10 TO KNOW
Lucas Adams, Frederick: The double-digit scorer heads a talented returning roster that has the Warriors believing they will make noise in the Tri-Valley League.
Ben Beauchamp, Monarch: The Coyotes' point guard left defenders howling last season as his team's second leading scorer and its top assist producer.
Colin Cantwell, Shining Mountain: The forward averaged a double-double last year and heads a talented Lions squad licking its chops for a 1A title.
Max Clark, Peak to Peak: The forward was the second-leading scorer for the Pumas a year ago and brings a ton of leadership to a talented squad.
Colton Dabney, Skyline: The 6-foot-6 post is about the biggest thing to happen to the Falcons in a spell and has the team hungry for a repeat visit to state.
Marcus Johnson, Longmont: Sizable post will try to help the Trojans regain their swagger after graduation took its toll on the team's roster.
Robert Keown, Alexander Dawson: The guard finished last season averaged 10 points per game last year and looks to cause foes plenty of trouble on the perimeter this year.
Ryan Lozinski, Mead: The Mavericks' sizable wing can wrack up the points and has his team primed for a jump up to the 4A Tri-Valley League.
Spenser Reeb, Broomfield: The Eagles big man is expected to have a breakout season at both ends of the court and give his team a dominating presence at the post.
Brent Wrapp, Fairview: The Knights' lone returning starter has the moves to run his squad's system and get it deep into the 5A state brackets.
5A, 4A state tournaments begin Feb. 26; championship March 16.
3A state tournament begins March 8; championship March 16.
2A, 1A Sweet 16 completed by March 9; championship March 16.
ALEXANDER DAWSON MUSTANGS
Coach: Jeff Youngstrom, second year.
Last year: 10-12, 3-5 in 2A Mile High Conference; lost in 2A district tournament play.
Returning starters: Shawn O'Grady (C, Sr., 6-4); Tom Walker (F, Sr., 6-4); Robby Keown (G, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Tyler Morley (G, Jr., 6-0); Cam Connor (G, Jr., 5-10).
Outlook: With a solid core of returning starters, senior-heavy Dawson has high expectations for Youngstrom's second year. The Mustangs aim to take a crack at the Mile High Conference title and will rely on size to help them get there. O'Grady and Walker each bring experience and 6-foot-4 frames to the team.
Coach: Eric Eisenhard, second season.
Last year: 8-15, 5-11 in 5A Front Range League.
Returning starters: Marc Krimstock (G, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Jonah Charnick (F, Sr., 6-4); Garrett Turner (G, So., 5-10); R.J. Lampert (F, Sr., 6-2).
Outlook: Boulder has its work cut out in Eisenhard's second season as coach. The team returns only one starter from last year's campaign. And the Front Range League appears salty as ever. Eisenhard is optimistic about the Panthers' chances, having seen plenty of improvement over the offseason.
Coach: Terrence Dunn, fifth season.
Last year: 25-2, 14-0 in 4A Northern League; lost in the 4A state semifinals.
Returning starters: Spenser Reeb (F, Sr., 6-5); Dan Perse (F, Sr., 6-5); Evan Kihn (G, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Alec McLain (F, Jr., 6-4); Brandon Hull (C, Sr., 6-5); Tarren Macrae (G, Sr., 6-1); Parker Ericson (G, Sr., 6-1).
Outlook: Broomfield lost some key players from last year's run to the state semifinals, but that has done little to dim the Eagles' expectations. The team believes it has Final Four potential once again and will turn to a well-seasoned senior class to lead the way. Expect the Eagles' game to move up top behind big men Reeb and Perse.
Coach: Brandon Gullicksrud, first season.
Last year: 8-15, 5-9 in 4A Northern League; lost in first round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Steven Jordan (G/F, Sr., 6-4).
Others to watch: Tony Aguirre (G, Sr., 5-7); Trey Puckett (G, Jr., 5-10); Lance Matosky (G/F, Sr., 6-2); Kyle Taudien (G, Jr., 5-10); Sam Esler (G, Sr., 5-10); Nick Milano (F, Sr., 6-2); Trent Koch (F, Jr., 6-2); Alex Wilkinson (G, Sr., 5-10); Will Rowsam (G, Sr., 5-8); Jordan Bradford (G, Sr., 5-9).
