Boys' Basketball

PPR SPORTS CVAC BOYS Preview 1207
Beekmantown's Keegan Ryan goes up for a shot during a game against AuSable Valley last year. Ryan led the league in scoring last year as a junior. (P-R PHOTO/ROB FOUNTAIN)

Tight competition again in CVAC boys' hoops

Editor’s note: Coaching forms were not received from Saranac Lake and Ticonderoga in time for the preview.

It was a battle in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference Division I boys’ basketball a year ago, with Plattsburgh High School winning the title with a 13-2 record and four other teams finishing with 9-6 records or better.

The competition should be just as interesting and close this year.

AuSable Valley had the best record in the league at 14-0 last year while winning the Division II championship and should be a force to be reckoned with despite the loss of some key players. The Patriots also make the move from Class B to Class C for the Section VII playoffs.

Plattsburgh High returns as the defending Section VII Class B champion, and Seton Catholic in Class C.

Division I

Beekmantown

The Eagles, 9-6 in league play a season ago, will be led by 6-foot-7 senior center Keegan Ryan, who led the team and league in scoring a year ago. Ryan has put in a lot of hard work during the off season and will be a huge part of what Beekmantown does.

Tyler Begor, Greg Manney and Sam Trombly are returning guards who have experience and who are much improved on the offensive end. The Eagles return seven players and will be helped by three newcomers who are 6 feet, 1 inch or taller — Nikolas Koktowski, Jacob Remchuk and Justin Stevens.

The concern on the team is the lack of depth with only a 10-player roster. It is important for the Eagles to stay healthy and academically eligible.

Players lost

Chris McIlroy, Zach Towle, Seth Pelkey, Dylan Riley, Logan Recor, Keon Jahanbakhsh.

Players returning

Keegan Ryan, Tyler Begor, Sam Trombly, Brandon Rabideau, Pawandeep Singh, Greg Manney, Brennan Pelkey.

Newcomers

Nikolas Koktowski, Jacob Remchuk, Justin Stevens.

Northeastern Clinton

The Cougars, 10-5 last year in league play, are very young with guard/forward Tom Bedard the only senior on the team.

Bedard and junior Rodney Grimshaw are the lone returning starters, while junior Harley Tavernia started some games a season ago. Sophomore Austin Tetreault and junior Jon Filion also are back.

Rebounding will be a key to the Cougars’ success, along with how quickly the new varsity players can step into quality roles.

Players lost

Rob Armstrong, Alex Davison, Mike Manor, Latrelle Beasley, Kevin Sousa.

Players returning

Tom Bedard, Rodney Grimshaw, Harley Tavernia, Austin Tetreault, Jon Filion.

Newcomers

Adam Khater, Calan Deuso, Garrett Begore, Matt LaFave, Brendan Boutin.

Peru

The Indians, who finished 9-6 in the league last season, have a solid nucleus of returning players.

Junior guard Conor Casey, senior guard Hunter Bruno, senior center Bret Boyer and senior forward Tim Remillard started for Peru a year ago. Junior forward Mackenzie LaRocque also returns and is expected to start.

The Indians bring back seven players in all, and there are six seniors on the squad. The Indians expect to get strong guard play and have good athleticism and speed. Rebounding and stopping opponents from penetrating is the concern heading into the season.

Players lost

Taylor Rock, Mike Holdridge, Ben Chen, Connor Good.

Players returning

Nick Demarais, Conor Casey, Alex Barrett, Hunter Bruno, Bret Boyer, Mackenzie LaRocque, Tim Remillard.

Newcomers

Ian Spear, Rivelino Hendricks, Tyler Lemza, Kyle McCarthy.

Plattsburgh

The Hornets, who went 13-2 in league play, have a good amount of muscle down low and speed on the outside. Plattsburgh graduated three starters, and the returning players will be expected to play large roles. Team defense will be important, and the Hornets will need to control the boards in order to be successful.

Junior Garrett Frady is a two-year varsity player who will run the offense. Frady and senior forward Nate Harrington return as starters. Senior guards Brooks Kelley and Damon LaBorde also are back and projected as starters, along with varsity newcomer Robert Matthews, a junior forward.

Harrington, Matthews, newcomer T.J. LaPoint and returner Mike O’Connor are all post players who will be expected to dominate the paint, while Damon LaBorde and varsity newcomer Taoufik Maknani are both quick and expected to lead the way defensively. Having the players accept their roles on the team is key.

Players lost

Tevin Conners, Rob Fout, Will Love, Ab Maknani, Ethan Votraw, Keenan Hunt-Stone.

Players returning

Hakim Bouzidane, Garrett Frady, Nate Harrington, Brooks Kelley, Damon LaBorde, Mike O’Connor.

Newcomers

Devin Bryant, Jah-Kim Dargan, Ryan Desrocher, Adam LaBorde, T.J. LaPoint, Taoufik Maknani, Robert Matthews, Alec Odnoha.

Saranac

The Chiefs are coming off a 9-6 season in Division I play and return five players who are all expected to start.

