(The 2017 Manhattan Cup Final/Photo: Harry Scull,Buffalo News)
The 2017-2018 Pre-View From Centercourt contains:
- Commentary on returning talent & offseason news
- What's New
- Returning 2017 All-Centercourt Players
- Player Watch List for 2018
- A League-by-League look at the teams
(MMA, Yale Cup, ECIC, NFL, N-O, CCAA, & Charters)
- Coaching Changes
- Classification Changes
- Preseason Top 10 Large & Small Schools
Last year on a Sunday night late in March I was driving home from Glens Falls. I'd just finished watching the Federation Tournament, which signals the official end to the high school basketball season, and I was going through the 2017 All-Centercourt Team in my mind. I quickly began to realize something that got me thinking ahead to the 2018 season and just how cool the season would be.
What was it? Talent. All sorts of returning talent. An unprecedented amount of underclassmen had turned in seasons worthy of recognition in not just the Top 60, but the coveted Top 25. In early April when the All-Centercourt Team was published, underclassmen accounted for over half of the Top 60. But it was in the Top 25 that the numbers really popped. Just nine seniors took up those slots, meaning an astonishing 16 underclassmen had represented the best 25 seasons in WNY.
What's New ??
- After a decade of immersing myself in the local high school hoops scene, I finally organized an event. The first ever Centercourt Classic will take place on Saturday, February 3rd at Williamsville South High School, featuring four games between top 10 teams from the 2017 season that brought back plenty of talent!
- The Niagara Frontier League (NFL) will be split into two divisions this season. (Niagara Falls, Ken West, Lockport, Niagara Wheatfield, & North Tonawanda) AND (Grand Island, Lew-Port, CSAT, & Ken East). Teams will play everyone in the league once and teams within their newly structured divisions twice. The regular season will conclude with 'crossover' games between the two divisions (1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, etc.) with the team finishing 5th in the larger division playing at West Seneca East for its 20th game.
- Lafayette will no longer host home games in its one-of-a-kind gymnasium that was far from a regulation court, but was an experience in-and-of itself. The Violets will instead play their home games at Grabiarz School of Excellence on Lawn Ave.
- This season there are only 16 teams in Class C, meaning there will be no breakdown into Class C1 & Class C2. Just one Section VI Final for Class C.
- Yale Cup varsity games will now have a 6:30 pm tip time.
- The Pastor-Cooper Showcase at Daemen College will only be two days this season - Thursday, December 7th & Saturday, December 9th.
- The ADPRO Public/Private Challenge returns to St. Mary's with another three-day, 11-game lineup. This season's headliner is Canisius vs. Health Sciences.
- The Manhattan Cup semifinals for Class B will be played on the same night as the 32 Section VI quarterfinals, in addition to the Manhattan Cup Finals for Class A & B conflicting with the Wednesday night of Buff State Week.
- Six teams have changed leagues from last season:
Starpoint returns to ECIC II, Iroquois & Springville move to ECIC III, Depew to ECIC IV, I-Prep to Yale Cup I, and Riverside to Yale Cup II.
- It's Section VI's turn to host the Far West Regionals. A full slate of five games are scheduled for Saturday, March 10th at Buffalo State.
*** 15 of the top 25 players from the 2017 All-Centercourt Team return to the WNY high school hoops scene, along with another 16 players that received Honorable Mentions following last season. That's over half of the Top 60!
Returning First Teamer
Junior Season stats:
Dolan is WNY's only current three-time All-Centercourt selection heading into his senior season. The Billies' all-time steals leader and 1,000 point scorer will carry the load for his team more than ever this season in a quest for a fourth straight Class A1 Final appearance.
Junior Season stats:
Pope is coming off a season that saw him attempt a staggering 221 free throw attempts and score over 700 points. He led his Thunderbirds to their first ever Section VI title and helped advance the team to regionals.
- *All-Centercourt Defender *
Junior Season stats:
The team's MVP scored a career-high 50 points in a victory last season and committed to play for Tennessee following his prep days. Gaines led his school to its first ever Section VI title and beyond.
*Centercourt #BOOM Squad*
Junior Season stats:
Anderson has an all-around game that led East in points, assists, steals, & blocks, but his specialty is filling up the rim. During his junior campaign, he scored a career-high 42 points, while scoring at least 29 points in 11 of the Panthers' 23 games.
Returning Third Teamers
Junior Season stats:
Already the school's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Sireika took the Red Raiders to the Manhattan Cup Final in 2017.
Sophomore Season stats:
Following a Manhattan Cup Final appearance with the Red Raiders, one of WNY's most crafty and competitive floor generals will suit up in Timon green this season.
* All-Centercourt Defender *
Junior Season stats:
After leading the Jacks to an overall Class A crown as a junior on a senior laden squad, Book is set to put the team on his back and erupt after a break-out junior year.
Junior Season stats:
The 2016 Centercourt 6th Man of the Year became the Crusaders' go-to player in crunch time as a junior and delivered, leading Canisius to another Manhattan Cup after arriving to the postseason as the #4 seed.
*Centercourt #BOOM Squad*
Returning Fourth Teamers
Sophomore Season stats:
Perhaps the most talented player in all of WNY, Hutchins has never lost to a public school in his two seasons as the maestro for the Pioneers.
*Centercourt #BOOM Squad*
Sophomore Season stats:
The intense two-way star is a returning First Team All-Catholic selection looking to help Park take the next step in the large school ranks.
*Centercourt #BOOM Squad*
Junior Season stats:
WNY's top returning big man enters his senior season as a two-time First Team All-State selection in Class D after earning the honor in both his sophomore & junior campaigns.
Junior Season stats:
After leading the Panthers to the state final four in Class D last season, the do-it-all standout returns on a mission to take his team to the top of the state.
Returning Fifth Teamers
Junior Season stats:
The 1,000 point scorer helped Health Sciences win the Class B Regional and advance to the state final four. He will be a major addition to whichever team he ends up with for his senior season.
Junior Season stats:
The high-flyer will play football for Toledo in the fall after a run at a third straight N-O title for the Mustangs, who ran the table in league play last season.
*Centercourt #BOOM Squad*
Junior Season stats:
Became a vital piece in the Crusaders starting lineup thanks to his size & all-around talent and was instrumental in leading them to a third straight Manhattan Cup title.
