coach’s keys to the season: After a year in the system, we have a lot of guys who now understand our philosophy. Our guys have grown into basketball players and leaders.

NORTHERN POTTER

2020-21 record: 6-14
Head coach: Travis Brown
Top returning players: Tanyon Brown (Sr., 5.0 ppg), Michael Moore (Sr., 2.8 ppg), Nolen Smith (So., 1.3 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Carter Anderson (1st 1,000-point scorer in 20 years; 1,074), Tre Slawson, Ryan Langworthy, Anthony Benway
Key newcomers: We are going to be extremely young this season. We have added a lot of new faces this season with only four of them even having JV experience
Coach’s keys to the season: I believe that the key to our season this year is how fast our newcomers can learn the game and what is expected of them. We are going to have some depth for the first time in a long time so we are going to have to figure out how to use that to our advantage as coaches. However. we are very excited about the returning players and their leadership skills, hopefully, this will trickle down to the up and coming guys.

OSWAYO VALLEY

2020-21 record: 1-12
Head coach: Nick Goss
Top returning players: Cayden Black (Jr., PG, 7.1 ppg), Ian Bilski (Sr, G, 6.6 ppg), Mike Mertsock (Jr., 3.2 ppg, 6 rpg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Joe Bell, Carter Stedman
Key newcomers: Connor Resig (Fr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: We will rely on our experience now and continued growth into team basketball … Identifying each others roles … Build team chemistry

OTTO-ELDRED

2020-21 record: 9-9 (Beat Sheffield in opening round of D9 1A playoffs before losing to ECC in quarterfinals)
Head coach: Steve Bell
Top returning players: Gavin Jimerson (Sr., F, 8.6 ppg), Austin Cousins (Jr., G, 5.7 ppg), Ryan Love (Sr., G, 1.4 ppg in 14 games), Cohen Walker (Sr., C, 1.3 ppg in 18 games)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Jake Merry, Cole Sebastian, Zaz Bell
Key newcomers: Max Splain (Jr., G), Braden Maholic (Jr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are excited for year two (Bell is in his second season as head coach) of our program. We had a very good turnout for our summer program. We are relatively inexperienced when it comes to varsity playing time. We will have to grow up quickly to have a successful season. Our early season schedule is very challenging with the Randy Stebbins Memorial Tournament kicking us off. We are also very excited that we were invited to the prestigious Joe Decerbo Memorial / IAABO Tournament in Allegany, N.Y. on December 18 and 19. We also have important league contests against Port Allegany and Cameron County before Christmas. As we did last year, we hope to continue to get better throughout the season and be playing our best basketball at the end. We will try to keep the tempo up and play good aggressive defense behind it.

PORT ALLEGANY

2020-21 record: 3-10
Head coach: Kyle Babcock
Top returning players: Drew Evens (Jr., G, 6.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 spg), Blaine Moses (Jr., F, 2.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Ty Guilds (Sr., G, 4.6 ppg), Noah Archer (Jr., PG, 3.4 ppg, 1.8 spg, 2.0 apg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Carter Moses
Key newcomers: Bryalon Button (So., F)
Coach’s keys to the season: This core of guys has been playing basketball together for a long time. We just need to keep improving and learn how to play a full 32 minutes of basketball. Last season we were pretty young and still played well in spurts, but had trouble stringing together four full quarters of good basketball. The hustle and effort never seem to be an issue with this group, we just need to be more fundamentally sound. More confidence and learning how to win the close games will play a factor this season as I expect a lot of evenly matched games.

PUNXSUTAWNEY

2020-21 record: 6-10
Head coach: Jake Perrin
Top returning players: Gabe Kengersky (Sr., 8.0 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg), Noah Weaver (So., 6.6 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg), Kyle Nesbitt (Sr., 2.7 ppg), Ryen Heigley (Jr., 3.3 ppg, 4 rpg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Andrew Young, Nick Humble, Ethan Presloid, Graham Lott
Key newcomers: Donnie Neese (Sr.), Josh Shoemaker (Sr.), Nick Johns (Sr.), Carter Savage (Jr.)/ We also have a great sophomore class that I am extremely excited for over the next three season. This group has seen a lot of success coming up. We have 10 kids in that class that really have all the potential to see varsity time this year.
Coach’s keys to the season: Our keys this year are to be able to shoot well from 3-point range and be flexible on defense. Our main scoring is going to come from our guard positions, so we will rely on some 3-point makes to be able to stretch the floor and create post 1v1s and driving lanes. Defensively, we are planning to mix it up. We have 12-13 guys that all have the ability to start. Some are quick and smaller, others and slower but tall. Depending on what lineup is clicking for us, and the team we are playing strengths and weaknesses, I think our ability to adjust and utilize our bench will be huge.

REDBANK VALLEY

2020-21 record: 15-7 (Lost in D9 Class 2A quarterfinals to Ridgway)
Head coach: Emmauel Marshall
Top returning players: Chris Marshall (Sr., G/F, 17.3 ppg, 43 3-pointers, 953 carrer points), Bryson Bain (Sr., G/F, 18.6 ppg, 8 rpg, 52 3-pointers, 945 career points), Marquese Gardlock (Sr., F, 15.5 ppg), Owen Clouse (So., G, 3.8 ppg), Mason Clouse (So., G, 2.7 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Owen Magagnotti
Key newcomers: Cam Wagner (Jr.), Nick Moore (Jr.), Tyson Adams (Sr.), Jack Shaffer (Sr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: We’re still going to push the ball and going to high-intensity defense and if we don’t have to get in a half-court set, we don’t want to get into a half-court set. I’m going to let my players play.

