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St. Vincent-St. Mary still has swagger as defending state champ: OHSAA Division II boys basketball season preview

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 11/23/2021 Matt Goul, cleveland.com
East Tech head coach Brett Moore calls his players for a defensive change in the first half, February 14, 2020, at John Adams High school. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/cleveland.com East Tech head coach Brett Moore calls his players for a defensive change in the first half, February 14, 2020, at John Adams High school.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — As St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dru Joyce II sat with his trio of standouts last March, following their win in the OHSAA Division II state championship, he looked to his right.

There sat Sencire Harris and Ramar Pryor.

They just helped Malaki Branham, who sat to Joyce’s left, finish off Columbus St. Francis DeSales for the state crown. Branham, who won the state’s Mr. Basketball award, was about to leave for Ohio State. The onus of leading STVM was about to fall on Harris and Pryor.

“Malaki just made me better,” Pryor said that night in Dayton. “He pushed me, screamed at me a whole bunch of times. That’s just what I needed to play hard. I just love Malaki’s work ethic, and I’ll try to follow up after that.”

Glenville head coach Michael Holt watches the action from the bench in the first half against East Tech, February 14, 2020, at John Adams High school. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/cleveland.com Glenville head coach Michael Holt watches the action from the bench in the first half against East Tech, February 14, 2020, at John Adams High school.

Those lessons are now taking shape. The high school boys basketball season tips off this week in Northeast Ohio and around the state. To prepare for it, read breakdowns of area Division II teams with a look at lineups, outlooks and schedules.

First, here is a peek at cleveland.com’s preseason state top 10 and All-Ohio team.

STATEWIDE PRESEASON TOP 10

Gilmour's Adisa Molton (25) puts up a jumper against Chaney's Josiah Gonzalez (3) during first half action in the regional playoff basketball game between Gilmour Academy vs Youngstown Chaney in the Div II playoffs at Barberton High School on Thursday night, March 11, 2021. © David Petkiewicz/cleveland.com Gilmour's Adisa Molton (25) puts up a jumper against Chaney's Josiah Gonzalez (3) during first half action in the regional playoff basketball game between Gilmour Academy vs Youngstown Chaney in the Div II playoffs at Barberton High School on Thursday night, March 11, 2021.

1. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 2. Cincinnati Woodward, 3. Columbus Beechcroft, 4. Tiffin Columbian, 5. Toledo Central Catholic, 6. Byesville Meadowbrook, 7. Vincent Warren, 8. Buchtel, 9. Gilmour, 10. Waverly.

PRESEASON ALL-OHIO TEAM

⦁ Sencire Harris, St. Vincent-St. Mary, sr., G

⦁ Paul McMillan IV, Cincinnati Woodward, sr., G

⦁ Chico Johnson, Toledo Central Catholic, jr,. G

⦁ Darryn Peterson, CVCA, fr., G

⦁ Amani Lyles, Columbus Beechcroft, sr., F

First-year Cleveland Central Catholic coach Michael Duncan talks to his players Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, before a scrimmage at Shaker Heights. © Matt Goul, cleveland.com/(Matt Goul, cleveland.com) First-year Cleveland Central Catholic coach Michael Duncan talks to his players Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, before a scrimmage at Shaker Heights.

⦁ Austin Parks, St. Marys Memorial, jr., C

AREA SCOUTING REPORTS

A look at the area with lineups, outlooks and schedules.

BAY ROCKETS

Coach: Jared Shetzer (ninth season)

2020-21 record: 15-4, 13-2 Great Lakes Conference (sectional finalist)

Bay's Sam Houk smiles after drawing a foul in the final seconds Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at Elyria. © Matt Goul, cleveland.com/(Matt Goul, cleveland.com) Bay's Sam Houk smiles after drawing a foul in the final seconds Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at Elyria.

Returning starters: Sam Houk (6-3, sr., G, 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 steals)

In the rotation: Cooper Mendelow (5-9, sr., G), Andrew Chesterfield (5-10, jr., G), Carson Gergye (6-4, jr., F), Owen Payne (6-2, sr., G/F), Jack Moell (6-2, jr., G), Brandon Knaack (6-2, jr., G/F), Evan Alexy (6-5, so., F), Brendan Spellman (5-11, so., G), Jace Knapp (5-11, so., PG)

Outlook: Houk helped Bay win the inaugural GLC tournament championship, which concluded with Cullen Gergye’s buzzer-beater at home. The Rockets went on to suffer a second-round tournament upset loss to Padua, which reached the district final. Houk is now back to lead a new-look squad that should have more size while being able to maintain a pressing style on defense that Shetzer has implemented in his time leading the program. A season opener vs. Division I Brunswick will be telling for the Rockets, who also will visit Elyria early before the heart of a realigned GLC that has Bay in the West Division.