Returning 2017 Honorable Mentions
Nate Brawdy - Gowanda, Sr: 20.2 PPG / 14.0 RPG / 4.8 APG as a junior
Kyle DeVoogel - Newfane, Sr: 18.6 PPG / 5.9 SPG / 4.1 RPG / 2.8 APG / 0.9 BPG as a junior
Chad Biersbach - Depew, Sr: 17.5 PPG / 8.3 RPG / 2.8 SPG / 2.1 APG / 0.9 BPG as a junior
Ray Blackwell - Maryvale, Sr: 17.0 PPG / 6.2 RPG / 3.8 APG / 3.1 SPG as a junior
Hakeem Dobbins - Middle College, Sr: 16.5 PPG / 2.8 RPG / 2.0 APG / 1.8 SPG as a junior
Latrell Butler-Kemp - Walsh, Sr: 16.4 PPG / 7.5 RPG / 3.9 APG / 2.2 SPG as a junior
Ray Mushat - South Park, Sr: 15.3 PPG / 5.5 RPG / 2.6 SPG / 1.2 APG / 0.6 BPG as a junior
Max Weber - Newfane, Sr: 14.8 PPG / 8.3 RPG / 7.0 APG / 3.0 SPG / 1.7 BPG as a junior
Christian Szablewski - St. Mary's, Sr: 13.4 PPG / 8.5 RPG / 2.3 APG / 2.0 SPG as a junior
Darnell Butts - Dunkirk, Sr: 13.1 PPG / 4.5 RPG / 2.1 APG / 1.6 STL / 0.4 BPG as a junior
Tazaun Rose - Niagara Falls, Sr: 11.0 PPG / 5.0 APG / 4.0 SPG / 3.0 RPG as a junior
Mason Goodridge - Springville, Jr: 18.9 PPG / 2.5 APG / 2.1 RPG / 1.2 SPG as a sophomore
Cam Sionko - Grand Island, Jr: 17.2 PPG / 4.0 RPG / 3.0 APG / 1.8 SPG as a sophomore
Justin Hemphill - O'Hara, Jr: 16.4 PPG / 11.0 RPG / 5.1 APG / 2.4 SPG / 2.2 BPG as a sophomore
Tyler Hind - Randolph, So: 17.6 PPG / 4.3 APG / 3.1 SPG / 2.8 RPG as a freshman
Jalen Bradberry - Niagara Catholic, Fr: 14.7 PPG / 3.3 APG / 3.0 RPG / 1.5 APG as an 8th grader
Player Watch List
Nick MacDonald - 12 (Canisius), Austin James - 12 (Canisius), Master Radford - 12 (Timon), Jack Capen - 12 (St. Joe's), Syquan Ralands - 12 (Niagara Falls), Jacob Genzel - 12 (Hamburg), Justin Allen - 12 (East), Liam Carey - 12 (Grand Island), Nick Baker - 12 (JFK), Ture Hassler - 12 (Gowanda), Griffin Chudy - 12 (Ellicottville), Austin Grinols - 12 (Ellicottville), Isaac Kopp - 12 (Franklinville), Jon Parks - 12 (Lake Shore), Noble Smith - 12 (Lackawanna), Anthony Whitfield - 12 (Hutch-Tech), Deon Spencer - 12 (McKinley), Kyle Ebert - 12 (Frontier), Alex Wayland - 12 (West Seneca West), Jared Gleason - 12 (Sherman), Jarmani Benton - 12 (Silver Creek), Jermaine Haynes - 11 (Cardinal O'Hara), Chris Stineman - 11 (Nichols), Noah Grabar - 11 (Lackawanna), Josiah Harris - 11 (Niagara Falls), Brady Woelben - 11 (Silver Creek), Lucas Theisen - 11 (St. Francis), River Reinhart - 11 (Clarence), Malik Brooks - 11 (Lockport), Mike Schmidt - 11 (Olean), Quentin Nnagbo - 11 (Park), Julian Eziukwu - 11 (Park), Earl Howard - 11 (MST Seneca), Zamari Mitchell - 11 (West Seneca West), Devin Degree - 11 (Williamsville South), Kameron Briggs - 11 (Health Sciences), Trent Scott - 11 (Lew-Port), Juston Johnson - 11 (West Seneca West), Adrian Baugh - 11 (West Seneca West), Mason Goodridge - 11 (Springville), Nate Shuart - 11 (Fredonia), Carson Christ - 11 (Maple Grove), Amir Radford - 11 (City Honors), Dwayne Vass - 10 (Canisius), Ishmael Fairclough - 10 (Canisius), Jaylen Stewart - 10 (Park), Eric Kegler - 10 (St. Mary's), Anthony Mack - 10 (South Park), Jahmal Lewis - 10 (McKinley), Terrell Mullen - 10 (Maryvale), Justin Hemphill - 10 (Cardinal O'Hara), Daesean Ashley - 10 (Amherst), Cameron Barmore - 10 (Panama), Cal Shifflet - 10 (Williamsville East), Aidan Horan - 10 (Nichols), Dom Jamison - 10 (Silver Creek), Jon Orugun - 10 (Park), Tariq Eubanks - 9 (Tapestry), Kyjuan Inabinett - 9 (Health Sciences, Javaughn Jones - 9 (Health Sciences), Tyler Putney - 9 (Fredonia)
Monsignor Martin Association
Large Schools - CLASS A
Canisius has won seven of the last nine Manhattan Cup championships, including the last three. After pulling it off last season as the #4 seed in the playoffs, the Crusaders are back once again in full force, returning a deep and talented lineup. Canisius started five underclassmen for most of the season, so they will be a seasoned, veteran squad. With vital pieces in all the right places, this team could be a complete buzz. Jayce Johnson & Ryan Bradley both earned postseason honors last year, but the list of standouts at Canisius is lengthy. Park has a new coach in Rich Jacob and all that underclassmen talent coming back, with the exception of Joe Jones who left for prep school. The Pioneers played last season without any seniors - this season they'll have just two. Expect them to be as formidable as ever with Noah Hutchins and Dan Scott leading the way and three players that are at least 6-8. They'll look to finish strong and earn their first Class A Manhattan Cup. St. Francis is coming off an outstanding season with some eye-popping wins and a finals appearance in the Manhattan Cup. The team returns one starter in senior Bo Sireika, who was Third Team All-Centercourt. Despite replacing four starters Coach Ferris' squad might surprise - they are loaded with underclassmen that saw meaningful minutes last year and will be expected to step up as they look to repeat as regular season champions and get back to the Manhattan Cup Final. St. Joe's returns eight players, led by senior Jack Capen. Kevin Durkin will run the point for the Marauders, while 6-7 Alex D'Anniballe gives the team a presence in the middle. Pat McCann will see plenty of court time as a junior, along with Will Ostrowski. Tre Boling will miss some time at the start of the season following a football injury.
Canisius: Jayce Johnson 12, Ryan Bradley 12, Austin James 12, Nick MacDolnald 12, Conner McCaffrey 12, Brendan Trapper 12, John Evans 12, Joe Jamison 11
Park: Brandon Smith 12, Marques Lowe 12, Noah Hutchins 11, Daniel Scott 11, Quentin Nnagbo 11, Julian Eziukwu 11, Jordan Gompah 11, Jack Gompah 11, Q Johnson 11, Jai'den Dunn 11, Eman Wajed 11, John Orugun 10, Jaylen Stewart 10, Caleb Hutchins 9, Keyounjay Carter 9
St. Francis: Bo Sireika 12, Owen Woyshner 12, Josh Palmer 12, Dan Busha 11, Dorion Ivey 11, Elijah Williams 11, Traevone Scott 10, Justin Poumpey 11, Lucas Theisen 11, Nicholas Reeb 11, Noah Unger 11, Reily Miller 11, Ryan Lacki 11, David Bartholomew 10, Jack Bickerstaff 10, Amiel Collins 9
St. Joe's: Jack Capen 12, Jeremy Johnson 12, Trey Boling 12, Kevin Durkin 12, Keith Norward 12, John Galvin 12, Alexander D'Anniballe 12, Noah Hausbeck 12, Pat McCann 11, Will Ostrowski 11, Tino Martone 11, Kemychal Clark 11, Jack Wojtazsek 11, Hamzah Abdur-Rahman 11, Amari Gordon 10
Timon: no information provided by coach
Small Schools - CLASS B
St. Mary's is the defending champion in Class B and returns plenty of talent, led by seniors Christian Szablewski, Eric Brown, & Matt Ciezski. Despite a veteran bunch, the Lancers will need to play hungry, as the other teams in the league made some key additions to already talented rosters. There has yet to be a repeat champion in Class B. Cardinal O'Hara is coming off its most successful season since 2002 and returns eight players, including the team’s top 3 scorers in Justin Hemphill (16.4 ppg), Jermaine Haynes (14.9 ppg), and Nasir Benton (10.3 ppg). Hemphill enters his junior season with over 500 rebounds and 734 points. Pat Clarke takes over as head coach at Nichols, where the Vikings finished second last season after narrowly losing a battle in the final to St. Mary's. The team will benefit greatly from junior transfer Chris Stineman, a forward who averaged 13.6 ppg & 9.4 rpg as a sophomore. He teams with returning starting point guard Trent Banaszak and Aidan Horan, who enjoyed a solid freshman season. Niagara Catholic is looking to improve on their five-win season last year. With five returning players and several new players added to the roster including notable transfer Jalen Bradberry, who earned All-Centercourt Honorable Mention honors as an 8th grader, the Patriots will look to find the cohesiveness to make them very competitive in a tough league. Latrell Butler-Kemp, who was an All-Centercourt Honorable Mention and First Team All-Catholic last season, returns to Walsh as the team's lone senior. The very young Eagles also have just two juniors - one that saw limited action a season ago and the other being a foreign exchange student from Germany who has never played. In a league that is always challenging for this exceptionally small school that travels at least an hour for every road game, head coach Andy Moore may be tasked with his biggest challenge yet.