Outlook: Centaurus hoops welcomes a new coach, with former assistant Gullicksrud taking the reins. The new coach has his work cut out in getting the team up to speed after the graduation of four starters. But Gullisksrud is optimistic his senior-heavy squad can once again make the state tournament and maybe even make a deep push.
Coach: Tim Leahy, third season.
Last year: 2-21, 1-11 in 4A Tri-Valley League.
Returning starters: Dylan Brink (G, Jr., 6-0); Coltin Brink (G, Jr., 5-7); Jesse Tallman (P, Jr., 6-3); Kyle Leahy (G, So., 6-3).
Others to watch: Blake Baker (G/F, Sr., 6-3); Jake Gilmont (G/F, Sr., 6-1); Tyler Lucas (G, Sr., 6-0); Joel Smith (G, Jr., 5-8); Reece Melton (C, Jr., 6-4); Bret Egan (F, Jr., 6-1); Cody Charlesworth (G, Jr., 5-8).
Outlook: Erie is once again a young team, but certainly not as young as a year ago when it fielded four sophomores and a freshman. The more experienced squad has higher expectations entering its third year in Class 4A competition. And it has nearly every important piece back to make a run.
Coach: Frank Lee, 16th season.
Last year: 23-2, 16-0 in 5A Front Range League; lost in 5A state quarterfinals.
Returning starters: Brent Wrapp (G, Sr., 6-3).
Others to watch: Trevor McQueeney (G, Sr., 6-1); Gabe Tierney (G, Jr., 6-3); Miles Mackenzie (C, Jr., 6-3); Dakota Pilkington (G, Sr., 6-2); Luke Schneider (C, Sr., 6-0); Matt Twist (G, Jr., 5-10); Sam Martin (C, Jr., 6-4); Cubby Lane (G, Sr., 5-10); Alex Waters (C, Sr., 6-0); Taylor Hopkins (G, Sr., 6-2); Chad Rachubinski (C, Sr., 6-2); Charlie Balter (G, Sr., 6-0); Austin Sparks (C, Sr., 6-8).
Outlook: The cupboard might be nearly bare when it comes to returning starters at Fairview, but not when it comes to talent. The Knights' lone returner, Wrapp, should have a strong cast around him as the team matures over the course of the season. There is little doubt in Lee's mind his team will once again make a deep run into the state tournament.
FAITH BAPTIST PIONEERS
Coach: Jared Gunderson, seventh season.
Last year: 12-8, 9-6 in the Front Range Christian Athletic Association.
Returning starters: Adrian Pavlov (PG, Sr., 5-9); Anthony Pavlov (G, Sr., 5-9).
Others to watch: David Stadnick (G, Jr., 5-10); Jared Lotz (C, Fr., 5-11); Brandon Smith (W, Fr., 5-1).
Outlook: Faith Baptist aims to improve on its fifth-place FRCAA finish of a year ago and will turn to its seniors to lead the way. Twin brothers Adrian and Anthony Pavlov are expected to anchor the quick and athletic Pioneers. But the team will have to mature quickly, with two freshmen slotted to see significant minutes.
Coach: Larry Frank, fifth season.
Last year: 12-12, 9-5 in 4A Tri-Valley League; lost in first round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Lucas Adams (G, Sr., 6-0); Ryan Miller (C, Sr., 6-2); Nathan Harrison (G, Sr., 6-0); Jayden McGraw (C, Jr., 6-4); Christian Martinez (G, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Alex Therrien (G, Jr., 6-4); Austin Rivera (G, Jr., 6-1); Joe Wise (P, Sr., 6-4); Zach Gomez (G, Sr., 6-1); Michael Broz (G, Jr., 6-2); Chris Burgess (G, Sr., 5-11).
Outlook: Frederick basketball enters the season with high expectations, returning five of its six top scorers and rebounders from last season. Frank believes he will be coaching one of his most athletic teams and one of the most experienced. But pushing past the first round of the state tournament has its challenges, namely the Warriors sharpening their shooting.
HOLY FAMILY TIGERS
Coach: Pete Villecco, third season.
Last year: 16-11, 5-4 in 3A Metro League; lost in 3A state semifinals.
Returning starters: Chuck Hollwedel (PG, Sr., 6-0); David Sommers (G, Jr., 6-1).
Others to watch: Jarron Sprenger (F, Sr., 6-3); Ryan Willis (G, Jr., 6-2); Devlin Granberg (W, Jr., 6-2).
