After playoff seasons in football, Troy, Tippecanoe and Piqua are ready to get the boys basketball season started.
TROY — Mark Hess returns at the Troy boys basketball coach.
While the Trojans graduated most of the scoring off a 9-12 team a year ago, the Trojans are more in re-load mode than rebuild with three new players to the program.
Nick Prince, a 6-1 junior guard, averaged in double figures for Miami East a year ago.
Isaac Phillips, a 6-3 junior guard, moved in from Port Clinton and 6-foot-6 senior post Zach King is a move-in who played for Troy Christian last year.
Nick Davis, a 6-3 junior, is another key guard for the Trojans, while 6-5 senior Charlie Walker is back in the post.
“With our perimeter skill, we like to attack to score or pass to open teammates,” Hess said. “We will run some Princeton actions along with some Euro Ball screen continuity.”
Troy will mix things up on defense.
“We will play mostly man,” Hess said. “We will mix in some zone presses and half-court zone defense.”
Hess expects the Miami Valley League to be very competitive.
“Tippecanoe, West Carrollton, Sidney and Piqua all have the ability to compete for the championship,” Hess said.
And he hopes the Trojans will be in that mix as well.
Adam Toohey returns as coach.
The Red Devils were 21-2 and a D-II sectional and district champion, before losing in the regional semifinals.
Returning letterwinners for Tippecanoe include 6-foot senior Griffin Caldwell, a 4-year varsity player; 3-year varsity players in seniors 6-2 Gavin Garlitz and 6-5 Cole Coppock and 6-3 junior Stanley Clyne.
Coppock averaged 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds a year ago, Garlitz averaged 9.0 points and Caldwell averaged 6.1.
Joining Caldwell, Garlitz and Clyne at the guard positions will be 6-0 junior Liam Poronsky and 5-11 junior Evan Manes.
Joining in Coppock in the post will be 6-7 senior Luke Hoover, 6-2 junior Josh Dietz and 6-5 sophomore Jackson Smith.
“Hopefully a high scoring one,” Toohey said about his offense. “Without Ben Knostman and Zach Frederick, we will look different. We are looking for ways to play to our guys size and strengths.”
Defensively, Tipp will look to take advantage of its athleticism.
“We will pressure and try to play up tempo,” Toohey said. “This is one of the more athletic teams we’ve had in my five years of being at Tipp.”
Toohey expects the MVL to be a battle.
”I think the MVL will be a dog fight this year,” Toohey said. “Lots of great seniors graduated last year. Sam Walker & West Carrollton should be favored to win the league. With how they are able to recruit and the guys they have they should be tough. Troy has three good transfers in that will make them tough as well.
“Sidney has Devin Taborn and Jaden Swigert back who have been two tough varsity guys for a long time, they also had a great JV team last year too. They will be tough.
“Stebbins has Nate Keller, Adrian Norton, and a host of other great athletes from football who will be tough. Dre’Sean Roberts will have a good, new staff at Piqua with new head coach Brett Kopp, I think they could be dark horses to push for the Miami side. Mike Arlinghaus the new coach at Xenia will bring structure and a breath of fresh air to the program, Josiah Harding should get some help from athletic guys from football to help make the Valley side very competitive. Fairborn will be young, they lose almost everyone except for Caelan Bush who is a strong guard.
”Greenville was well coached and tough last season. They have an MVL player of the year candidate in DJ Zimmer, a large power forward who is tough enough to play in the NBA 80s. Butler has been putting together a strong team and the program is moving back to the power it was in ‘17 – ‘19 in coach Adam Betten’s third year. Butler and Troy should fight, hopefully with us to be at the top of the Miami side.
Brett Kopp takes over as Piqua coach.
The Indians are coming off a 7-15 season and will get off to a late start because of the success of the football team.
Returning letterwinners included 6-2 junior Dre’Sean Roberts, 5-11 junior Bryson Roberts, 6-1 senior Tanner Kemp, 6-4 senior Caleb Lyons and 6-5 junior Anson Cox.
Dre’Sean Roberts averaged 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists a year ago.
Joining the Roberts at the guard position will Kemp, Josh Crusey, Quinton Yaqub and Neil Bayman.
Lyons and Cox will lead the post players.
“We will run a read and react offense, we want to play uptempo, and work on getting best shot available each trip down the floor,” Kopp said.
Piqua will mix things up on defense.
“Man-to-man will be our base defense,” Kopp said. “We will strive to make our opponents work to shoot contested shots. We can mix up defenses based on matchups and what gives us the best chance to win on a night to night basis.”
Kopp says the MVL will be strong.
”The MVL is a deep,well-coached league,” he said. “Tipp is still the team on top after going undefeated in conference play last year. West Carrollton on the Valley side brings back a lot of talent from their divisional championship team. Our goal is to compete as hard as possible every night, and give every team our best shot night in and night out.”