Boys' Preview
An Outright Struggle
Piketon and Unioto shared the title a year ago, and on paper, it appears this duo is in line for a similar finish
By Shayne Combs, admin1@svcsportszone.com
The league is really interesting this year on the boys’ side. After last year, I would be crazy if I did not
name Piketon the favorite to win it all. I spent much of last year saying that I thought the Redstreaks were
a year away, so with them winning a share and returning the entire championship puzzle; they would
appear to me to be the team to beat. The biggest obstacle for Piketon could perhaps come from the team
it shared the league title with last year in Unioto. I have seen the Shermans a few different times this
preseason, and Coach Hoops has one of Unioto’s most talented teams in recent history.

After Piketon and Unioto, teams get really intriguing to analyze. I think you hear a lot of optimism from a
lot of programs. Many have added new pieces that have fans excited about the potential improvements;
however, I believe some have underestimated the hit that many teams have taken from last year’s

Let’s start with Piketon. What’s not to like? The Redstreaks are rock-solid at the most important
position in the sport – the point guard – in Isaac Brabson. They have an off-guard who can create his
own offense off the bounce in Craigen Moore, and they have arguably the league’s most gifted athlete
and scorer in Zach Farmer. Beyond this talented trio, Coach Lisath has sophomores Wyatt Brewster and
Aaron Southworth return with starting experience as well as other role players that provide great size,
athleticism, and experience with Jeremy Farmer and Colten Williams as Piketon will most likely be one of
the deeper teams in the league.

Unioto, a team coming off a co-championship of its own after sharing the title with Piketon last year,
contains a roster in 2012-2013 that is loaded with a variety of weapons. If you wanted to argue a team
more deserving of being the preseason, on-paper favorite, it would be this team. I recently saw this team
in a Foundation Game and left the game just amazed at the size, depth, and athleticism that Coach Hoops
has available this season.
Senior Chase Detillion returns as one of the league’s elite post players. A year ago, Detillion posted
averages of 11 points and nine rebounds. Unioto also returns Bryce Arledge as well as several guys from
its bench last year such as Dylan Minney, Kyle Strange, and Zach Downs. SVC fans also need to get
familiar with the name Erique Hosley. This freshman is extremely athletic, and his role in Unioto’s
press as well as the attention that Detillion will get in scouting reports should set this rookie post up for a
big season.

A key thing that many people are failing to realize with Unioto is the hit taken in terms of the loss of Cole
Murray at the point. Rarely does a team graduate a four-year point guard and not feel it the following
year. Unioto has a lot of solid guards such as Downs, Strange, and a nice shooter in Nick Corcoran;
however, none of these guys – although good basketball players - are what I would label the
prototypical point guard. This could possibly lead to some issues as far as Unioto struggling in time-and-
score situations as well as half court execution. Probably the most prototypical PG on Unioto’s roster
would be Nick Overly. This sophomore could play a key role for the Shermans off the bench.

Next up on last year’s final standings was Huntington. This year’s Huntington squad will look
different than a year ago. Dylan Gragg, last year’s Player of the Year, was lost to graduation as were
the Campbell twins, Blake and Brendon. Coach Rinehart will look to Brice Vickers, Brian Hall, and Jake
Kellough to lead a fairly inexperienced team. Solid athletes like David Shoemaker and Luke Sarver as
well as the size of Elijah Shanks could all be asked to fill key roles. I think the key for this year’s
Huntington program will be patience. I felt like last year’s Huntington team was the third or fourth
best Huntington team in the last 15 years, so graduating over half of the rotation will take time to replace.

Southeastern finished 7-7 in fourth place last year, and the Panthers finished the year strong with a
sectional title. This year, SE fans are very excited about the depth of talent in the junior class (Austin Hice,
Jordan Allen, Kannon Strausbaugh). This trio is expected to blend nicely with senior Nick Kellough and
sophomore point guard Dylan Miles. Throw in some X-factors like Jake Skeens and Coach Uhrig has a
very talented, very experienced basketball team.

The one thing I will throw out for discussion that way too many people are forgetting is the loss of Michael
Brown. Over the past three seasons, Brown has been a top-10 scorer and rebounder including 17 points
(2nd in SVC) and 11 rebounds (1st in SVC) a year ago as a senior. Don’t get me wrong, I do think
SE has a lot to be excited about this season, but it is hard in high school basketball to replace a double-
double guy who can create his own shot at any time.

