Toledo City League
Key Players: TQ Belcher, Christian Smith, Alontay Gould, Vonte Middleton, Dru Pettigrew, Ketaan Wyatt, Kaleb Smith, Tre Smith.
Outlook: Expect the Rams to rule the City League this season behind their new coach Ryan Glaze. Featuring a team with talent from top to bottom they have many interchangeable parts and can get production from across the board. Belcher comes into the season as the top contender for Player of the Year. Gould has been cleared to play after transferring over from Scott and will provide scoring and defense out on the perimeter. Wyatt is one of the top freshman in NW Ohio and should handle the point guard duties from Game 1.
Key Players: Dalonte Brown, Jalen Elliott, Darryl Robinson, Ajai Washington, Darnell Brown, LJ Rayford, Antonio Carter.
Outlook: Starring the only D1 commit in the City League in Dalonte Brown, Bowsher is once again deep with talent, with most of their team from last year returning. Brown is one of the most athletic prospects around and should average a double-double. Will be affected by the transfer of big man Rob Brown, but have the pieces to pick up the production leftover. Elliott will surprise some people with his skill and size as he is poised for a breakout senior season. If they can get good leadership and point guard play, the Rebels will be a team to be reckoned with all season long. Should be the top competitor for the City League crown.
Best of the Rest
Key Players: Carl Banks
Outlook: The Indians have built on some recent successes and look to continue to do so this season. Only one standout in junior guard Carl Banks who transfers over from Scott, but he should have enough help to do some damage in the City League as their program continues to improve.
Key Players: Tyrik Barbine
Outlook: Have the pieces to be to quietly surprise some people this season. The return from injury of Barbine should be huge as they look to replace the talents of Deonte Henderson and TJ Munn who they lost to graduation.
Key Players: Mikey Mitchell
Outlook: Coach Fred and Co. have suffered some tough losses since the end of last season in the form of graduation and transfers. Gone are Chance Hawkins, Larry Green, and Jay Wells who graduated, and gone are Alontay Gould and Carl Banks to transfer. The lone holdover and contributor from last season is senior guard Mikey Mitchell who will have the keys to the team this season. He brings energy and leadership that they will desperately need. Will be interesting to see what this squad is capable of.
Outlook: After losing a solid senior core that shocked the city at last year’s Final Four, the cupboards look pretty bare for the Polar Bears as they look to get back towards the top of the league.
Toledo St. Johns
Key Players: Vincent Williams, Houston King, Joey Fretti, Harrison Riggs, Payton Moyer.
Outlook: The Titans are the clear front-runners to capture the TRAC title after they finished runners-up to Lima Senior last season. Featuring the most talented prospect in Toledo in Vincent Williams, the Titans have all the pieces to make deep tournament run in February and March. Houston King is molding into a priority recruit for area mid-major programs, and Riggs has been a steady presence in the backcourt going into his third year of solid varsity action. Moyer will add depth on the perimeter and can flat out shoot the basketball. Look out for the Titans.
Key Players: Marquis Coleman, Jarius Ward, Keaton Upshaw
Outlook: Led by one of the state’s best coaches in Quincey Simpson, the Spartans will have to reload after losing Mr. Basketball (Xavier Simpson) along with Marquevius Wilson, Rico Stafford, and Rueben Flowers; all four are now athletes at the next level. Luckily for Senior, they do return some experience in the form of guard Jarius Ward and frontcourt talent Keaton Upshaw. Ward should land at the low D1 to high D2 level in college, while Upshaw is one of the best athletes around and should find himself on a D1 football roster someday. Joining them will be Marquis Coleman, a senior who had one of the best summers around. While you can expect them to ‘falloff’ a little from last season and rightly so, don’t be surprised to see them at or near the top of the TRAC all season long.
Toledo St. Francis
Key Players: Kenny Coleman-Graham, Jon Burnham, Tayler McNeal
Outlook: While we in the Toledo area have been fortunate enough to see some stellar guard play over the past few years, and this year will be no exception, there may not be a more talented floor general in all the city than Kenny Coleman-Graham. He should be joined in the backcourt by junior guard Tayler McNeal who has a smooth game and nice length on the perimeter. Jon Burnham will be a huge part of how successful they can be as this may be the best team they’ve had in recent memory.
Key Players: Derrick Rayford Jr., Nick Witcher, Trey Syroka, Avion Franklin
Outlook: The Panthers lost a lot in the form of graduation as Sam Hickey, Montrece Collins, and Mason Durden are now all playing at the next level, however they do not lack talent. Rayford Jr. should have a breakout year as he will be ‘the man’ for this team night in and night out. Syroka is poised to run a team at the varsity level as a sophomore, and Franklin has been as steady as they come as a ‘glue guy’ over the years. Witcher was a stud in summer league play and is coming off of a phenomenal season on the football field. This team will be fun to watch.