Jeremy Bullis, a 6-foot-4 senior, enters his fourth year on the varsity, while Connor Christopherson, a 6-foot-3 senior, enters his third year. Both have been exceptional leaders during the preseason.

Seniors Austin Medeiros, Nick Daniels and Michael Conway will also start. A well-rounded lineup and pressure defense are strengths, and the coaching staff has been encouraged by the team’s perimeter play and shooting. The Chiefs have some talented athletes coming off the bench but lack varsity experience.

Players lost

Jake Liberty, Kasey Favreau, Joe Tobin, Ryan Kerner, Ben Weightman, Ryan St. Clair, Jordan Gillespie.

Players returning

Connor Christopherson, Austin Medeiros, Michael Conway, Jeremy Bullis, Nick Daniels.

Newcomers

Aaron Cross, Zach O’Neil, John Maye, Caleb Keysor, Cody Plumadore, Dylan Christopherson.

Division II

AuSable Valley

The Patriots return four varsity players from last year’s championship team. Junior guard Shane Douglas, senior forward Austin Depo, senior guard Nate Casey and junior forward Brandon Brooks will start, along with varsity newcomer John Goodnough, a junior guard/forward.

AuSable Valley will have depth, quickness and defensive tenacity. Douglas will run the show offensively and defensively, while Casey will provide solid defense and outside shooting. Goodnough is extremely quick and always around the ball. Depo, a power forward, is a hard-working rebound machine who can also hit the outside shot. Brooks is a swingman with a soft touch from the outside and a physical presence inside.

Kyle Coolidge, Zach Cosgrove, Austin Facteau, Connor Kennedy, Nick McDonald and Riley Peck will provide depth. The concerns entering the season are free-throw shooting, limiting turnovers and lack of size.

Players lost

Brody Douglass, Connor Manning, Nick Rhino, John Hickey.

Players returning

Shane Douglas, Austin Depo, Nate Casey, Brandon Brooks.

Newcomers

Kyle Coolidge, Zach Cosgrove, Austin Facteau, John Goodnough, Connor Kennedy, Nick McDonald, Riley Peck.

Moriah

The Vikings, who lost a lot of close games last season, have just one returning starter in senior guard Jessup Calkins. Senior forward Derek Brassard and senior guard Mike Mero also return and will start this year. Those three will have to be the leaders on the court.

Varsity newcomers Tyler Pratt, a junior guard, and Adam Jaquish, a 6-foot-4 freshman center, round out the starting unit and will need to provide scoring and rebounding. Newcomers Ryan Shpur, Wesley Belzer, Austin McKiernan and Dylan Blaise will need to contribute off the bench.

Rebounding and team speed are expected to be strengths. But with only five returning players and eight varsity newcomers, Moriah will have to overcome the lack of varsity experience.

Players lost

Landon Cross, Carlo Calabrese, Tim Breeyear, Jim Curran, Keith Ida, Thomas Slattery, Cole Gaddor (injured).

Players returning

Jessup Calkins, Derek Brassard, Mike Mero, Dakota Marcotte, Brian Mauran.

Newcomers

Austin McKiernan, Dylan Blaise, Ryan Shpur, Tyler Pratt, Skyler Graham, Wesley Belzer, Billy Petro, Adam Jaquish.

Northern Adirondack

The Bobcats will look to improve with four returning starters — senior guard Colby Sayah, senior guard/forward Daniel Burger, 6-foot-5 junior forward/center Brady Smart and senior guard/forward Ryan Paiser.

Northern Adirondack has a 12-player roster, with varsity newcomer Dylan LaBarge, a junior guard, rounding out the starting five.

The effort has been there in practice, and the Bobcats have shown a willingness to get better.

Players lost

Jesse Smith, Alec Staley.

Players returning

Colby Sayah, Daniel Burger, Brady Smart, Ryan Paiser, Colby Garrand, Jared Nichols, Sean Byron.

Newcomers

Dylan LaBarge, Josh Langlois, Alden Kerr, Kane Cayea, Brian Heath.

Seton Catholic

Junior returning starters Adam Tedford and Keagen Briggs will need to lead by example for the first-year varsity players to come along.

Junior Chris Kustos came off the bench last season and will have to play a big role this year. Three varsity newcomers will also be counted on heavily — sophomore Kaden Baugh at point guard, along with junior Nic Favreau, who is key on the boards, and junior David Lafountain, who must give Seton Catholic quality minutes off the bench as the team’s sixth man. Senior guard Joey LaFranca is recovering from an injury and will help out if he can get back before the end of the season.

Once again, lack of numbers is the concern. The Knights have just six players who have played basketball before and will be hurt immensely if there are injuries or illness to those players.

Players lost

Carson Hynes, Ed Larow, Carlos Alvarez, Caleb Larson.

Players returning

Adam Tedford, Keagen Briggs, Joey Lafranca, Chris Kustos.

Newcomers

Kaden Baugh, David Lafountain, Nic Favreau, Chen Da, Tony Ge, William Zhou.

Published: