Scottsdale 2018-19 boys basketball preview

Desert Mountain guard Dylan McGirt passes the ball into the lane during Desert Mountain’s 77-70 win over Chaparral Friday, Dec. 15. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

The boys basketball season is underway across Scottsdale with many teams playing several games already ahead of the holiday break.

The Independent reached out to boys basketball coaches in the area to get their thoughts on the ongoing season and what they need to do to have a successful season.

All statistics from 2017-18 provided are via maxpreps.com and entries with no question-and-answer segments are because the Independent did not receive a response to a questionnaire sent to coaches.

Arcadia Titans

4A Desert Sky

2017-18 record: 18-10, 5-3 region (Reached play-in round in 5A playoffs)

Coach: Stephen Danford, 10 years experience (seventh year as head coach at Arcadia)

Top returners: James Hodge-Green, Sr. 6-0 guard (9.6 ppg, 2.9 apg); Jake Albright, Sr. 6-0 guard (1.5 apg)

What’s your team’s best attribute entering the season?

Shooting

What will your team need to improve on for this season to be a success?

Rebounding and Defense

Who are your team leaders? Why?

Carter Murphy — High academic and character kid, accepted basketball scholarship to Air Force Academy, James Hodge-Green; 3 year varsity player, strong leader, another high academic and character kid

Who are newcomers to the varsity team who could make an impact?

Jake Murphy, Carter Murphy, Max Majerle – Great athlete’s but even better kids and families. They bring playing experience and leadership to our program.

What needs to happen for your team to consider this season a success?

Region Championship, deep playoff run

If applicable, what are your thoughts on the new region and classification?

I am fine with where we are, our school isn’t huge so 4A fits us. We as a program can’t worry about things we can’t control; classification, schedule, region etc. We just get ready to play and have some fun along the way!

Chaparral Firebirds

6A Desert Valley

2017-18 record: 14-14, 5-3 region (Reached first round in 5A playoffs)

Coach: Dan Peterson, seventh year as head coach at Chaparral

Chaparral guard Blaise Threatt (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Top returners: Blaise Threatt, Sr. 6-4 guard (11.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4 apg, 2.2 spg); Alem Husienovic, Jr. 6-3 guard (10.9 ppg, 1.5 3pt made per game); Alec Bryan, Sr. 6-6 wing (10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 3pt made per game)

What’s your team’s best attribute entering the season?

We have a veteran team this year. Many of our players have varsity experience and compete with local club teams during the spring/summer.

What will your team need to improve on for this season to be a success?

We will need to defend better at all positions.

Who are your team leaders? Why?

We have several returning varsity players who will be key contributors. They have experience and skill at their positions which will help to steady our team and help us to be competitive. These players include: Alec Bryan (senior), Blaise Threatt (senior), Alem Husienovic (junior) and Jorden Josephs (junior).

Who are newcomers to the varsity team who could make an impact?

There are several players who will make varsity contributions for us. They are: Jake TenBerge (sophomore), Marcus TenBerge (sophomore) and Markes Siekman (sophomore).

What needs to happen for your team to consider this season a success?

Our definition of success is making progress every single day either through practice, film or game time. If we stay focused and continue to encourage each other in aspects of the game, then success will be evident in our growth. Winning is simply a result of preparation and performance. As a coach, success will be defined by the growth of each player that leaves my program at the end of the season both on the court and in the community. Hopefully, we continue to mature and influence them to make positive choices.

If applicable, what are your thoughts on the new region and classification?

I like that we have moved up to the 6A division and I believe that our section is very competitive. That is great for us. We always want to compete against the best.

Coronado Dons

3A Metro East Region

2017-18 record: 11-13, 3-7 region (Did not reach 4A playoffs)

Coach: Mitch Armour (Second year at Coronado)

Top returners: (Editor’s Note: No stats or a roster available on maxpreps.com)

Desert Mountain forward Brandon Kron  (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Desert Mountain Wolves

5A Northeast Valley Region

2017-18 record: 16-13, 5-5 region (Reached first round of 6A playoffs)

Coach: Mark Schumaker (Second year at Desert Mountain)

Top returners:

Scoring: Brandon Kron, Sr. forward (13.2 ppg); Dylan McGirt, Sr. guard (5.4 ppg)

Rebounding: Kron (5.6 rpg); McGirt (3 rpg)

Assists: McGirt (3.6 apg); Kron (1.3 apg)

Horizon Huskies

5A Northeast Valley

2017-18 record: 17-9, 7-3 region (Reached first round of 6A playoffs)

Coach: Jerry Conner (Fifth year at Horizon)

Top returners:

Scoring: Aidyn Albright, Sr. 6-2 guard (17.7 ppg); JD Feagles, Jr. 6-1 guard (7.9 ppg)

Rebounding: Albright (5.2 rpg); Feagles (3.7 rpg)

Assists: Albright (7.8 apg); Parker Korbin, Jr. 6-0 guard (2.5 apg)

Notre Dame Prep Saints

5A Northeast Valley Region

2017-18 record: 8-16, 1-7 region (Did not reach 5A playoffs)

Coach: Kyle Diemer (Fourth year at Notre Dame Prep)

Top returners:

Scoring: Skylar Certo, Sr. 6-2 (18.3 ppg); Luke Roberts, Sr. 6-4 (5.0 ppg)

Rebounding: Roberts (5.4 rpg); Certo (4.6 rpg)

Assists: Certo (1.6 apg); James Garrison, Sr. 5-10 (1.4 apg)

The 2A state champion Rancho Solano boys basketball team. (Submitted Photo)

Rancho Solano Prep Mustangs

2A Metro Region

2017-18 record: 27-5, 10-0 region (2A state champions)

Coach: Aaron Trigg (Sixth year at Rancho Solano Prep)

Top returners:

Scoring: Kiimani Holt, Jr. 6-4 guard (13.7 ppg); Tyson Legner, Jr. 6-2 guard (7.5 ppg)

Rebounding: Hunter Ruck, Jr. 6-9 forward (7.1 rpg); Holt (4.9 rpg)

Assists: Legner (3.3 apg); Holt, Sr. 6-1 guard (2.0 apg)

Saguaro Sabercats

4A Desert Sky Region

2017-18 record: 12-14, 3-5 region (Reached 4A play-in round)

Coach: Bob La Rue (20th year at Saguaro)

Top returners:

Scoring: Kyler Mikkelsen, Sr. 6-6 forward (4.0 ppg)

Rebounding: Mikkelsen (4.7 rpg)

Assists: Mikkelsen (1.4 apg)

Game Notes: The Sabercats graduated a large senior class from the previous season.

Scottsdale Prep Spartans

2A Central Region

2017-18 record: 22-8, 6-4 region (Reached 2A quarterfinals)

Coach: Mark Owens (Third year at Scottsdale Prep)

Top returners: (Editor’s Note: No stats available on maxpreps.com)

Seniors: Ben Bogosian, 5-8 guard; Jake Nagel, 6-6 guard; Sean Holford, 5-11 guard; David Tooker, 6-3 forward; Ralph Mersiowsky, 6-5 forward; Jacob Polk, 5-9 forward

Editor’s Note: Josh Martinez compiled stats and quotes.

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