St. Mary's: Christian Szablewski 12, Eric Brown 12, Matt Ciezski 12, Ahmad Powell 12, Frank Propis 12, Jaelin Russell 12, Ben Mazurowski 12, Kofi Osei 12, Ja'Shawn Collins 12, Jake Lukasik 12, Brady O'Brien 11, Sean Melson 11, Alif Dunbar 11, Eric Kegler 10
Cardinal O'Hara: Nasir Benton 12, Michon Dudley 12, Justin Hemphill 11, Jermaine Haynes 11, Stephen Boyd 11, Brandon Broadnax 11, Matthew Buckley 11, Ibrahim Lewis 11, CJ Masters 11, Joe Turri 11, Remir Velazquez 11, Jaedin Cottman 10, Yehshua Lee 10, Quantrail Moss 10
Nichols: TJ Banaszak 12, Antonio Jones 12, Ryan Peterson 12, Matthew Glinski 12, Michael Fredericks 12, Chris Stineman 11, Jonathan Goodloe 11, Clark Thrasher 11, Matt Raiff 11, Julian Freeman 11, Jake Bair 11, Aidan Horan 10, Hugh Purks 9
Niagara Catholic: Nick Krupp 12, Mike Sanders 12, Harrison Abramaitys 11, Quinelle Burch 11, Raysean Smith 11, Haakim Siner 11, Jaden Turner 11, Roman Wright 11, Avion Harris 10, Jaemon Turner 10, Jalen Bradberry 9, Mehki Starks 9
Walsh: Latrell Butler Kemp 12, George Lowry 11, Justus Lingott 11, Colin Yorke 10, Marcus Esposito 10, Kameron Ramadhan 10, Zayne Blacksnake 10, Max Garvin 9, Xavier Laverty 9, Ajhani Parks 9
CCA: no information provided by coach
YALE CUP I
South Park enters the season as the defending Yale Cup champions for the first time in 31 years. With all that's back, along with a couple key transfers, it looks like they could have the horses to do it again. Ray Mushat, Anthony Mack, David Stroud, and Elijah Lewis are all back to make the Sparks formidable. East led South Park in the final minute of the game that decided where the Yale Cup would reside, and returns three key pieces of its squad from last year. The team has the city league's best player in Willard Anderson, back after earning Second Team All-Centercourt honors as a junior, along with Justin Allen who gives the team a strong presence in the paint, and three-year player Waunya Shaw. The Panthers have also moved to Class D in Section VI after reaching the Class C2 Final last year. McKinley is coming off a year in league play that ended a 28-game Yale Cup winning streak and saw the Cup leave Elmwood Avenue. However, the Macks still reached Buffalo State in Class A1. With plenty back and Zaire Dorsey behind the bench, they would be a tough team to bet against returning the city's trophy to the home its had for years. Deon Spencer is back to play the point, Kavon Rogers will man the middle once again, and Emir Evans is a tough & physical defender. Middle College has a new head coach in James Kane, who has been with the program at the JV level. His Kats will once again be a contender in both league & sectional play, led by Nate Jackson, Aziyon Clemons, and Hakeem Dobbins. Hutch-Tech has a group that has played together for the past couple seasons. After playing together all offseason, the group has grown together to raise their basketball IQ's and are ready for the challenge presented in the rigorous Yale Cup. Burgard head coach Willie Jones was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame during the offseason, so the Bulldogs are officially coached by a legend! The team brings back six players and will carry ten underclassmen this season, led by junior Dejuan Williams. Emerson will have to play smart and get its youth up to speed quickly as the team has just four seniors on this season's 15-man roster.
South Park : Raymond Mushat 12, Donte Ridgeway 12, Daquan Anderson 12, Justice Allen 12, Elijah Lewis 11, David Stroud 11, Devon White 11, Jalil Marris 11, Donald Stewart 11, Dabeyon Humphrey 11, Jayon Renfro 11, Anthony Mack 10, Jayson Armstead 10, Michael Crockett 10
East: Willard Anderson 12, Justin Allen 12, Waunya Shaw 12, Xavier Turner 12, Emmanuel Wilson 12, Ibrahim Mberwa 12, Danny Carter 10, Juron Hill 10, Dontaye Miller 10, Eugene Robinson 9, Tynell Ruffins 9, Anthony Oberlander 9, Jaiden Green 9, Antonio Rivera 9
McKinley: Deon Spencer 12, Jaylin Windsor 12, Kavon Rogers 12, Emir Evans 12, Marquese Thomas 12, Frank Bostic 12, Troy Coble 12, Ngendabanyikwa Elias 11, Jahmal Lewis 10
Middle College: Nate Jackson 12, Azyion Clemons 12, Jules Stover 12, Zach Jones 12, Hakeem Dobbins 12, Donovan Queeno 12, Tereamell Stevens 11, Ja'Kari Nettles 11, James Barnes 11, Devonte Prince 10, Keyunte Jones 10, Malik Meadows 10, Jamond Jones 10, Keith Brown 10, Anthony Smith 9
Hutch-Tech: Jayden Mitchell 12, Caleb Kash 12, Mohamad Nor 12, Frenchy Cook 12, Anthony Whitfield 11, Ke'Shawn Bennett 11, EJ Shahied 11, Khyree Jeader 11, David Bradshaw 11, Cyer Cyer 11, Emanuel Geegba 11, Elijah Smith 11, Kenneth Jacobs 10
Emerson: John Tarver 12, Zakai Young 12, Jaquan Davis 12, Kam'ron Mootry 12, Lumumba Hough 11, Daquan Seltzer 11, Darshaun Sullivan 11, Quinton McClain 11, Mark Gist 11, Antonio McGee 11, Otis Houston 11, Nazir Moore 11, Calvin Smith 11, Luis Rodriguez 11, Christian McDowell 11
I-Prep: no information provided by coach
YALE CUP II
MST Seneca returns two starters from last year in Earl Howard and Jason Chapman. Howard is a strong and physical point guard that can handle, shoot, and defend for the Wolves. The team will look to play solid defense and keep games close until they are able to have some new players step up and fill the roles of the departed seniors and try to use team speed and athleticism make up for a scoring lost to graduation. Olmsted returns Gabe Carr-Johnson and Joel Richards after reaching Buff State in Class B2 one season removed from a sectional crown in Class C1 in 2016. The Owls assembled some challenging nonleague opponents to prepare for the postseason. City Honors has a young team with three sophomores and a freshman, and its top player also an underclassmen in junior Amir Radford. Riverside moves into Yale Cup II this season. The Frontiers have three seniors back from last season, led by the talented Dialo Rivera Stevens, who is the team's captain. At DaVinci, Nick Todaro is the new head coach and has hard-working group that will defend teams aggressively. They carry some freshmen with potential and could surprise a few teams along the way. Lafayette is looking to build on last season following its come-from-behind sectional win over Roy-Hart, which marked the Violets' first playoff victory since 2010. Returning starters Austin Grimes and Dayshawn Elliott will factor big in the Violets' backcourt, transition speed, and offensive output. Senior LaMorris Elliott will give the team experience and strong perimeter shooting.
MST Seneca: Daylin Anderson 12, Daryl Costner 12, Diallo Gray 12, Marquel Hampshire 12, Saeviyon Livingston 12, James Myree 12, Warren Carter 11, Jason Chapman 11, JohnnyLee Cunningham 11, Earl Howard 11, Derrick Patterson 11, Nick Price 11, Xavier Werts 11, DeMario James 9
Olmsted: Gabriel Carr-Johnson 12, Aaron Brown 12, Joel Richards 12, Chris Pettiway 12, Caleb Matthews 12, Marcus Roberson 11, Delmar Green 11, Deshaun Nikonowics 11, Chris Mosley 11, Trevor Young 11, Renard Siders 10, Marciano Lamar 10
Riverside: Dialo Rivera Stevens 12, Robert Kyle 12, Carlos Adorno Nunez 12, Dontae Hill 12, Michael Villegas 11, Asante Silva 11, Julius Laureano 11, Jazed Maldonado Rivera 11, D'Yontai Williams 9, Ezequiel Rodriguez 9
City Honors: Brendan Bulluck 12, Sebastian Flewellyn 12, Neftali Vazquez 12, Michael Ruggeiero 12, Amir Radford 11, Eliot Solomon 11, Xavion Baines 11, Jerimiah Chapman 10, Nate Kahn 10, Kevion Taylor 10, Jayden Slaughter 9
Lafayette: Austin Grimes 12, LaMorris Elliott 12, Dayshawn Elliott 11, Jiheed Robinson 11, Kevin Maysonet 10, Kenneth Merced Ayala 10, Yabnel Calderon 10, Luis Betancourt 10, Zion Pannell 9, Yan Carlos Rodriguez 9
DaVinci: Trevor Knight 12, Gregory Kulian 12, Cori Henning 12, Antres Garcia 12, Jordan Fonn 11, Eric Barton 11, Elijah Graham 10, Miyear White 10, Agatino Maccarrone 10, Kitara Joseph 9, Ademola Montrose 9, Hiram Abril 9, Angel Burgos 9
Buffalo Arts: no information provided by coach
West Seneca West will benefit greatly from the return of Juston Johnson, who played with the team as an eighth grader and the transfer of Adrian Baugh, both coming over from Timon. The Indians also hired former Timon coach Des Randall, who starred for the school over a decade ago. With Alex Wayland back, who led the team in scoring last year, this could be the surprise team of the season in both league play and Class A1. Williamsville North returns its starting backcourt from last season in Ryan Johnston, Jacob Belote, & Joe Nusall. The Spartans also have a pair of bigs with talent and size with 6-5 Jonathon Abaya and 6-6 Greg Poland, and should contend for a league title and return to Buff State in Class AA. Frontier has six players back from last season, including Kyle Ebert, who led the team with 14.5 ppg and Brandon Dunz who averaged nine ppg last year. Jamestown has been a league champion in ECIC I for the last seven seasons. With a young team that lacks experience, it will be a challenge to continue that streak. The Red Raiders do have two starters back in Matt Hill and Marcus Rojas who combined for over 20 ppg last year, along with some young talent eager to continue the tradition. Lancaster reached the Class AA Final last season, and returns a pair of talents from that team in senior Alec Tamburri and junior Jakob Jerebko. Tamburri was a First Team selection in ECIC I, while Jerebko will help carry the load this season after battling through injuries last year. Point guard duties will be handled by Ryan Mansell, a tough defender for the Legends. Clarence returns its top three scorers (Joe Olivieri, River Reinhardt, & Jack Putney) from a team that won five of their last six games, with the loss occurring in overtime of the quarterfinals at Jamestown. Orchard Park has three starters back (David Morris, Eric Liberatore, and Tino Mancabelli) however Mancabelli will begin the season on the shelf with injuries. The Quakers will use that time to develop depth and find out who can step up into a greater role.