St. Vincent-St. Mary's Sencire Harris shoots a free throw while Ramar Pryor watches Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, during a scrimmage in Akron. © Matt Goul, cleveland.com/(Matt Goul, cleveland.com) St. Vincent-St. Mary's Sencire Harris shoots a free throw while Ramar Pryor watches Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, during a scrimmage in Akron.

Schedule

Dec. 3 vs. Brunswick, Dec. 7 at Revere, Dec. 10 vs. Elyria Catholic, Dec. 14 at Elyria, Dec. 17 vs. Fairview, Dec. 23 vs. Avon Lake, Dec. 28 vs. North Ridgeville, Dec. 30 at Massillon Perry

Jan. 4 at North Olmsted, Jan. 7 at Westlake, Jan. 11 vs. Rocky River, Jan. 14 at Elyria Catholic, Jan. 18 vs. North Olmsted, Jan. 21 at Fairview, Jan. 22 at Olmsted Falls, Jan. 28 vs. Westlake

Feb. 1 vs. Columbia, Feb. 4 at Rocky River, Feb. 8 GLC tournament, Feb. 11 GLC tournament, Feb. 15 GLC tournament, Feb. 18 GLC tournament

BENEDICTINE BENGALS

Coach: Chris Salata (first season)

2020-21 record: 3-16 (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: None

In the rotation: Reggie Walker (sr., G), London Wimberley (sr., G), Joe Watts (jr., F), George Henderson (jr., F), Kris Smith (so., G),

Outlook: A tough season for the Bengals with multiple stoppages for COVID-19 protocols did include an encouraging postseason win at Holy Name, which reached the Great Lakes Conference tournament final with a big lineup. The Bengals had one, too, led by forwards Detric Hearst and London Maiden. Both of them have transferred to Richmond Heights, and Salata takes over for Rob Stircula, who won 184 games in 11 seasons with six regional runs and a state final four trip in 2010. Salata most recently served as an assistant at Hawken, but led St. Ignatius’ junior varsity program under former coach Sean O’Toole.

Schedule

Dec. 3 vs. Willoughby South, Dec. 4 vs. John Hay, Dec. 10 at Erie (Pa.) McDowell, Dec. 11 vs. TBD at Erie (Pa.) McDowell, Dec. 15 vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Dec. 17 at St. Edward, Dec. 23 at Lakewood, Dec. 29 vs. TBD at Dover, Dec. 30 vs. TBD at Dover

Jan. 7 at Archbishop Hoban, Jan. 8 at Tuscarawas Central Catholic, Jan. 15 vs. North Royalton, Jan. 16 vs. Green at North Canton Hoover, Jan. 22 vs. St. Ignatius, Jan. 25 at Fairview, Jan. 28 at Youngstown Ursuline

Feb. 1 vs. Grand River, Feb. 5 vs. Collinwood, Feb. 11 vs. Archbishop Hoban, Feb. 12 vs. John Adams, Feb. 18 vs. Western Reserve Academy

BROOKSIDE CARDINALS

Coach: Larry Babics (first season)

2020-21 record: 3-16, 1-13 Lorain County League (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: Avery Young (5-11, jr., PG, 9.9 points), Zion Young (6-0, sr., F, 5.0 points), Jaycob Koleda (6-2, sr., F, 4.8 points)

In the rotation: Kenny Grobolsek (6-0, sr., G), Marcus Frazier (6-0, jr., G), Jake Montgomery (6-0, sr., G), Brendan Mottram (6-0, sr., G), Aiden McLaughlin (6-1, so., F), Jayden Nazario (6-0, fr., G), Nolan Waechter (6-0, fr., G), Shalom Simpson (6-1, jr., F)

Outlook: Babics begins at Brookside after leading Columbia to some of the highest-scoring games last season, exceeding 100 points on four occasions. He is seven wins shy of 200 for his career. The Cardinals have some depth and shooting, so expect them to pick up the pace with their coach’s track record. A handful of football players, including Grobolsek and Montgomery, will provide added athleticism to a lineup that has three returning starters.

