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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Glendale, Peoria boys basketball preview

Posted 11/24/23

The boys basketball season started Nov. 16. West Valley Preps asked coaches from Glendale and Peoria for their outlook on the season.

CACTUS COBRAS

4A West Valley Region 2022-23 Record: …

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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Glendale, Peoria boys basketball preview

Posted

The boys basketball season started Nov. 16. West Valley Preps asked coaches from Glendale and Peoria for their outlook on the season.

CACTUS COBRAS

4A West Valley Region
2022-23 Record: 22-5 overall, 7-3 region (reached quarterfinals of the 4A playoffs)
Coach: Dirk Walker (12th season as head coach)
Top Returnee: C Bradey Henige, Sr., 7-0 (28.8 ppg, 20.6 rpg, 4.3 bpg). G Jacob Minnifield, Sr., 5-11 (5.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
How many years have you coached basketball? 12th year at Cactus 17th as a head coach.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a lot of experience returning this year. We will have good size and athleticism this year to go along with experience.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Bradey Henige returns for his senior season 7-0 averaged 29 ppg and 21 rpg as a junior. Tyler Hutton )transfer from Highland Prep) will be a big contributor this year after sitting out as a junior. Josiah Hyslip and Jacob Minniefield return as starters from last year’s squad as well that went 22-6.
Who are your team leaders? Bradey Henige returns for his junior year. He had 23 double doubles as a sophomore and is primed for a big year. Terrell Doxie is our biggest team leader and only senior. He has worked very hard all off season and is ready for a big year.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Freshman Tommy Henige will have an important role this year as a freshman.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? Need to catch some good breaks and be ready to compete every night. Need to be able to defend well every night and get our outside game going with the inside game.

CENTENNIAL COYOTES

5A Northwest Region
2022-23 Record: 18-12 overall, 8-4 region (reached semifinals of 5A playoffs)
Coach: Tarik James (first year as Centennial head coach)
Top Returnees: PF Gage Galbreath, Sr. 6-6, SF Keyan Murphy, Sr., 6-4
How many years have you coached basketball? This will be my 23rd season coaching. 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? This year’s team best attribute is energy and the fact they love playing for each other. They play hard!
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? We will need to improve is our shooting and patience. 
Who are your team leaders? Leaders are Gage Galbreath, Keyan Murphy, Andrew Lopez, Chase James and Johnny Rios. 
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Newcomers are Chase James, Romello Shields, Aidan Delafeld and Elrick Jamerson. 

What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? We just need to play with a chip on our shoulders and have fun doing it. If we can stay within ourselves and continue make the right basketball plays we will be ok. 

IRONWOOD EAGLES

5A Northwest Region
2022-23 Record: 23-6, 12-0 region (reached Opem Division quarterfinals)
Coach: Jordan Augustine (ninth year at Ironwood)
Top Returnees: SG Noah Gifft, Sr., 6-2 (10.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg), PG I'Yar Shadowvine, Jr., 5-9 (9.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2 apg)
How many years have you coached basketball? This is my ninth year as the Varsity Basketball Coach at Ironwood, I was the JV coach for a year, and I coached for two years at Arizona Christian University.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? This group's best attribute is their desire to get better daily. We have incredible leadership and they genuinely care for each other. This will take them very far throughout the course of this season.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We will need to focus on controlling our mindset and ego daily in order to become the best of which we are capable.
Who are your team leaders? We expect everyone in our program to be a leader. As far as production is concerned, Blake Carabio, I'yar Shadowvine, and Noah Gifft bring the most returning knowledge about what it takes to be successful at this level.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Jadden Jones, Josh Dillard, Cayden Whetsel, Mawud Makuei, and Landon Brownstein were all on Varsity as well as JV last year, but got most of their reps on JV. They will play big roles for us this year. Landon Jones and Carsyn Dean are new to our program and have a chance to play a role as well.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? We will need to continue to improve daily as the challenge of the Iron Man is daily growth.

LIBERTY LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2022-23 Record: 22-7 overall, 7-3 region (Reached Open Division quarterfinal)
Coach: Mark Wood (18th season as Liberty head coach)
Top Returnees: SF Ring Nyeri, Sr., 6-9 (10.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2 rpg); SG Jackson Hunter, Jr., 6-4 (1.8 ppg).
How many years have you coached basketball? I’m in my 28th year of teaching and all but two of those years I’ve been coaching. I have entered my 18th season as Liberty’s basketball coach. I spent eight years coaching at Cactus, four as the head coach.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our team is extremely young and inexperienced, but they care for each other deeply. They’re athletic, hard working, and tough.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We are a little sloppy due to them getting used to the speed and intensity of the varsity level. They truly improve daily. Without a doubt, they’ll continue to make progress as a result of their work ethic and toughness.
Who are your team leaders? Everyone on the roster is considered a leader. Many of our guys simply lead differently depending on personality. Ring Nyeri, Jarell Houston and Aiden Dunne have emerged as the vocal leaders.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Virtually all of our roster are new. We return senior Ring Nyeri who was the only one on the roster that received a lot of minutes for us last year. EJ Mills (transfer-Shadow Ridge), Zion Eboru and Aiden Dunne (trandfer-Paradise Honors_ are seniors and will be good players. We have two freshmen: Nicholas Topolosek and Jacob Hunter. We have a core of sophomores: Vincent Busalacchi, David Onuh, Keegan Colter, and Mikey Lujan. Juniors are Jackson Hunter, Jarell Houston, Mark Duguid, Stephen Miller, and Ben Leber.

What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? Our goal is to become the best we can and we will continue focusing on this process and then let the results be a byproduct from there.

MOUNTAIN RIDGE MOUNTAIN LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2022-23 Record: 3-23 overall, 0-10 region
Coach: Craig Marcus (fourth year of second stint as Mountain Ridge coach, sixth year coaching Mountain Lions overall)
Top Returnee: PG Andy Saeva, Sr., 6-2 (13.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg); SF Dallin Smith, Sr., 6-4 (7.9 ppg, 4 rpg).
How many years have you coached basketball? This is my 22nd year coaching high school basketball 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We shoot the ball pretty well. 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to rebound the ball at a high level and play good defense. 
Who are your team leaders? We feel anyone on our team can be a leader, however our captains are Andy Saeva and Dallin Smith. 
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We return most of our team from last year.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? We need to play as a team, defend well. Play with effort, attitude, toughness and trust! 

PEORIA PANTHERS

4A West Valley Region
2022-23 Record: 28-5 overall, 10-0 region (4A state champions)
Coach: Patrick Batillo (fifth season as Peoria head coach)
Top Returnees: SG Desmone Brooks-Conley, Jr., 5-9 (7.2 ppg. 3.2 rpg); F Amir Brown, Sr., 6-4 (2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
How many years have you coached boys basketball? This is fifth year as the Peoria Head Coach. eighth at Peoria. 20th year as a basketball coach. 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are young, energetic, hungry, and aggressive. 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Gaining experience and continuing to build chemistry. 
Who are your team leaders? Amir Brown, Marcus Jackson Jr. and Desmone Brooks 
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Nehemiah Ward and Marcell Colenburg 
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? Our goal is to repeat and get another state title. We need to grow together, commit and put in the work needed to improve as a unit and brotherhood and then the sky is the limit. It will be great to compete this season.