West Seneca West: Alex Wayland 12, Jesse Broad 12, Mike Borton 12, Jack Koller 12, Willie Morrison 12, Juston Johnson 11, Adrian Baugh 11, Bryan Ball 11, Kevin Link 11, Jack Breen 11, Anthony Espe 11, Nate Ryniec 10, Mike Glinski 10
Williamsville North: Ryan Johnston 12, Justin Konotopskyj 12, Lucas Terry 12, Alex Steinwachs 12, Jonathon Abaya 11, Joe Nusall 11, Jacob Belote 11, Dylan Mann 11, Scott Becht 11, Jake Federio 11, Dylan Mann 11, Nick Maniscalco 11, Jacob Orlando 11, Greg Poland 10, Scott Hopkins 10
Clarence: Joe Olivieri 12, Steve Kabayiza 12, Mike O'Brien 12, Matt Zuffranieri 12, Mike Scherrer 12, Jake Reger 12, Phil Simkin 12, Jack Putney 11, River Reinhardt 11, Jackson Wurtz 11, Brandon Ferris 11, Jon Stevens 11, Akilesh Ramakrishna 11, Peyton Metzger 10
Frontier: Jacob Weiss 12, Tom Notto 12, Kyle Ebert 12, Alex Hiam 11, Brandon Dunz 11, Ben Taylor 11, Elliott Robinson 11, Tyler Bailey 11, Chris Jones 11, Tyler Jenkins 11
Jamestown: Matt Hill 12, Noah Larson 12, Marcus Rojas 12, Henry Malarkey 12, Grant Moore 11, Kylen Faulkner 11, Grayson Holt 11, Daunte Garland 11, Kameron Grant 11, Nolan Butts 11, Shaheem Freeney 11, Jordan Crofoot 10, Elijah Rojas 9
Lancaster: Alec Tamburri 12, Ryan Mansell 12, Jakob Jerebko 11, Matt Garry 11, John Kisker 11, GianLuca Fulciniti 10
Orchard Park: Eric Liberatore 12, Alex Freilicher 12, Ben Shoop 12, Dave Morris 12, Nate Wereski 11, Matt Burney 11, Cayden Collins 11, Archie Bartolotti 11, Josh McTigue 11, Jordan Prince 11, Brad Fowler 10, Tino Mancabelli 10, Ethan Swiatek 10
Williamsville South will be the group that every other team in ECIC II gets up for. The Billies saw their name added to the league championship banner for a third straight season and enter as the favorites to do so once again. Greg Dolan enters his senior season with just two league losses since starting as a freshman and hopes to keep it that way. Cody Sanford and Devin Degree also return to the starting lineup at South this year. Amherst is a defending league and Class A2 champion that will look to be a hardworking & unselfish team. The Tigers will be young and return no starters, but will be led by the 2017 Centercourt Sixth Man of the Year in Daesean Ashley, along with Jake Mullen, Ja’Kye Womack, and Jackson Tan who are ready to keep the Amherst tradition going. Williamsville East will be a contender in league play thanks to a veteran squad that boasts 11 seniors, led by Patrick Ranallo, Sean Keenan, & Nicholas Kieffer, along with talented sophomore Cal Shifflet, who averaged 8.4 ppg as a freshman. After a year away from coaching to enjoy the birth of his son, John Reinholz takes over as the head man at Hamburg. The Bulldogs have a very young team with nine underclassmen that includes five sophomores, but do return a pair of seniors that started last season in Jacob Genzel and Mark Henry. At Starpoint , Justin Mott is the lone starter that returns. The Spartans welcome back four other players who saw time in last season's rotation and their experience will be needed, as the Spartans bounce back up to ECIC II after competing last season in ECIC III. West Seneca East will be young this season with just two returning players that played important minutes last season. Zamari Mitchell was Second Team All-ECIC II last season and led the Trojans in scoring, assists, steals, & 3-pointers, while Christian Rodriguez was one of the team's better rebounders & defensive players from last season who always guarded the other team's best player. Sweet Home expects to take steps forward this season with their fast paced style and team defense. They finally have older players in the program that offer experience at the varsity level, led by point guard and captain Evan John, along with Stephon Trueheart, Maurice Robertson, Matthew Nix, and returning sophomore Jamel Lucas.
Williamsville South: Greg Dolan 12, Cody Sanford 12, Josh Foster 12, Robert Richards 12, John Goetzmann 12, Paul Goetzmann 12, Dan Proch 12, Nick Geska 12, Ethan Fuhr 12, Anthony Lombardo 12, Devin Degree 11, Ryan Schouten 11, Caran Peterson 11, Ethan Heil 11, Mike DiGiulio 10
Amherst: Chris Patterson 12, Charles Kilgo 12, Xavier Lewis 11, Jake Mullen 11, Ja’Kye Womack 11, James Moore 11, Deadrea Tyson, 11, Jackson Tan 11, Tyler Ross 11, Daesean Ashley 10, Noah Woldu 10, Aden Clemente 10, Marcus Hall 10
Williamsville East: Sean Keenan 12, Cameron Williams 12, Connor Williams 12, Nicholas Kieffer 12, Daniel Doyle 12, Seth Blum 12, Brian Comerford 12, Justin O'Neal 12, Patrick Ranallo 12, Brian Suk 11, Joe Shifflet 12, Colin Fors 12, Dylan Moorhouse 11, Zach Rudewicz 11, Cal Shifflet 10
Hamburg: Jacob Genzel 12, Mark Henry 12, Jack Rettig 12, Kevin McDermott 11, Connor McDonnell 11, Matthew Reagan 11, Nathan Severson 10, David Benningfield 10, Andrew Genzel 10, David Lambert 10
Starpoint: Kyle Schreader 12, Jake Walters 12, Brandon Wunderlich 12, Aaron Chase 11, Azston Ford 11, Brendan Gawel 11, Nate Lang 11, Justin Mott 11, Adam Rankie 11, Rob Roetzer 11, Braden Zdrojewski 11, Dustin Wick 10, Dexter Brooks 9
West Seneca East: Christian Rodriguez 12, Andrew Weiner 12, Greg Radka 12, Dylan Deneka 12, Zamari Mitchell 11, Marcus Barney 11, Matt Ibrahim 11, Alex Sarick 11, Trent Winfree 10, Michael Marcezin 10, Tommie Ferrell 10
Sweet Home: Stephon Trueheart 12, Jewlian White 12, Dylan McDuffie 12, Ryan Harris 12, Brian Lovering 12, Tavionn Martin 11, KiAiir Brunner 11, Marjohn Manuel 11, Evan John 11, Maurice Robertson 11, Matthew Nix 11, Adrian Rice 11, Jamel Lucas 10, DaeQuan Hill 10
Lake Shore will have a strong presence in the middle from Johnathan Park, who led the team in scoring & rebounding last season. Jay Brueckl and Josh Buchanan will lead a deep,experienced and talented back court. Maryvale will put the ball in the hands of electric senior guard Ray Blackwell, who was called up as a freshman, and should eclipse the career 1,000 point total this season as a senior. Terrell Mullen should be a strong and talented player for the Flyers, who also have third year varsity player Mark Bailey. Chris Juergens takes over as head coach at Pioneer, after working as an assistant under Joe Pawlak at Roy-Hart. Returning is the veteran backcourt trio of Kaleb Hurlburt, Nick Rinker and Kyle Burley, who all started last season, with Burley averaging 15 ppg last season. Iroquois moves into the division from ECIC II with new head coach Todd Kleitz and only three players lost from last season. Tyler Tait will be the team's top returning scorer, along with Josh Kowalski & Andrew Hetzendorfer and the talent that moved up from a JV team that went 16-4 last year. A mix of experience and athleticism should make Cheektowaga a tough opponent. Alex Bryant, Rudy Bragg, Davon Brown & Terrance Bass are four seniors who will be looked at to lead the team, while junior Jason Salomon will also play a large role. East Aurora has no returning starters and just four players back from last season's team that won a Section VI crown in Class B1. Still expectations remain high for this squad with just two seniors from coach Chris Koselny, whose Blue Devils will be led by junior Kam Kmicinski. Springville moves back into ECIC III this season and has a talented junior in Mason Goodridge, an All-Centercourt Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore.