Schedule

Nov. 27 vs. Wickliffe at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Nov. 30 vs. Brooklyn, Dec. 3 at Firelands, Dec. 10 vs. Keystone, Dec. 11 vs. Cloverleaf, Dec. 17 at Clearview, Dec. 21 vs. Columbia, Dec. 27 vs. North Olmsted

Jan. 4 at Oberlin, Jan. 7 vs. Wellington, Jan. 8 at Open Door, Jan. 11 at Black River, Jan. 14 vs. Firelands, Jan. 18 at Revere, Jan. 21 at Keystone, Jan. 25 vs. Vermilion, Jan. 28 vs. Clearview

Feb. 1 vs. Cuyahoga Heights, Feb. 4 at Columbia, Feb. 8 vs. Oberlin, Feb. 11 at Wellington, Feb. 18 vs. Black River

BUCHTEL GRIFFINS

Coach: Rayshon Dent (second season)

2020-21 record: 18-5, 10-0 Akron City Series (regional finalist)

Returning starters: Marcel Boyce Jr. (5-10, jr., G)

In the rotation: Khoi Thurmon (6-0, jr., PG), Amire Robinson (6-2, jr., G/F), Tajh Poole (6-1, jr., G), Tony Motley (5-9, sr., G), Joesiah McCann (6-0, sr., F), James Awar (6-5, jr., F), Deovion Edwards (6-10, sr., C), Christian Harmon (6-5, jr., F), Zevin Gadson (6-4, so., G/F), Braylin Wells (6-8, so., C)

Outlook: Chris Livingston’s departure leaves an irreplaceable void, but Buchtel remains loaded for a defense of its City Series title and another push to regionals. Boyce and Poole are the veterans of this group, which welcomed transfers Thurmon and Robinson from Copley. Thurmon is one of the state’s top point guards in the Class of 2023, and Robinson’s versatility allows him to play nearly every position on the court.

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Pickerington Central, Dec. 7 at Firestone, Dec. 10 vs. Ellet, Dec. 13 vs. Cincinnati Taft at University of Dayton, Dec. 14 at Akron East, Dec. 17 at Akron North

Jan. 2 vs. St. Edward at Euclid, Jan. 7 vs. Kenmore-Garfield, Jan. 11 vs. Firestone, Jan. 14 at Ellet, Jan. 21 vs. Akron East, Jan. 25 vs. Akron North, Jan. 28 at Kenmore-Garfield, Jan. 30 vs. Lutheran East

Feb. 8 vs. Medina

BUCKEYE BUCKS

Coach: Tom Harrington (seventh season)

2020-21 record: 9-10 (district semifinalist)

Returning starters: Danny Flood (6-0, sr., PG, 19.0 points), Caden Hudak (6-2, jr., G), Nick Miller (6-4, sr., F, 11.0 points)

In the rotation: N/A

Outlook: All three returning starters are third-year starters for the Bucks, led by Flood, who is generating interest from Ohio Athletic Conference college programs. Those three will give Buckeye scoring, but its defense will be an early question mark. The Bucks could be a contender in the Great Lakes Conference, which concludes the regular season with a tournament for the second straight year.

Schedule

Dec. 2 vs. Lincoln-West, Dec. 7 vs. Parma, Dec. 10 at Wilson, N.Y. tournament, Dec. 11 at Wilson, N.Y. tournament, Dec. 17 vs. Valley Forge, Dec. 23 at Highland, Dec. 28 vs. North Royalton

Jan. 4 at Normandy, Jan. 7 at Holy Name, Jan. 11 vs. Lakewood, Jan. 14 at Parma, Jan. 15 vs. Elyria Catholic, Jan. 18 vs. Normandy, Jan. 21 at Valley Forge, Jan. 25 at Keystone, Jan. 28 vs. Holy Name

Feb. 1 at Avon Lake, Feb. 4 at Lakewood, Feb. 8 GLC tournament, Feb. 11 GLC tournament, Feb. 15 GLC tournament, Feb. 18 GLC tournament

CHAGRIN FALLS TIGERS

Coach: Dave Bargar (17th season)

2020-21 record: 8-4, 4-1 Chagrin Valley Conference (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: None

In the rotation: Henry Newell (6-0, sr., G), Nicholas Vinci (5-9, jr., G), James Kosmides (6-5, jr., F), Noah Elconin (5-9, sr., G)

Outlook: The Tigers graduated standout guard Josh Norton (11.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.5 blocks), forward Jack McMullen (13.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks) and multisport standout Xavier Perez. Norton and McMullen earned All-CVC first team last year, leaving the Tigers to lean on their guard play with five new starters.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Kenston, Dec. 4 vs. Beachwood, Dec. 8 at West Geauga, Dec. 11 at Perry, Dec. 15 vs. Orange, Dec. 18 vs. Ashtabula Lakeside, Dec. 21 at Twinsburg, Dec. 29 at Chardon

Jan. 8 at Geneva, Jan. 11 at Richmond Heights, Jan. 14 vs. Harvey, Jan. 18 at Beachwood, Jan. 21 at Ashtabula Edgewood, Jan. 25 vs. West Geauga, Jan. 28 at Gilmour

Feb. 1 at Orange, Feb. 4 vs. Hawken, Feb. 8 vs. Richmond Heights, Feb. 12 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Feb. 15 vs. Aurora, Feb. 19 vs. Streetsboro