Outlook: Holy Family shocked much of Class 3A with a run to the state Final Four last season. The team aims to build on that success this year, despite losing a strong senior class. The Tigers have three seniors, but Villecco expects his team to be young overall. As always, the Metro League will prove to be one of 3A's toughest conferences and will test Holy Family early and often.
Coach: Gunnar Johnson, third season.
Last year: 7-17, 7-9 in 5A Front Range League; lost in first round of state tournament.
Returning starters: Mitch McCall (G, Sr., 6-1); Eyo Mengist (G, Jr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Nico Ball (G, Jr., 5-7); Jacob Robyer (W, Jr., 6-1); Andrew Hebel (G, Jr., 5-10); Travis Baum (G, Sr., 5-10).
Outlook: With a ton of new faces dotting the court, Johnson aims to revamp Legacy's offense and defense. The coach plans to overcome the team's lack of height with an up-tempo attack and defense. The team will turned to returning guards McCall and Mengist to set the tone for the team.
Coach: Jeff Kloster, 19th season.
Last year: 16-8, 10-4 in 4A Northern League; lost in second round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Marcus Johnson (C, Sr., 6-3); Felipe Alaniz (PG, Sr., 5-7).
Others to watch: Austin Kemp (W, Jr., 6-3); R.J. Donaldson (W, Sr., 6-2); Justinian Jessup (W/PG, Fr., 6-1).
Outlook: Longmont is getting a slew of new players up to speed this season, with only Johnson and Alaniz back on the roster. Kloster plans on stressing defense and rebounding to help the Trojans find their identity.
LONGMONT CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
Coach: Jerry Martin, 13th season.
Last year: 8-2, 3-5 in 2A Mile High League; lost in district tournament.
Returning starters: Caleb Flowers (F, Sr., 6-0); James Dick (F, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Cole Moffitt (F, Sr., 6-1); Aaron Rodarte (G, Sr., 5-10); Josiah Bolyard (PG, Jr., 5-10); Dylan Wehrli (G, Jr., 6-0); Joe Leetch (F, Sr., 6-0); Cade Martin (G, Fr., 5-4); Lonnie Kee (G, Jr., 5-11).
Outlook: Having lost three starters, Longmont Christian needs some players to step up to fill in an offensive void. Forwards Flowers and Dick are expected to form the core of the team and will help the Warriors draw on their athleticism. The team does not have a ton of height, so it might have its work cut out in the front court.
Coach: Travis Crispe, second season.
Last year: 7-17, 1-10 in 2A/3A Patriot League; lost in 2A regional tournament.
Returning starters: James Hinker (F, Sr., 6-3); Zach Christiansen (G, So, 6-2).
Others to watch: Ryan Boucher (F, Sr., 6-2); Justin Boldt (G, Sr., 6-0); Macrae Falce (C, Sr., 6-3).
Outlook: Lyons enjoyed plenty of unexpected success last season, coming within 2 minutes of pushing into the Class 2A quarterfinals. Crispe believes he has the personnel to build on the Lions' late-season run, relying on athletic guard play. Boldt and Christiansen are expected to lead the team's run to the rim.
Coach: Darin Reese, fourth season.
Last year: 15-8, 7-4 2A/3A Patriot League; lost in first round of 3A state tournament.
Returning starters: Ryan Lozinski (W, Sr., 6-4); Taylor Desch (G, Sr., 5-9).
Others to watch: Aaron Chueng (G, Jr., 5-10); Griffin Nelson (F, Jr., 6-4); Conor Lamb (G, Sr., 5-10).
Outlook: Mead has enjoyed a grand rise in the course of three years and aims to continue building on its state success, though a move up to Class 4A will present a challenge. The team has a small returning core with wing Lozinski and guard Desch expected to lead. The Mavericks will be young at some positions. However, Reese is confident the team has the mindset to overcome the youth.
Coach: Ken Niven, 15th season.
Last year: 14-11, 10-6 in 5A Front Range League; lost in the second round of 5A state torunament.
Returning starters: Ben Beauchamp (PG, Jr., 6-3).
Others to watch: Kyle Billingsley (G, Jr., 6-0); Alex Krason (F, Sr., 6-4); Shawn Kirkman (F, So., 6-3); Drew Weaver (F, Jr., 6-1); Alex Young (G, Jr., 5-9); Sam Fredricksmeyer (G, So., 6-0); Kylor Johnson (G, So., 6-1); C.T. Wristen (P, Jr., 6-2).