Lake Shore: Johnathan Park 12, Jacob John 12, Dakota Luke 12, Jay Brueckl 12, Bryce Toth 12, Ryan Utley 12, Ajay Cybulski 11, Josh Buchanon 11, Marcus Evans 11, Parker Jimerson 11, Nate Lockwood 11, Dezmond Wilson 11, Efrain Barreto 10
Maryvale: Ray Blackwell 12, Dylan Casey 12, Zach Amato 12, Mark Bailey 12, Shamaar Braggs 12, Nathan Crombie 11, Ryan Smith 11, Sayvon Lash 11, Luke Mansa 11, Terrell Mullen 10, Xaier Mitchell 10, Devin Taylor 10, Christian Gueth 10, Andrew Dockery 9
Iroquois: Tyler Tait 12, Andrew Hetzendorfer 12, S. Zachary Popovski 12, Josh Zon 12, Josh Kowalski 12, Charlie Ottomano 11, Max Derrick 11, Calvin Gawlick 11, Martin Fredia 11, Cole Augustine 11, Sean Holleig 11, Bailey Ertie 11, Matt Matia 10
Pioneer: Kyle Burley 12, Joe Carlson 12, Kaleb Hurlburt 12, Jared Pemberton 12, Nick Rinker 12, Dylan Giboo 11, Gabe Higgins 11, Sam Hyman 11, Cole Pleace 11
Cheektowaga: Alex Bryant 12, Davon Brown 12, Rudy Bragg 12, Keon White 12, Jaquan Pugh 12, Terrance Bass 12, Jason Salomon 11, Armondez Cleague 11
East Aurora: Will Beavers 12, Kellan Wittman 12, Kam Kmicinski 11, Noah Denz 11, Connor Boss 10
Springville: no information provided by coach
Lackawanna enters the season as the defending league champion and sectional finalist in Class B1. The Steelers hope to repeat those successes from last season and take the next step in March. Noah Grabar is a slick passing and lights-out shooting junior, while Noble Smith is the team's leader who provides a strong presence at both ends of the floor. The team is hopeful that London Smith is able to fully recover from a football injury before season's end - he was fantastic for them all of last year. Depew slides back here after competing in ECIC III for the past several seasons. The Wildcats will once again challenge opponents with perimeter shooting with an undersized lineup of shooters enjoying the green light from head coach Larry Jones. Chad Biersbach is back to lead the way in his fifth varsity season and should become only the second player from Depew to break the 1,000 point barrier early in the year. JFK has four starters back in Jake Braniecki, Nick Baker, Jordan Snyder, and Zack Manzella, who will be asked to shoulder the load for the Bears. Cleveland Hill graduated several seniors from the team that lost in the Class C1 Final at JCC in March. If the Golden Eagles, who return Fredrick Johnson, Aaron Wahler, and Kellvonta Harris, can start the year with the same energy they finished with last season, they will have an opportunity to return to the same place. Alden will be led by a trio of seniors in Christian Snell, Joshua Jeziorski and Alexander Leigh. Snell and Jeziorski are two athletic wing players that have the ability to guard multiple positions, while Leigh is a knock down shooter who will be asked to provide a solid handle as well as timely scoring. Tonawanda will be a very young squad with many fresh faces and is described by head coach Hank Hughes as a very hard working group with high energy that is eager to learn. Holland will have a small roster this year in both numbers and size, and will need to rely on guard-oriented play at a fast pace. The team will be led by Jordan Kolbmann, but the entire roster is ready to contribute and play multiple minutes. At Eden, Paul O'Connor is the new head coach for both the varsity and JV teams. Eight of the players on his varsity roster will be underclassmen.
Lackawana: London Smith 12, Noble Smith 12, Robert Rice 12, Abdul Hamid Albaneh 12, Luis Aviles 12, Terrell Brower 12, Carlton Threeths 12, Juan Rodriguez 11, Noah Grabar 11, Jeremiah Caviness 11, Keyna Smith 11, Emmanual Land 11, Trenaje Giddens 11, Alfonso Rivera 11
Depew: Chad Biersbach 12, Jeremy Clark 12, Jordan Cieselski 12, Dylan Cwiklinski 12, Augustine Arricale 12, Sean Miller 11, Matt Martin 11, Vunal Blair 11, Joe Pagano 11, Alex Neu 11, Cullen Johnson 11, Jacob Wentland 11, Max Cotton 11, Collin Bruencz 11, PJ Burns 10
JFK: Jake Braniecki 12, Nick Baker 12, Jordan Snyder 12, Robert Burgstahler 12, Michael Nawojski 12, James Bailey 12, Leonard Fears 12, Zack Manzella 11, Nazier Childs 11, Kage Dauman 11, Mitchell Fischer 11, Mark Konczal 11, Alan Suarez 10
Cleveland Hill: Kellvonta Harris 12, Fredrick Johnson 11, Aaron Wahler 11, Peyton Barker 11, D'Mario Grant 11, Khalil Jackson 11, Carl Jackson 11, Alfred Walker 11
Alden: Christian Snell 12, Riley Pastuszynski 12, Joshua Jeziorski 12, Bradley Kibler 12, Alexander Leigh 12, Matthew Schuh 12, Jacob Fairbanks 12, Maxwell Gilbert 11, Peter Jalovick 11, Lucas Jurek 11, Quinn Keller 11, Trey Samsel 10, Lucas Bush 10
Holland: Josh Ratajczak 12, Paul Nellis 12, Jordan Kolbmann 12, Zach Pawlak 12, Brennan Lewandowski 11, Josey Rivera 11, Nolan Perry 10
Tonawanda: Henry Palermo 12, Joshua Mouton 12, Pat Carney 11, Noah Gross 11, Khristian Velazquez 11, Billy Zeughardt 11, Owen Baker 11, Austin Kislowski 11, Messiah Illas 10, JJ Velazquez 9, Trevin Boling 8
Eden: John Emel 12, Griffin Gill 12, Collin Rigley 12, Hayden Bromley 12, Jackson Carney 12, Charlie Bennett 12, Jared Sobsyk 11, Colton Stetz 11, Connor Blake 11, Zach Decarlis 11, Louis Decarlis 11, Tom Mcauly 11, Bryce Narbe 11, Tyreese Jackson 11
Niagara Frontier League
Niagara Falls is the two-time defending champion of Class AA, and the talent back at NFHS should make it a three-peat. Tazaun Rose & Syquan Ralands are the inside/outside combination that will lead a Wolverines team that is small with some very young players, but should be a lot of fun to watch. Lockport graduated four starters, but still has some talent in the mix. The Lions benefit from the return of guards Torree Cheatham and Devon Darrell, who each played in the Monsignor Martin Association last season. They will combine with Malik Brooks, Luke Lawrence, and Devin Letherman for plenty of team speed. North Tonawanda returns Third Team All-Centercourt standout Trevor Book, who had all his talents on full display at Buffalo State last March as the Jacks rolled through the competition en route to the team's first regional appearance. Ryan Mountain is the reigning Coach of the Year, & along with returning seniors Sean Ferry, Kyle McNeill, and Cody Cronk, will groom newcomers from a successful JV team to continue the winning ways with defense as the backbone. Grand Island has three straight seasons with sectional wins and reached Buffalo State in Class A1 last year. Junior Cam Sionko is back after an All-Centercourt Honorable Mention season, along with a healthy Liam Carrey, a big and athletic player who dealt with injury last season. Lew-Port played together a lot over the summer and gains some key talent from a JV squad that finished 18-2 last season. They will combine with key returning players, led by Trent Scott, and look to get the Lancers back to Buff State in Class A2. Kenmore West has some very good seniors to replace and will rely on playing defense and getting out in transition. The Blue Devils have Andrew Fron, Dylan James, and Erick Rainey back who all saw time last year. Kenmore East has the talent back to compete in the NFL and take a run at reaching Buff State in Class A1. The Bulldogs are led by the backcourt of D'Anzo Young and Kahlil O'Neil, along with Nate Murdie and Nic Calhoun inside. CSAT played its first season in the NFL in a year when they had a young team and the league was the strongest in Section VI. For their second round of competition in the NFL, the Eagles have nine players back, eight of which are seniors, and plan to be a defensive-minded veteran group. Niagara Wheatfield will be led by third year player Anthony Ruffino, who along with Davon Ware, Ben Davanteir and Zach Stanley, had very productive offseasons.
Niagara Falls: Tazaun Rose 12, Syquan Ralands 12, Jamel Burton 12, Marques Miller 12, Quaran Dubois 12, Roderick Arrington 12, Naim Bradley 12, Josiah Harris 11, Moran Montgomery 11, Joe Palka 10, Taylor Sanders 10, Roddy Gayle 8, Willie Lightfoot 8
Lockport: Isiah Johnson 12, Rashaun Johnson 12, Luke Lawrence 12, Devin Leatherman 12, Tivon White 12, Emmanual Hunt 12, Devon Darrell 12, Malik Brooks 11, Torree Cheatham 11, Duane Barrow 11, Jayln Jones 11, Marcus Shavers 11, Josh Cooper 10
Grand Island: Liam Carey 12, Derek Callen 12, Cam Sionko 11, JJ Wilkes 11, Logan Sionko 9
North Tonawanda: Trevor Book 12, Codie Cronk 12, Sean Ferry 12, Kyle McNeill 12,Colin Beach 11, Nick Casterline 11, James Holler 11, Donny LaVerdi 11, Dante Moultrie 10, Noah Fox 10, Sebastian Reid 10, Walter Wisniewski 9
Lew-Port: Dylan Morrissette 12, William Duff 12, Brendan Perreault 12, Owen Licht 12, Tyler Maggard 12, Zach Raber 12, Joe Powers 11, Trent Scott 11, Jake Kasbaum 11, Zach Claybourne 11, Jason Boslet 11, Noah Coppins 11, Andrew Perrault 11, Aidan Salick 11
Kenmore West: Erick Rainey 12, Jake Poummit 12, Ronnie Martinez 12, Andrew Fron 12, Jaylan Young 12, Jack Stoerr 12, Jake Robb 12, Noah Fisk 12, Dylan James 11, Christian Montes 11, Zach LaPlante 11, Anthony Dolce 11, Dom Schmidt 11, Kyle Schmidt 11, Zac Boyes 10
Kenmore East: Tyler Everett 12, Zach Price 12, Brandon Baker 12, Kahlil O'Neil 12, Jamichael Henderson 12, Billy Sautter 12, Nic Calhoun 12, D'Anzo Young 11, Bill Carvalho 11, Nate Murdie 11, Franc Schmoyer 11, Justin Harper 11, Brandon Beltran 11, Joey Brooks 11
CSAT: James Stephens 12, Jayden Gulledge 12, Deshawn Williams 12, Mark Greamen 12, Devin Ashley 12, James Tyes 12, Jalen Walker 12, Nazir Austin 12, Makhi Love 12, Daighlyon Willoughby 11, Lenard Harris 11, Kavon Wright 11, Frank Williams 11, Mel'vhon Thomas 11, Jeffrey Bellamy 11
Niagara Wheatfield: Anthony Ruffino 12, William Scullion 12, Ben Devantier 12, Nick Cloudin 12, Jared Domaradzki 12, Tom sommers 12, Davon Ware 11, Zach stanley 11, James McVay 11Jordan Parks 11, Cam Miller 11, Evan Rohring 11, Jordy Smith 11,
Newfane has gone from a young team to a seasoned bunch with six seniors who have played three varsity seasons. Max Weber & Kyle DeVoogel were each All-Centercourt Honorable Mention selections and First Team All-League following the 2017 season, and each enters the year near the 1,000 point mark. Weber is also closing in on 500 assists, while DeVoogel broke the school's steals record in a season last year. Medina is the league's two-time defending champ and ran the table against the competition last season. The Mustangs lost a pair of returning starters to out-of-town transfers, but still have some experience and talent back in the fold, led by Toledo football commit Jalin Cooper, who was a Top 25 All-Centercourt standout as a junior. Izaiah Rhim is also back after earning Second Team All-League as a sophomore, along with experienced guards Mason Lewis, Alex Allis, and Brendan Luthart. Wilson graduated four starters and will rely heavily on returning point guard Steve Frerichs' experience in his third varsity season. Mac Musall and Nate Fox are two players expected to make big contributions for the Lakemen. Roy-Hart's leading scorer, Jake Bruning (15.2 ppg) is back, along with backcourt mate Noah Kindron - a top defender and the team's floor general. Akron is coming off of a down year, but has several returning varsity players, along with the addition of underclassmen that were part of a successful JV team last year. The goal will be to continue to improve, play solid team basketball, and get some talented athletes to make basketball their priority. Albion is carrying three sophomores and will rely on its athletes stepping into bigger roles from last season to compete.
Newfane: Max Weber 12, Kyle DeVoogel 12, Chad Dunbar 12, Connor Hill 12, Brandon Gross 12, Drew Boudeman 12, Samuel Auernhamer 12, Thorne Geise 12, Cam Stanton 12, Trevor Moreland 12, Matt DiTullio 11, James Leibring 11, Jarrett Gilson 11, Jonah Wisniewski 11, Umaru Ibrihim 10
Medina: Jalin Cooper 12, Mason Lewis 12, Alex Allis 12, Brendan Luthart 12, Trenton Jones 12, Jorge Phillips 12, Izaiah Rhim 11, Daemon Shatara 11, Tavian Rhim 11, Tim Roy 11, Tanner Waldriff 11, Nate Sherman 10, Brian Fry 9, Tyler Chinn 9
Wilson: Jared Carney 12, Mac Musall 12, Matt Daul 12, Nate Fox 12, Steve Frerichs 11, Jake Miller 11, Ian Evans 11, Jon Littere 11, Brayden Thompson 10, Julian Andreola 10, Mitch Mahar 10, Alex Martinez 10
Roy-Hart: Jake Bruning 12, Jon Huntington 12, Noah Kindron 12, Brandon LaForme 12, Charlie Brigham 11, Charlie Bruning 11, Lance Krieger 11, Quinten Koch 11, Hunter Pratt 11, Ben White 11, Blake Halstead 11
Akron: Weylon Abrams 12, Owen Hill 12, Derek Holtz 12, Nelson Logan 12, Mason Schultz 12, Wyatt Martin 11, Stephen Wagner 11, Matt Delre 11, Nick Genovese 11, Carter Jensen 11, Tim Longwell 11, Donovan Nephew 11, Brandon Orr 11, Jake Siska 11, Adam Mietz 9
Albion: Hunter Webster 12, Bradley Sanford 12, Shyheim Jakes 12, Demetrius Gardner 12, Austin Dugan 12, Bryce Pritchard 11, Dylan Fox 11, Vincent Zona 11, Deyonci Farley 10, Kevin Hillman 10
Barker: no information provided by coach
CCAA I West
Olean returns to Class B with a young team that features 10 juniors and returns a pair of starters in Mike Schmidt and Matt Droney. Look for the Huskies to resemble a veteran group sooner than later behind a HOF coach in Jeff Anastasia who now sits at the top of WNY's all-time win list, and continue to value defense as their constant. Andrew Krenzer is now the head coach of Dunkirk, who played a thriller with East Aurora in the Class B1 semifinal last season and brings most of its key contributors back. The Marauders have speed, size, shooters, and depth, and will be led by Darnell Butts and Devaun Farnham DeJesus. Chautauqua Lake is coming off a break through season that saw the program earn a pair of firsts: a victory over league champion Olean and an overall Class C title to advance to regionals in Class C. The Thunderbirds return First Team All-State player Devin Pope, who enters the season with nearly 1,400 career points, along with Kyler Majka and Alex Gleason who also saw extended playing time last year. Fredonia will be led by Nate Shuart, who averaged 14 ppg & eight rebounds as a sophomore, along with dime-dropping point guard Reid Tarnowski. The Hillbillies gain 10 players from last season's successful JV team that will provide depth to play an uptempo style. Look for freshman guard Tyler Putney to contribute immediately. Southwestern will look for points in transition, led by junior scoring leader Alex Card, who already has two years of varsity experience under his belt entering this season. Maple Grove returns Carson Christ, along with the usual hard working athletes that are a staple of this team. Other coaches in CCAA I West have all mentioned the Red Dragons as a team to beware of this season.
