WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' Glendale/Peoria boys basketball preview

Posted 11/17/22

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 Region2021-22 Record: 18-9 …

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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
2021-22 Record: 18-9 overall, 4-6 region (reached quarterfinals of the 4A playoffs)
Coach: Dirk Walker (11th season as head coach)
Top Returnee: C Bradey Henige, Jr., 7-0 (19.4 ppg, 14 rpg, 2.1 rpg)

How many years have you coached basketball? This will be my 19th year coach, my 16th as a head coach.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? This year we will have good size as well as some speed. The kids work very hard and are coachable.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We are inexperienced as we lost four starters from last year. We will be lacking a lot of depth to start the year.
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? We have a couple transfers that will be eligible in January as well as Jacob Minniefield, Josiah Hyslip, and Aydan Delgado who should all get good minutes this 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 with confidence and smart. If we can shoot the ball well from the outside we should be able to be successful. We have a great inside game and just need to add consistent perimeter play.

DEER VALLEY SKYHAWKS

4A West Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 22-6 overall, 8-2 region (reached semifinals of 4A playoffs)
Coach: Jed Dunn (15th year as Deer Valley head coach)
Top Returnees: PG Jayden Sleeper, Sr. 5-7, F Jayden Cameron, Sr., 6-4

How many years have you coached basketball? I have been a head varsity basketball coach for 20 years.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a solid group of guards.
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? We need to become a lot tougher at the defensive end.
Who are your team leaders? All of our players are expected to lead.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Sergio and Simon Gonzales are freshmen. Tyran Simpson — a sophomore who has to sit 9 games (after transferring from Dream City Christian).
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? Continue doing what they have been doing in years past: Play hard, act right, serve others and make sacrafices.

IRONWOOD EAGLES

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 16-12, 5-5 region (reached first round of 5A playoffs)
Coach: Jordan Augustine (eighth year at Ironwood)
Top Returnees: PF Julius Williams, Sr., 6-5 (10.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg),SF Jordan Kuac, Sr., 6-5 (7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

How many years have you coached basketball? I have coached Varsity basketball at Ironwood for eight years, I was the JV coach for one year, and I was an assistant at Arizona Christian University for two years.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute entering this season is our depth. This team is extremely deep, and each individual has a unique skill set that aids them in playing an impactful role.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We will need to continue to improve our intentionality.
Who are your team leaders? We expect everyone in the program to be a leader. However, the nine returning varsity members tend to have the most leadership impact on campus: I'yar Shadowvine, Jordan Jones, Leonard Romayor, Blake Carabio, Noah Gifft, Julius Williams, Jordan Kuac, Adonis Thomas, Nathan Wanjohi.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Cayden Whetsel and Josh Dillard are two of the top freshmen in the state. We are extremely excited about their growth. Further, we have a number of juniors and sophomores who we are very excited about.
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 focus on daily growth. Set our compass and keep going in that direction - don't allow adversity to move us off our path.

KELLIS COUGARS

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 10-16 overall, 1-9 region
Coach: De'Rahn Stinson (third year as Kellis head coach)
Top Returnees: SG Chris Ruiz 6-0, Sr. 6-5 (14.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg), G AJ Marsh, Jr., 5-7 (12.2 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.7 rpg)

How many years have you coached basketball? This is my 8th year. third year at Kellis.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our team's best attribute is how connected we are as a team. In the past we struggled buying into each other. This year we have a real team mindset, which has made this group really fun to coach.
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? We will have to improve our bench productivity we have a lot of young guys coming off the bench this year and they will be asked to play some major mins this season.
Who are your team leaders? Our team leaders this year are our five returnees - Point Guard AJ Marsh, PG Tayvion Wilson, SG Seth Adams, Wing Darrien Campbell and Center Awan Kueth. These five are returning players are going to be the guys that will lead our team this year. Senior Chris Ruiz tore his ACL in the summer and probably won’t be back till maybe late January, Stinson said he is hoping.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? A newcomer that will make a huge impact this season will be junior guard Charlie Stahowski who transferred in from Cactus Shadows High school. He is eligible to play right away. Sophomore Wing Jordan Parrish, who transferred in from La Joya, who will be eligible in the second half of the season. These two guys will be huge rotation guys for us this season.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? Our goal this year is to make the playoffs after missing the playoffs by one spot last year we feel if we stay focused share the ball and play for each other and we feel like will have a great chance of making it to the playoffs this season.