Zane Trace and Westfall both tied for fifth last year. Both teams enter this season with an optimistic

For Zane Trace, Coach Alley returns arguably the preseason favorite for this year’s Player of the
Year. Wes Beam averaged 17 and 10 a year ago, and he did so in a very efficient way in terms of
shooting from the field and the foul line. The Pioneers also have good size at the forward spots in Tyler
Hinty, who played really well at Friday’s preview, and Connor Smith. Both of these juniors showed
some great potential last year, and both should be looking at their minutes going way up this season.

Zane Trace graduated a bunch of guys last year. I realize the Pioneers return Beam as well as a nice mix
of underclassmen; however, it will be interesting to see how ZT matches up with some of the most athletic
teams in the league. Regardless of age, another name SVC fans need to become familiar with is Pierce
Mowery. The rookie point guard was very impressive Friday night showing some great athleticism at the
rim as well as an ability to create his own shot. His skill set along with Eric Hutton – a sophomore who
had some point guard experience last year himself – should combine to help Beam get the proper
amount of touches.

As for Westfall, the Mustangs are once again very big, very athletic, and quite capable of playing with any
team on any night if they can win the battle of tempo. Senior Alek Stonerock is coming off a junior season
in which he averaged 11 points and eight rebounds, and Doug Hardin, a 6-4 senior, joins the 6-5
Stonerock to give Coach Matt Carson one of the biggest frontlines in the league.

Continuing with my theme of underestimating the hit from graduation, Westfall lost a top-seven scorer and
rebounder from last year’s league in Derek Robertson. Neal Hegarty was also a guard who could
provide some scoring and big shots in late game situations.

The key for this year’s Westfall team is going to sound like a broken record from past years, and that
is the ball handling and decision-making from the perimeter. This team will compete great in the post, and
the Westfall perimeter players are somewhat athletic and can shoot it when they set their feet. The issue
continues to be a lack of the pure point guard and overall ball handling to just dribble, pass, and catch
cleanly against pressure defense.

Next up on last year’s final SVC standings was Paint Valley. The Bearcats welcome Dave
Shoemaker back to the sideline. As I observe the PV roster during the preseason my thoughts are
somewhat two sided. On one hand, this roster is one of the more athletic Paint Valley teams in the past 10
years; however, it is going to take patience and time due to the fact that four or five of the elite athletes
have been away from organized basketball for more than a year. Paint Valley graduated over half its
offense from a year ago including 15 points per game from Harrison Hermann, but the Bearcats do have
one of the top young stars in the league in Clay Stratton. Stratton had a big second half to his freshman
year, and I believe his sophomore year will prove to be a breakout year. Other names that SVC fans will
recognize for Paint Valley are the McCloy brothers – Michael and Mason – as well as Riley Markko.

The final team is Adena. I thought Coach Smith and his staff did a great job last season. If you have never
been in a coaching situation like that, you really have no idea how difficult it is to generate offense. Usually
a coach can get his team to halftime or even the fourth quarter, but at some point, you have to push the
issue and that is usually when the game gets away.

I think this year will show an improved Adena team. The return of senior Michael Bryant – who
averaged 10 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore before taking his junior season off – as well as
one of the league’s top newcomers in freshman Jonathon Thomas should help make offense easier for
everyone. Tyler Cory has been a proven shooter throughout his career, and the addition of Bryant and
Thomas should help free him up a little more. The Warriors also have some size and strength inside with
Ben Thomas at 6-4 and Devante Nesbitt at 6-3.

This should be a great year. Piketon and Unioto have to be eyeing another championship run. I believe it
will be tough for the other six teams to overtake the talent of Piketon and Unioto over the course of a 14-
game SVC schedule, but several teams will have the capability on a given night to play with the top dogs.
If I had to go with a sleeper, my initial response would be ZT if the young backcourt is able to grow up
fast. I also believe the rest of the league will have more parity than a year ago. Huntington at 10-4 took
big hit in terms of graduation and Adena at 1-13 should see a little upgrade in talent and athleticism. All
the teams sandwiched in the middle are all very capable, but all have question marks that could lead to
some inconsistencies. Add it all up and we should have a season with a lot of exciting match-ups and
some instant classic finishes.

As always it should be a fun season to follow. Please join us on our return of the Triple Crown
Family Fun Center SVC Sports Talk podcast show in early December as Jeremy Ward will join
me to talk about everything you need to know for both the boys and girls in this year’s
Scioto Valley Conference.
Click here to look back at the recent years of SVC basketball in terms of standings and stats