Olean: Zach Parr 12, Luke Chapman 12, Jaeden Harris 12, Thomas Klein 12, Mike Schmidt 11, Josh Bihler 11, Matt Droney 11, Brian Ramarge 11, Jack Dwaileebe 11, Alex Weakfall 11, Jarrett Prizel 11, Cameron Kitchen-Perez 11, Rheyquon Davis 11, DeySeann Garey 11
Dunkirk: Darnell Butts 12, Devaun Farnham DeJesus 12, Issiah Velez 12, Andre Lockett 12, Noah Sobilo 12, Tyreese Kristan-Johnson 12, Felix Garcia 12, Jaziah Rivera 12, Sabien Smith 12, Kayin Odebralski 11, Jonathan Pedrogo 11, Ethan Yannie 11
Chautauqua Lake: Devin Pope 12, Collin Wood 12, JC McCroskey 12, Kyler Majka 11, Alex Gleason 11, Jack Adams 11, Bryan Anderson 11, Dean McKane 11, Trey Sauerland 11, Blane Thomas 11, Sebastian Wescott 11, Nate Adams 10, Michael Anderson 9
Fredonia: Matt Tintsman 12, Jared Kowalski 12, Reid Tarnowski 12, Brendan Plaister 12, Andrew Field 12, Nate Shuart 11, Nico Pucci 11, Trey Swartz 11, Parker Rivera 11, Keith Piper 11, Raziel Pearl 11, Owen Nicosia 11, Brayden Myers 11, Tyler Putney 9
Southwestern: Luke Heil 12, Derek Miller 12, Anthony Vezina 12, Max Kane 12, Saad Meer 12, Alex Card 11, Faizan Munir 11, Mayson Mathews 11, Jake Hnatyszyn 11, Cooper Pannes 10, Mitchell Pascarella 10
Maple Grove: no information provided by coach
Falconer: no information provided by coach
CCAA I East
Silver Creek failed to reach a championship game at JCC for the first time in seven seasons last year, and the team has made its goal to return there in March. Playing the up-tempo style the Black Knights are known for, along with the return of four starters and the addition of Gowanda transfer Jarmani Benton, should have them right back in the mix for both league and the section. Gowanda lost its second leading scorer to transfer, but returns its top gun in two-time All-Centercourt Honorable Mention selection Nate Brawdy, a long & smooth scorer with an all around skill set. They also gained a big man in Ture Hassler who is sure to give teams fits with his size & style of play. Randolph is the defending league and Class C2 champion after an inspired defensive performance in the sectional final against East last season. While the Cardinals only return one starter, they are fed by a JV squad that finished 18-2 last season. Tyler Hind, the team's playoff MVP, is back after averaging 17.6 ppg as a freshman, along with Isaac Wakefield and Andrew Bernard. Allegany-Limestone returns most of its team that played plenty of minutes last year. The Gators will be led by Sam Flanders and Sean McAfee, along with rising sophomores Casey Curran and Michael Wolfgang. For Salamanca, despite the graduation of nine seniors, the Warriors roster is hardly void of talent. With defense and rebounding remaining a constant, they will look to play a faster tempo and remain competitive in an always difficult league. Portville has just one starter back and only four seniors on the roster this season. Still, this Panthers squad brings length and athleticism to the table and looks to gain some quick seasoning.
Silver Creek: Chad Yochum 12, Tom Galfo 12, Jarmani Benton 12, Tucker Gates 11, Braeden Woleben 11, Ammon Jones 11, Jack Brennan 11, Dylan Snow 11, Dom Jamison 10
Gowanda: Nate Brawdy 12, Ryan John 12, Uriah John 12, Ture Hassler 12, Nolan Rosier 11, Max Lindgren 12, Matias Rikka 12, Nolan Rosier 12, Tristan Jensen 11, Matt Smuda 11, Damen MacLeod 11, Aaron Colantino 11, Jonas Lindgren 9
Randolph: Isaac Wakefield 12, Dakota Donaldson 12, Tres Sherman 12, Devin Foster 12, Calvin George 12, Andrew Bernard 11, Tyler Hind 10, Branson Morrison 10, Kaleb Steward 10, Gabe McCoy 8
Allegany-Limestone: Sean McAfee 12, Grant Davis 12, Roman Napoleon 12, Michael Nye 12, Tommy Moran 12, Sam Flanders 11, Conner Golley 11, Gabe Kellogg 11, Casey Curran 10, Michael Wolfgang 10, Gus Napoleon 10
Salamanca: Hercules Rasha 12, Braden Siebert 12, Mitchell Richardson 12, Nick Johnson 12, Tyler Hedlund 11, Ira John 11, Zariah Armstrong 11, Ryan Chiemara 11, Zach Helms 11, Hunter McAuley 11, Jarrett McKenna 10, Isaac Brown 9
Portville: Jonah Watson 12, Brendan Tobola 12, Kyle Murray 12, Noah Swartwout 12, Nathan Kloc 11, Dalton Nuffer 11, Noah Pullins 11, Dawson Havers 11, Caden Keim 11, Brandon Murray 11, Cameron Lott 11, Jarrett Mathes 11, Dalton Tobola 10
CCAA II West
Sherman returns Jared Gleason, who was a First Team selection in CCAA II West last season, along with Honorable Mention selection Tanner Ramsey. The Wildcats have been a force in the Class D ranks for years, reaching JCC for at least the past seven seasons. Westfield has two of the league's top performers in Shawn Horr & Julio Torres, along with three more players who saw significant minutes last season, and a player that will pose problems with his size - 6-5, 260 lb sophomore Andrew Baribeau. Brocton would like to play a quick tempo style and bring a little showtime to the scene, with Bubba Brown leading the cast of contributors. Clymer has six players returning from last years squad, four of which played significant time, and will start the season with a new point guard taking the reigns. Panama has just two players back this season with varsity experience. The team will have seven juniors who all played together on JV last season, along with sophomore Cameron Barmore, who is poised for a strong season. Frewsburg will be a young team with just two seniors and four returning players. The Bears are led by Tyler Marchincin at both ends of the floor, along with Quinn Conlan and Brad Nelson.
Sherman: Jared Gleason 12, Caleb Burick 12, Gavin Kahle 12, Tanner Ramsey 12, Darren Kopta 12, Collin Ramsey 11, Jordan Caron 11, Kameron Ayers 11, Austin Tallman 11, Mike Beatman 11, Reece Bates 11, Chance Meeder 11, Hunter Cooper 11, John Swabik 9
Westfield: Shawn Horr 12, Julio Torres 12, Brady Nusom 12, Cody Patterson 12, Christian Hammond 12, Brock Shuster 11, Coby Bills 11, Ryan Jafarjian 11, Evan Hauser 11, David Kircher 11, Matt See 11, Anthony Spann 11, Nathan Culbreth 10, Andrew Baribeau 10, Michael Johnosn 10
Brocton: Hunter Rizzo 12, Charles Rexford 12, Gabe Rosas 12, Daniel Siragusa 12, Bubba Brown 11, Riley Rivera 11, Jordan Kyrstofiak 11, Derrick Burns 11, Darien Booker 11, Gabe Morello 10, Caleb Chelton 10
Clymer: Corey Neckers 12, Dustin Neckers 12, Sam Wiggers 12, Jordan Wade 12, Spencer TeWinkle 12, Robert Overton 11
Panama: Tom Delahoy 12, Carter Morse 12, Isaac Lawson 11, Dominic Spontaneo 11, Jack Sperry 11, Jake Harper 11, AJ Troyer 11, Mitch Hovey 11, Ryan Joslyn 11, Cameron Barmore 10
Frewsburg: Tyler Marchincin 12, Bill Piazza 12, Jvyn Matve 11, Quinn Conlan 11, Dan Reinagel 11, Nolan Brink 11, Dylan Pearson 11, Conour Rodgers 11, Brad Nelson 10, Aaron Hair 10
Cassadaga Valley: no information provided by coach
CCAA II East
Franklinville earned a share of the league crown with rival Ellicottville, but won the rubber match at JCC which led to a state run in Class D that saw the Panthers reach the final four in Binghamton. The goal this season is clear - get back there, hope to finish what they started last season, and earn a state championship. Fourth Team All-Centercourt forward Sam Erickson is the team's leader, while Isaac Kopp and Darren Clark are major contributors. With the entire rotation back, it's possible the Panthers open the season ranked #1 in NYS Class D. Ellicottville also comes back this season in force after splitting the league with Franklinville. The Eagles also return all five starters and their top six players, led by 2017 Fourth Team All-Centercourt and two-time First Team All-State center Elliot Bowen. Griffin Chudy and point guard Austin Grinols, along with Bowen, will all be four-year varsity starters and are hoping to go out with a sectional title and beyond. Chris Buczek returns as head coach at Pine Valley, where he takes over for a team that has six seniors who all returned and will try to take advantage of the athleticism his roster offers. Forestville has just four players returning this season and plans to focus its efforts on the defensive end as the newcomers get up to speed at the varsity level.
