WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps’ Surprise boys basketball preview

Posted 11/7/22

The start of the boys basketball season is set for Nov. 16. The Surprise Independent asked the local coaches for their outlook on the season.

DYSART DEMONS

4A Black Canyon Region2021-22 Record: …

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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps’ Surprise boys basketball preview

Posted

The start of the boys basketball season is set for Nov. 16. The Surprise Independent asked the local coaches for their outlook on the season.

DYSART DEMONS

4A Black Canyon Region
2021-22 Record: 18-9 overall, 7-3 region (reached first round of the 4A playoffs)
Coach: Keegan Cook (eighth season as head coach)
Top Returnees: F Darius Anderson, Sr., 6-5 (12.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Nigel Anderson, Jr., 6-4 (8.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
How many years have you coached boys basketball? I have been coaching basketball for 15 years. This is my 8th year as the Head Coach here at Dysart.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our teams best attribute this year is our size and our ability to get to the rim offensively. We have the athleticism to be able to defend at a high level.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to improve on our communication defensively.
Who are your team leaders? Senior Darius Anderson, senior Jayden Bolhar, junior Nigel Anderson, junior Nate Morales, junior Kye Brown, and senior Nathan Castano
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Sophomore Lamar Anderson.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? For us to become the team we want to be we need to compete every possession and get better every day.

HIGHLAND PREP HONEY BADGERS

2A Central Region
2021-22 Record: 19-3 (reached quarterfinals of 2A playoffs)
Coach: Trent Hill (second year at Highland Prep)
Top Returnees: F Presley Ibeh, Jr., 6-5 (15.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg), PG Kohen Hill, Jr., 5-11 (9.5 ppg, 7.4 apg, 4.3 spg)
How many years have you coached boys basketball? I’ve been coaching for 16 years now. Coached at all levels except for pros. Always have to grow as a coach.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? As a team, will be fun to watch this year. We play fast and furious. We averaged 76 ppg last year. We share the ball really well. I love that about our team.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to be more consistent as a team and play hard all the time. Bench strength is always a concern for small schools.
Who are your team leaders? Presley Ibeh, 6-4 junior power forward. Presley is very athletic and attacks the rim. He is a showtime player and has a chance to be player of the year in 2A. Kohen Hill, a 5-11 junior point guard, really pushes pace and has great vision. Plays good defense and anticipates really well on the defense end. High IQ. His 4.3 steals a game was top 5 in AIA last year. Omar Weathersby is a 6-3 senior shooting guard. He averaged 13.8 ppg 4.8 rpg. He can shoot the three really well. He is looking to have a great senior season. Hopes to play college ball.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Tarrell Green Jr. He is a 6-5 freshman who is super athletic and can jump out of the gym. Has a lot to learn, but has a ton of potential. He works really hard also.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? If we stay consistent and focused I believe we can make the state tournament.

PARADISE HONORS PANTHERS

4A Skyline Region
2021-22 Record: 25-4 overall, 10-0 region (reached quarterfinals of 4A playoffs)
Coach: Zach Hettel (eighth year as Paradise Honors head coach)
Top Returnees: F River Bell, Sr. 6-5 (2.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg), G Aiden Dunne, Jr., 6-2 (4.1 ppg)
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Coachable. This team really enjoys and appreciates each other. It’s a great group of young men who come in every day, work hard and really listen and learn.
What will your team need to improve for this season to be a success? We have a lot of new, young faces. They are going to have to learn on the job, and get out of their comfort zone.
Who are your team leaders? River Bell is our senior leader. Aiden Dunne is another. Those are our only two returning players with varsity experience. TJ Harris, a freshmen, really leads with his play on the court.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We will have some impact freshmen in TJ Harris, Dillan McClinton, and Antwan Gilkey Jr. Expect junior Josh Morales to make an impact when football ends.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? Come in and get better each day. Attack what’s in front of us and let the rest take care of itself.