Outlook: Despite Monarch's depth, the team starts the season facing some personnel issues. Wristen and Billingsly enter the season injured and Niven does not know when they will get back on the court. The team does have a strong returner in Beauchamp, with the point guard expected to shepherd the team through its early challenges.
Coach: Herm Weaver, third season.
Last year: 9-14, 1-7 in 2A Mile High League; lost in regional tournament.
Returning starters: Dillon Weaver (PG, Sr., 6-0).
Others to watch: Holden Receer (P, Sr., 6-2); Conner Steele (W, Sr., 6-3); Chris Clemmer (F, Jr., 6-2).
Outlook: Nederland more than doubled its win total last season and Herm Weaver aims to keep the Panthers moving upward. The coach has his challenges in doing this. Nederland does not have much depth, so staying healthy will be key. But with talent dotting the roster, Weaver expects solid team efforts game in and out.
Coach: Travis Maron, third season.
Last year: 13-2, 7-7 in 4A Northern League; lost in second round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Nate Merriman (Sr., 6-2); Jordan Keeler (Sr., 6-0); Forrest Lee (Sr., 6-1).
Others to watch: Austin Hart (Sr., 5-9); Josh Heape (Sr., 6-3); Clarke Colwell (Jr., 6-4); Madison Bounds (Jr., 6-1); Kyle Kolakowski (Jr., 6-1); Charlie Mitelhaus (So., 6-3).
Outlook: While Niwot does not have a ton of returning experience, Maron believes the Cougars have the talent and athleticism to compete. The team has plenty of depth, with the coach expecting nine players to see action in any given game. But the Cougars have a steep learning curve, having not played together much.
PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS
Coach: Tony Peters, eighth season.
Last year: 14-8, 4-5 in 3A Metro League; lost in district tournament.
Returning starters: Max Clark (Sr., 6-5); Sam Fangman (Sr., 6-3); Brian Goedde (Sr., 6-2); Drew Otey (Sr., 6-3).
Others to watch: Cos Braswell (Jr., 5-9); Andrew Peterson (Jr., 5-10).
Outlook: With top-to-bottom talent on the Peak to Peak roster, Peters expects a big season out of the Pumas. The team has state ambitions and turns to seniors Clark, Fangman, Goedde and Otey to lead the way. The team expects to use its athleticism to run and press opponents into the ground.
SHINING MOUNTAIN LIONS
Coach: Enoch Miller, third season.
Last year: 20-3, 8-0 in 1A 5280 League; lost in regional tournament.
Returning starters: Colin Cantwell (F, Sr., 6-3); Andrew Bremner (G, Sr., 6-3); Alex Beal (F, Jr., 6-5); Garrett Johnston (PG, So., 6-2).
Others to watch: Ray Feigal (G, Sr., 6-2); Bill Hussey (C, Sr., 6-5).
Outlook: Miller is tight lipped about his overall expectations for Shining Mountain this season. The coach puts the team's goal at improving each game. But with a ton of height, returning starters and athletes the Lions are set to roar this season after a disappointing early exit last winter.
SILVER CREEK RAPTORS
Coach: Bob Banning, 12th season.
Last year: 8-16, 4-10 in 4A Northern League; lost in the first round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Trey Fleming (G, Sr., 6-1); Eric Machmuller (G, Jr., 6-1).
Others to watch: Brock Johnson (F, Sr., 6-4); Luke Goforth (F, Sr., 6-3); Tyrone White (F, Sr., 6-5); Cisco Echevaria (C, Jr., 6-3); Zane Lindsey (G, Jr., 6-2).
Outlook: Entering the season, Banning has already been wowed by Silver Creek's work ethic. He believes it has the team-first attitude, tenacity and quickness that could make them dangerous in the Northern League. But the team has only two starters back from last season in guards Fleming and Machmuller.
Coach: Michael Peterson, third season.
Last year: 9-15, 7-7 in 4A Tri-Valley League play; lost in first round of 4A state tournament.
Returning starters: Colton Dabney (P, Sr., 6-6); Zach Anthony (P, Sr., 6-5); Dustin Mandrel (G, Sr., 6-2); Luciano Quesada (PG, Jr., 6-2).
Outlook: Skyline aims to build on the success of last year's state berth and the team has one of the region's biggest players to build around. At 6-foot, 6-inches, Dabney should be a sizable match up every time he steps on the court. For Peterson, the weightiest weapon the Falcons bring to the court, however, is their raised expectations.