Franklinville: Sam Erickson 12, Isaac Kopp 12, Darren Clark 12, Brock Blecha 12, Dylan Burton 12, Kaleb Watts 12, Conner Burrell 12, Ben Mooney 11,Malakhai Holiday 11, John Yan 11, Vinny Marchese 10, Josh Haskell 8
Ellicottville: Elliot Bowen 12, Griffin Chudy 12, Austin Grinols 12, Noah Stuve 12, Deric Leiper 12, Mitchell Sexton 12, Evan Palmatier 12, Robert Neumann 12, Parker Rieman 12, Cody Luder 12, Matt Grigsby 12, Vaugh Bomberry 12, Steven Rowland 11, Brenden Chudy 11, Brennan Finn 11
Pine Valley: Trent Mihalko 12, Zachary Mansfield 12, Stephen Crisanti 12, Bobby Clutter 12, Dakota Loop 12, Ben Distasio 12, Bayley Finch 11, Brady Andrews 11, Makiah Snyder 11, Ryan Snyder 11, Anthony Yaskow 11
Forestville: Lewis Markham 12, Hector West 12, Phillip Narraway 12, Travis Drozdziel 11, Nikolas Lelonek 11, Orlando Soto 11, Skyler Christian 11, Jordan Fores 11, Gavin Christian 10, Dalton Hastings 10, Javier West 9
North Collins: no information provided by coach
Cattaraugus/Little Valley: no information provided by coach
Health Sciences broke through in 2017 and gave the school its first Section VI champion in Class B2. The Falcons followed it up with a run to states in Class B. Davonte Gaines, Kameron Briggs, Tayvion Nelson, and Josiah Haygood will lead a deep lineup that looks to run teams into the ground with pace and pressure. Antwan Anderson takes the reigns at Global Concepts after serving as an assistant at Manhattan Cup finalist St. Francis. Junior Luis Mercado will lead the Gators, along with talented freshman Andre Goldsmith. At Oracle, Chris Castleberry takes the reigns as head coach and has an athletic team with the ability to get in your face defensively and push the ball up the floor offensively. The Phoenix will look to make a strong playoff push at the end of the season. BASCS, which stands for Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School, returns seniors Mian Tasnum and Trevor Mosley, and will be led by team captain Ibrahim Osmani.
Health Sciences: Davonte Gaines 12, Tayvion Nelson 12, Aquell Crosby 12, Shakir Cook 12, Tyseen Lott 11, Kameron Briggs 11, Josiah Haygood 11, Timothy Benton 11, Daciaire Riley 10, Kyjuan Inabinett 9, Javaughn Jones 9, Donovan Miller 9
Oracle: Joe Perez 12, Gary Marshall 12, Delmareion White 12, Bonifasi Luundo 12, Khalil Kabia 12, Anthony Halton 12, Deontay Johnson 12, Shareef Murray 12, Jacquan Steele 12, Raekwon Graves 11, Shontez Asturias 11, Atem Bol 11, Kyle Tyler 11
Global Concepts: Donovn Wallance 12, Bahadeen Aljari 12, Branden Coleman 12, Branden Gibson 12, Nick Kalimu 11, Luis Mercado 11, Mysome Johnson 11, Lee Kalimu 11, Jakiel Vamer 11, Anthony Miller 10, Andre Goldsmith 9
BASCS: Mian Tasnum 12, Trevor Mosley 12, Javier Melendez 12, Muhammad Maksudov 12, Ja’Quan Wingard 12, Amar Woodwiley 12, Josh Workman 12, Branton Morgan 12, Jayron Lewis 12, Ibrahim Osmani 11, Justin Hunt 11, Abdi Cali 11, Vote Wavote 11, Carlos Rodriquez 11, Adriel Powell 11, Sean Johnson 11
Maritime: Ray Rich 12, KeSean Weston 12, Malachi Grimes 12, Amed Morales 12, Angel Canules 12, Jaerek Sopinski 12, Ian Henderson 12, Isaiah Donmore 12, Jalill Carpenter 12, Tyler Wilson 11, Tyress Hall 10, John Blevins 10
Tapestry: no information provided by coach
Teams with New Coaches
Rich Jacob - Park
Jason Rowe - Timon
Pat Clarke - Nichols
Tom Ford - CCA
Des Randall - West Seneca West
John Reinholz - Hamburg
Todd Kleitz - Iroquois
Chris Juergens - Pioneer
Paul O'Connor - Eden
James Kane - Middle College
Nick Todaro - DaVinci
Andrew Krenzer - Dunkirk
Michael Brooks - Barker
David Kozar - Albion
Antwan Anderson - Global Concepts
Chris Castleberry - Oracle
Mike Ester - Tapestry
Kenmore West moves down from Class AA to Class A1
Kenmore East moves up from Class A2 to Class A1
East Aurora moves up from Class B1 to Class A2
Emerson moves up from Class B1 to Class A2
Olean moves down from Class A2 to Class B1
Lackawanna moves up from Class B2 to Class B1
Medina moves up from Class B2 to Class B1
Maritime moves up from Class C1 to Class B2
Riverside moves down from Class B1 to Class B2
Cleveland Hill moves up from Class C1 to Class B2
DaVinci moves up from Class C1 to Class B2
East moves down from Class C2 to Class D
Westfield moves down from Class C2 to Class D
Frewsburg moves down from Class C2 to Class D
** I checked back on last season's preseason poll and compared it to my final poll of 2017. I correctly placed seven of the top ten large schools in the preseason Top 10, and had six of the 10 small schools. My favorite part about doing this is being right and wrong all at the same time! While I nailed it by having Canisius at the top to start last year, I blew it by not having North Tonawanda in the large school top 10, and the Jacks finished as the highest ranked public school. Among the small schools, I started Health Sciences at #2 and the Falcons finished #1, but Class B Manhattan Cup champion St. Mary's was nowhere to be found in the preseason Top 10. The Lancers were #2 when the dust settled.
3. Niagara Falls
4. Williamsville South
5. St. Francis
6. South Park
9. West Seneca West
10. Williamsville North
1. Health Sciences
3. St. Mary's
6. Cardinal O'Hara
9. Middle College
10. Niagara Catholic
MMA Class A - Canisius
MMA Class B - Cardinal O'Hara
Yale Cup I - South Park
Yale Cup II - MST Seneca
ECIC I - West Seneca West
ECIC II - Williamsville South
ECIC III - Lake Shore
ECIC IV - Lackawanna
NFL - Niagara Falls
N-O - Newfane
CCAA I West - Olean
CCAA I East - Silver Creek
CCAA II West - Sherman
CCAA II East - Franklinville
Charters - Health Sciences
Manhattan Cup (A)
Last season, I predicted the Crusaders to win the Cup and it was the first time I got right since the 2013 season. They basically bring the farm back and there were a couple stud sophomores that jumped off the page at me when watching their JV team last year. If they enter Canisius' already loaded rotation, along with Austin James being back in the fold, I like my chances. That said, I expect Park to be the Crusaders' equal this year - and it should make for three epic battles...like the ones we watched two seasons ago.
** Canisius **
Manhattan Cup (B)
I went with Nichols in this spot last season and was oh so close to being right - but it was St. Mary's that prevailed in a thrilling final. With the talent the Lancers have back, they have to be the favorite to repeat in my opinion. But the Class B race should be as fun as its been in years with four teams sitting on some real talent and hungry to knock the snot out of each other. I'll go with the Lancers, but won't be shocked to see them bounced in the semifinals by O'Hara, Nichols, or Niagara Catholic.
** St. Mary's **
Final Four to reach Buffalo State:
Niagara Falls, Williamsville North, Clarence, & Lockport
** Niagara Falls **
Final Four to reach Buffalo State:
Williamsville South, McKinley, West Seneca West, & Grand Island
** Williamsville South **
Final Four to reach Buffalo State:
South Park, Amherst, Lake Shore, & Maryvale
** South Park **
Final Four to reach Buffalo State:
Olean, Dunkirk, Newfane, & Lackawanna
** Olean **
Final Four to reach Buffalo State:
Health Sciences, Middle College, Gowanda, & Cleveland Hill
** Health Sciences **
Final Four to reach JCC:
Chautauqua Lake, Randolph, Silver Creek, & Maple Grove
** Silver Creek **
Final Four to reach JCC:
Ellicottville, Franklinville, East, & Sherman
** Franklinville **