RIDGWAY

2020-21 record: 6-9 (Lost to Karns City in District 9 Class 2A semifinals)
Head coach: Tony Allegretto
Top returning players: Dan Park (Sr., F, 12.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 bpg), Dom Allegretto (Sr., G, 7.3 ppg, 4 apg, 3 spg), Aaron Sorg (Jr., 4.0 ppg, 3 rpg), Jack Benninger (Jr., 3.0 ppg, 2 rpg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Alex Don, RJ Miller
Key newcomers: Eric Panebianco (Jr.), Will Howard (Sr.), Dylan Goetz (Sr.)
Coach’s keys to the season: 1. getting minutes from our bench and avoiding foul difficulties. 2. creating turnovers for some easier scoring opportunities 3. getting better throughout the season at playing Elker basketball.

ST. MARYS

2020-21 record: 14-7 (Lost to Clearfield in D9 4A title game)
Head coach: Bill Shuey
Top returning players: Ryan Bille (Sr., 9 games, 19 points), Hunter Hetrick (Sr., 15 games, 21 points)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Holden Housler, Vinni Nunes, Mitchell Reiter, Josh Robinson, Luke Lasko, Bryce Walker, Drake Caskey, Isaac Schlimm
Key newcomers: Brayden Clyde (Sr.), Charlie Coudriet (Jr.), Tyler Mitchell (Jr.), Tanner Fox (Jr.), Zach Thorwart (Jr.), Lucas Bauer (So.), Quin Gavazzi (So.), Matt Davis (So.), Dan Schutz (So.)
Coach’s keys to the season: Losing eight players who started at different times last year leaves a huge void to fill. Obviously, our inexperience is a huddle we must overcome sooner rather than later. We are hoping the offseason effort these student-athletes have put in reflects well with the beginning games and they adapt to the varsity level quickly. We do have some size and speed which will be an asset.

SHEFFIELD

2020-21 record: 10-11 (Lost to Otto-Eldred in 1st round of D9 1A playoffs)
Head coach: Jordan Copley
Top returning players: Tony Richards (Sr., F, 10.9 ppg, 4 rpg), Caden Copley (Sr., G, 2.2 ppg), Lucas McNeal (Jr., G, 5.8 ppg, 3 apg), Connor FInch (6.9 ppg, 5 rpg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Tyler Hepinger (1,000-point scorer – 1,176 points), Nolan Alabaugh
Key newcomers: Mason Silvis (Jr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: Losing Tyler is a big hole to fill offensively. We hope that by having our seniors step up as well as distributing the ball evenly will allow us to make up for the losing such a good scorer.

SMETHPORT

2020-21 record: 9-10
Head coach: Jay Acker
Top returning players: Alex Ognen (Sr., G, 11.3 ppg), Brandon Higley (Sr. F, 3.8 ppg), John Admoski (Sr., C, 1.6 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Layne Shall, Richie McDowell, Chase Burdick)
Key newcomers: Preston Alfieri (Jr., G, coming off a season-ending injury last year), Trent Neff (Sr., G), Devon Williams (Sr., G), Hayden Leet (Jr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: We are going to try and be a fast-paced, high-energy team. We are looking to dictate the tempo of games with our defense. Replacing 4 starters requires us to really rely on communication and getting our guys to gel together.

UNION

2020-21 record: 11-10 (Lost to Johnsonburg in D9 1A quarterfinals)
Head coach: Eric Mortimer
Top returning players: Cade Rainey (Sr., 16.6 ppg, 43 assists, 100 rebounds; 841 career points), Skyler Roxberry (Jr., 4.9 ppg, 101 rebounds), Payton Johnston (2.9 ppg, 25 rebounds), Bailey Crissman (3.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Hayden Smith (1.3 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Karter Vogel, Brock Jordan, Carter Terwint (Decided not to play)
Key newcomers: Joey Morrison (Sr., who was injured last year), Dawson Camper (So., F), Zander Laughlin (So/. C), Hayden Kizzia (Jr., G/F), Trey Fleming (So., G), Logan Terwint (Sr., G), Owen Bish (Fr., G)
Coach’s keys to the season: Most of these boys were on the football team. They know what it feels like to win. Also, we were in the basketball playoffs last year and they know what it takes to get there. We preach to just do the little things right and we will be ok. They need to keep learning from their mistakes even if it’s just a walk, out of position, or whatever it’s ok but let’s learn from it. We need to start the season with a few wins before the break and just keep taking one game at a time. They just need to keep having fun and enjoy the game.

VENANGO CATHOLIC

2020-21 record: 3-17
Head coach: Harry Liederbach (1st season)
Top returning players: Jake Liederbach (Sr., G, 11.3 ppg)
Starters Lost from 2020-21: Andrew Burda (1,000-point scorer, 1,224), Colin Deeter
Key newcomers: Ben Campbell (Sr., G), Colin Liederbach (So, PG), Kyle Beichner (So., F), Logan Rakow (So. C).
Coach’s keys to the season: For us to compete we need a big year from Jake and Ben and the sophomores have to play some very mature basketball right away. Turnovers and mental mistakes must be at a minimum. Everyone needs to be a sorcerer in our starting lineup led by our seniors, and we have two players on our bench, so we need to remain healthy.

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