Shadow Ridge junior guard Ashton Catlett looks for openings in the Valley Vista defense while Valley Vista junior Clayton Werner during a Jan. 28 game at Valley Vista. Catlett is the Stallions’ top returning scorer. (Courtesy Dysart Schools)

SHADOW RIDGE STALLIONS

6A Southwest Region
2021-22 Record: 17-9 overall, 6-4 region (6A play-in round)
Coach: Robert Bohon (eighth season as Shadow Ridge head coach)
Top Returnees: SG Ashton Catlett, Sr., 6-3 (9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg); PG Jamaal Dean Jr., Sr., 5-10 (3.3 ppg, 1.3 apg).
How many years have you coached boys basketball? 32 years overall (eight years at Shadow Ridge).
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Outstanding work habits and the team plays well together. Most of our varsity players have been in the program three or four years and they understand our program concepts.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The team will need experience on adjusting to the speed of the game. Also improve trusting the process that we have developed over the years for our program.
Who are your team leaders? Ashton Catlett is a two-year starter this will be his third year of varsity action. Returners include Jamaal Dean (Sr), Mike Stults (Sr), Pete Lopez (Sr), Alvin Hanks Jr (Jr).
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Seth Bohon (Jr) Gage Bartlett (Soph), Amore Vaden (Jr).
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season or achieve the goals you have set for the program? The team has to continue to gain experience and get better every single day.

VALLEY VISTA MONSOON

6A Southwest Region
2021-22 Record: 15-12 overall, 8-2 region (reached first round of the 6A playoffs)
Coach: Ben Isai (fifth season as Valley Vista head coach)
Top Returnees: PG Aadem Isai, Sr., 6-1 (17.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 4.2 apg); SF Dallas Marker, Sr., 6-3 (12.8 ppg, 4 rpg).
How many years have you coached boys basketball? This is my fifth year coaching varsity at Valley Vista High School.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is that we play hard, smart and together.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need our bench to step up. The ability to go deeper into the bench will help us stay sharp and allow us to rest guys during key situations.
Who are your team leaders? Aadem Isai and Dwayne Jones are our team captains and have led the team throughout the year. They have shown great leadership.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Dwayne LaCour and Kyler McQueen both have been in the program for four years and will help us. Martai Thurman is a sophomore who got decent varsity minutes this fall.
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 team needs to learn how to not let their emotions dictate the way we play. We will need to stay calm and poise during the tough times and not get ahead of ourselves through the highs.

WILLOW CANYON WILDCATS

5A Northwest Region
2021-22 Record: 20-6 overall, 9-1 region (5A play-in round)
Coach: Joseph Colletti (sixth year as Willow Canyon head coach)
Top Returnees: G Aidan Carino, Sr. 6-0 (9.3 ppg, 1.6 spg), G Kaleel Kelly, Soph., 6-2 (4.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg. 2.5 apg)
How many years have you coached boys basketball? 16 years HS basketball. Six years as head coach at Willow Canyon.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Youth. We are a young, hungry group that has embraced every challenge thrown at them so far. They will continue to develop and grow throughout the season with the ambition of being the best version of ourselves in our final game of the season.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? This is a resilient group. We are a completely new group and are learning day by day. They have shown themselves to be resilient and hard working. That will come in hand as we move through the season. They are focused on improving 1% each day with regard to fundamentals, details, execution and second effort plays.
Sustained consistent effort to details. They are focused and compete at a high level.
Who are your team leaders? We believe we have leadership throughout our roster. We intentionally develop leaders and believe that any given day and any given game we can have different players step up to lead each other. Among them, Kaleel Kelly, Zayden Canchano and Jaxsen Williams will all be counted upon to play and lead above their age as will others.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Aidan Carino and Kaleel Kelly are the only returners with significant minutes on last year’s 20-6 playoff team. The entire roster is new to varsity because the roles, expectations and demands on all of us are completely different.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? We have a great group of kids who are committed to each other and to learning the process of what it looks like. They are intentional servant leaders who will embrace adversity and push each other toward their best. I am excited to see this group compete. I think we will have a learning curve - but we have the group to lean in and develop along the way... The future is really bright at Willow Canyon.

Dysart basketball, Highland Prep basketball, Paradise Honors basketball, SHadow Ridge basketball, Valley Vista basketball, Willow Canyon basketball