Liberty junior shooting guard Davis Hester shoots a three in front of the Lions' student section as Chaparral junior guard Paul Oscislawski flies by during the 6A boys basketball play in game at Liberty High School in Peoria. (For West Valley Preps/Courtesy Picture Lady Photography)

LIBERTY LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 19-8 overall, 9-1 region (Reached 6A first round)
Coach: Mark Wood (17th season as Liberty head coach)
Top Returnees: SF Ky Green, Sr., 6-6 (17 ppg, 6.2 rpg); PF Caden Hunter, Sr., 6-5 (19 ppg, 10.1 rpg).

How many years have you coached basketball? I am entering my 25th year of coaching basketball. I spent 8 years coaching at Cactus – 4 as a head coach, and was fortunate to open Liberty in 2006.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a hard-working, disciplined, tough group with strong chemistry and a team selflessness that has helped foster trust and strong chemistry.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We will need to continue to work on all facets of our game daily as this team has high aspirations.
Who are your team leaders? Our program feels everyone is a leader, and this group has individuals all taking on leadership roles.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We return a lot of our team. New is sophomore Jackson Hunter (Caden’s younger brother), Jack Neyts, Jackson Krupp, and Justin Patterson..
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or achieve the goals the team has set? Stay their course and obtain their mission: To be the toughest team in the state.

MOUNTAIN RIDGE MOUNTAIN LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 9-16 overall, 0-10 region
Coach: Craig Marcus (third year of second stint as Mountain Ridge coach, fifth year coaching Mountain Lions overall)
Top Returnee: SF Dallin Smith, Sr., 6-3 (2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg).
How many years have you coached basketball? High school 22 years.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We are young and inexperienced, but we play with effort, attitude, toughness and trust which is our core values.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Gain experience, We have one returner with real experience.
Who are your team leaders? Our team is full of leaders, but our overall leader is Dallin Smith (junior).
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We have to play together, rise to every challenge and play fearless basketball.

PEORIA PANTHERS

4A West Valley Region
2021-22 Record: 21-6 overall, 9-1 region (reached second round of 4A playoffs)
Coach: Patrick Batillo (fourth season as Peoria head coach)
Top Returnees: PG Andrew Camacho, Sr., 6-2 (26.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, 3 spg); SF Calvin Windley, Sr., 6-4 (17.3 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.4 spg).

How many years have you coached boys basketball? This is year 19. My ninth at Peoria and third as head coach, after one year as interim coach.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our chemistry and diverse skill set. We have a great group with a mix of strong upper classman and very talented younger classmen. 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The ability to execute our game plans against bigger teams. 
Who are your team leaders? Andrew Camacho and Calvin Windley 
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We had a solid core last season, so not much changing on the varisty front, but sophomore Desmone Brooks-Conley will make a nice edition. 
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? Trust. Play together and for one another. Be the best version of ourselves day in and day out and win each day. 

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN MUSTANGS

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 23-5 overall, 7-3 region (Reached 5A second round)
Coach: Gary Rath (eighth year as Sunrise Mountain boys head coach)
Top Returnees: F Carter Gittens, Sr. 6-6 (19 ppg, 7.7 rpg), F Dalton Graham, Sr., 6-8 (6 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
How many years have you coached boys basketball?  Eighth year as head coach at Sunrise boys team. Also was head coach for the Mustangs girls team
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our depth and experience from last years 23-5 team that lost I the quarterfinals.  We have eight seniors on our roster this year.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Cutting down on our turnovers and limiting the other team’s offensive rebounds.
Who are your team leaders? Carter Gittens, Austin Prey, Dalton Graham and Patrick Weyrauch.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Transfer guard Nicholas Nally from Glendale Prep and freshman guard Marcus Murray.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? Defend better then we did a year ago, minimize our turnovers and share the ball.