Boys’ basketball kicks off: No clear favorite

Montrose’s Cole Wheaton, right, tries to get around Blue Ridge’s Matt Principe. Both teams will be involved in a heated Lackawanna League Division III schedule this season. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF


Times-Shamrock Writer

A new season of boys’ basketball action is set to kick off in Susquehanna County, and there is no clear-cut favorite in Lackawanna League Division III.

Not even a 7-footer makes a team a lock to win the title, with coaches split on whether Lackawanna Trail and junior center Steve Miller will have enough to hold off Blue Ridge and Montrose to win the title.

Just the presence of Miller should be an intimidating factor in the Division III race, but not enough to give Trail a hands-down edge.

While Miller led the Lions in scoring at 15.3, the Lions graduated their next three scorers. Returnees Tanner Holmes and Matt Lochen will be called upon to add some scoring punch to the lineup.

Blue Ridge earns a nod from the division’s coaches for one reason, their guard play which one coach referred to as “awesome.”

Alex Cardoza returns to run the point for the Raiders. He is also the top returning scorer.

Dylan Pruitt and Matt Principe will also play important roles for the Raiders.

While Montrose was hit by graduation, it still returns one of the hardest-working players in the league in Colby Major, who averaged over a dozen points a year ago. Bill Stranburg is also back to add an outside threat for the Meteors.

Team Capsules:

Blue Ridge 

Nickname: Raiders

Home court: Blue Ridge High School

Last season: 5-9

Head coach: Brian Woodruff

Returning starters: Alex Cardoza, Jr., G; Dylan Pruitt, Sr., Fwd; Matt Principe, Sr., G.

Other returnees: Jesse Pruitt, Jr., G; Sawyer Dearborn, So., G/Fwd; Chris Carlsen, So., Fwd.

Newcomers: Dan Kempa, Sr., Fwd; Curtis Miller, Sr., Fwd.

Elk Lake

Nickname: Warriors

Home court: Mike “Red” Wallace Court

Last season: 10-4

Head coach: John Warnero

Returning starters: Joe Woolcock, Sr., G; Mark Bush, Sr. Fwd.

Other returnees: Bryan Grosvenor, Sr., G; Bo Bushnell, Sr. G; Bobby Benscoter, Sr., Fwd; Ryan Wilson, Jr., Fwd; Matt Cuomo, Jr., G; Robert Heft, So., G.

Newcomers: Ben Jones, So., Fwd; Jason Vermeulen, So., Fwd; Matt Horvath, So., G; Tanner Reyan, Fr., G; Matt Woolcock, Fr., G; Nick Dudock, Fr., G; Tyler Arnold, Fr., G; Pete McGee, Fr., Fwd; Pete McGee, Fr., Fwd; David Cornielius, Fr., G; Antuan Robinson, Fr., G; Austin Bennett, Fr., G; Zach Sigirci, So. G.

Forest City

Nickname: Foresters

Home court: Julis Prezelski Gynmasium

Last season: 2-12

Head coach: Carl Imbt

Returning: Joe Caruso, Sr. G/Fwd; Adam Dix, Sr. Fwd; Zach Mendoza, Sr., G; Kevin Swartz, Sr., Fwd; Bob Noone, Sr., Fwd; Dylan Walsh, Jr., Fwd; Vince DeLucy, So., G/Fwd; David Cavalieri, Jr., G/Fwd.

Newcomers: Chris James, So., Fwd/C; Alex Kresock, Fr., G; Logan Fitzsimmons, Jr., Fwd; Ricky Yankauskas, Fr., G; David Smith, Sr., Fwd.


Nickname: Meteors

Home court: Montrose High School

Last season: 12-2

Head coach: Todd Smith

Returning starters: Billy Stranburg, Sr., G; Colby Major, Jr., Fwd.

Other returnees: Cole Wheaton, Sr., Fwd; Steve Squires, Sr., C; Danny Simons, Sr., G; Tom Lewis, Jr., Fwd; Jordan Smith, Jr., G; Chris Preston, Sr., Fwd.

Newcomers: Cameron Dean, Fr., C.

Mountain View

Nickname: Eagles

Home court: Mountain View High School

Last season: 9-5

Head coach: Lawrence Tompkins

Returning starters: Chris Herman, Sr., Fwd; Julian Williams, Sr., G.

Other returnees: Karch Frantz, Sr., G.

Newcomers: Logan Mack, Sr., Fwd; Joel Madas, Jr., Fwd; Jon Chipelo, Jr., G; Nate Chipelo, Jr., G/Fwd; Gary Smith, Jr., G; Mike Wakalowski, Jr., G; David Lukens, Jr., G/Fwd.


Nickname: Sabers

Home court: Susquehanna High School

Last season: 1-13

Head coach: Scott Glidden

Returning starters: Andrzej Tomczyk, So. G; Austin Cowperthwait, Jr., G/Fwd; Taylor Cundey, Sr., Fwd.

Other returnees: Danny Biegert, So., G.

Newcomers: Brandon Soden, Fr., G; Mark Zappe, Fr., Fwd; Evan Stone, Fr. Fwd; James Cody Nielsen, So., G; Zack Vaughn, So., Fwd.

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