Best of the Rest
Key Players: Tre Miller, Kyle Nunn, Ryan Nunn
Outlook: The Trojans were competitive with everyone in the league last season, and while they did lose some pieces, they should be improved. Miller is a small but heady guard that can fill it up, while Ryan Nunn is now more experienced entering his sophomore season. Kyle Nunn, a Pittsburgh football signee, would have schools knocking down his door to play hoops if it weren’t for his talent there.
Toledo Central Catholic
Key Players: DJ Triplett, James Harris III
Outlook: DJ Triplett began to come into his own towards the end of the season last year and looks ready to build upon those efforts; there may not be a better scoring threat around, don’t be surprised if he averages 20+ ppg. Harris is a senior who simply plays hard and makes plays. The leadership by these two can take this team places.
Fremont Ross & Clay
Outlook: Unfortunately for these two squads this doesn’t look like the season they will climb from the cellar of the league but both teams should be improved from last season.
Key Players: Hunter Sieben, Pete Roman
Outlook: After making a deep tournament run last season OH looks to continue to make their mark in small school basketball in NW Ohio. Sieben is one of the better talents in the area and will land at a college program when all is said and done. The ‘refuse to lose’ guard will be complemented by senior post presence Pete Roman who has experience on the AAU circuit and will bring intensity and leadership. Talk of a conference championship in this league starts with these guys.
Key Players: Joe Ochoa, Delano Smith, Landon McGill
Outlook: The Eagles will be impacted by the graduation of a number of key contributors but have the talent to replace that void and more. Ochoa might just be the best true big man in Toledo and should challenge for conference POY. Smith and McGill are two guards who can shoot the ball, bring energy, and be leaders on the defensive side of things. Smith in particular will be a coach on the court for Dave McWhinnie and Co. as they look to challenge for a conference title.
Key Players: Jordan Burton, Joey Holifield, Little Anderson
Outlook: Both of these guards are young but supremely talented. Burton is a sophomore who can just flat out play and do it all, should ‘wow’ people in league play all season long. Holifield is a kid who has been around the Toledo basketball scene his whole life and it is now his turn as a freshman to write his own story. Nearly a lock to be a D1 player someday. Anderson brings length and outside scoring to the table.
Maumee Valley Country Day
Key Players: Zeb Jackson, Kaleb Kynard, Jaiden Woodley
Outlook: The past struggles for this program should come to an end this season as arguably the most gifted kid to hit the court in Toledo since Marc Loving and Nigel Hayes takes the floor for the first time; Zeb Jackson is just that special. He along with veteran Kaleb Kynard should hold down the perimeter for this team while Woodley is an ever improving big man capable of registering a double-double on any given night. Really interested to see what this team can do.
Best of the Rest
Outlook: While they may not have any big names like the aforementioned programs in their league, Gibsonburg seems to get it done on the court year after year and don’t expect this season to be any different. Could find themselves toward the top of the conference standings near the end of the season.
Danbury, Emmanuel Christian, Northwood
Outlook: Have the ability to contest the teams at the top but will ultimately struggle to keep up with the talents of the league. Will be tough to stay out of the cellar of league standings.
Players/Teams to Keep an Eye on Elsewhere
Holland Springfield – Big man Michael Key and guard Terrel Bryant should run the show for the Blue Devils as they look to compete for a spot at the top of the NLL.
Sylvania Northview – Logan Jessing is one of the more versatile wings around and will be a talent to keep an eye on throughout the season. Simply gets the job done and will land a scholarship to play at the collegiate level.
Napoleon – Brett Lauf will lead this team all season as he looks to go out with a great senior campaign; one of the most underrated and unknown prospects in NW Ohio. Is special from the guard position.
Wauseon – Junior big man Austin Rotroff is a stud and should average a double-double with relative ease. Not talked about enough as he is a lock to land at the D1 level, the University of Toledo has noticed and already offered.
Genoa -Sophomore guard Jacob Plantz is the real deal and has this Genoa program on the upswing. Look for them to make some noise this season as they aren’t afraid to schedule the big boys.
Port Clinton – Coach Von Graffin has his alma mater on the rise as they look to ascend to the top of the Sandusky Bay Conference. His team will be tested early and often getting them ready for the second half of the season.
Liberty-Benton – Anthony Masterlasco, a local commit to play at the University of Findlay next season, is one of the better wings you’ll find and is a winner. Losing Craft to graduation from last year’s squad will be tough but look for Masterlasco to take this team places.