CHARDON HILLTOPPERS

Coach: Chad Murawski (sixth season)

2020-21 record: 13-11, 4-3 Western Reserve Conference (district finalist)

Returning starters: Trey Liebhardt (5-10, jr., PG), Joshua Bruce (6-0, sr., G, 7.4 points, 3.0 rebounds), Nathan Tager (6-1, sr., G, 4.6 points), Alex Henry (6-2, jr., F, 5.1 points, 3.1 rebounds), Nathanael Sulka (6-5, sr., F, 19.2 points, 6.3 rebounds)

In the rotation: Ethan Faber (5-9, jr., G), Zach Kalis (6-1, sr., G), Jacob Zeiger (5-7, sr., G), Sammy Sulka (6-2, so., G/F)

Outlook: Once again, Chardon will wait on the football team before it can be at full strength with Sulka, who is 15 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Sulka and Brady Toth led the Hilltoppers last season on an impressive postseason run that ended with a double-overtime loss to Struthers in the district finals. Toth has since graduated, but the other four players to start in addition to Sulka also are coming off a long football season for the Hilltoppers. Chardon is still without them on the basketball court this week, as the football team prepares for the state semifinals.

Schedule

Dec. 10 vs. Madison, Dec. 17 vs. Willoughby South, Dec. 21 vs. West Geauga, Dec. 22 at Kirtland, Dec. 23 vs. Eastlake North, Dec. 29 vs. Chagrin Falls, Dec. 30 vs. Geneva

Jan. 3 at Cardinal, Jan. 7 vs. Riverside, Jan. 11 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Jan. 14 at Mayfield, Jan. 15 at Berkshire, Jan. 18 at Shaw, Jan. 21 vs. Kenston, Jan. 25 vs. JFK, Jan. 29 vs. Aurora

Feb. 1 at Madison, Feb. 4 at Willoughby South, Feb. 8 at Eastlake North, Feb. 11 at Riverside, Feb. 15 vs. Mayfield, Feb. 18 at Kenston

CLEARVIEW CLIPPERS

Coach: Jason Christensen (second season)

2020-21 record: 7-12, 5-9 Lorain County League (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: Ayden Cruz (6-0, so., G, 4.4 points, 3.0 assists), Jalin Ferenzi (6-3, sr., F, 5.9 points, 5.0 rebounds)

In the rotation: Najih Wright (jr., G), Keith Colvin (so., G/F), Sabian Alvarado (sr., F)

Outlook: Christensen begins his second year at the helm of the Clippers since taking over for John Szalay. This team, which ran into state champion St. Vincent-St. Mary early in last season’s tournament, won’t have much experience or size but it is athletic with an up-and-coming play creator in Cruz. The Clippers will have a big early season visit from Amherst and start the new year with back-to-back matchups against Keystone and Oberlin that could go a long way in determining the LCL.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Open Door, Dec. 3 at Columbia, Dec. 4 vs. Brooklyn, Dec. 7 vs. Amherst, Dec. 10 vs. Firelands, Dec. 17 vs. Brookside, Dec. 18 at Lake Ridge Academy, Dec. 21 vs. Black River, Dec. 28 at Cuyahoga Heights

Jan. 4 at Keystone, Jan. 7 vs. Oberlin, Jan. 11 at Wellington, Jan. 14 vs. Columbia, Jan. 18 at Vermilion, Jan. 18 at Firelands, Jan. 25 vs. Padua, Jan. 28 at Brookside

Feb. 4 at Black River, Feb. 5 at Cloverleaf, Feb. 8 vs. Keystone, Feb. 11 at Oberlin, Feb. 18 vs. Wellington

CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC IRONMEN

Coach: Michael Duncan (first season)

2020-21 record: 4-12 (sectional finalist)

Outlook: Duncan takes over the Ironmen after leading Cuyahoga County Community College. The roster will be a mostly new one, following the departure of Jordan Duke to Lutheran West. A handful of expected returning starters, including Savontae Quarles and Raekwon Easter, transferred back to Glenville.

Schedule

Nov. 27 vs. Brush at Cleveland Heights, Dec. 3 vs. Lutheran East, Dec. 4 at Toledo St. John’s Jesuit, Dec. 7 at Lorain, Dec. 11 at John Marshall, Dec. 14 vs. Warrensville Heights, Dec. 21 at Elyria Catholic, Dec. 23 vs. TBD at Garfield Heights, Dec. 28 vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph

Jan. 4 vs. Glenville, Jan. 7 vs. Warren JFK, Jan. 14 at Gilmour, Jan. 15 vs. Rhodes, Jan. 21 vs. Archbishop Hoban, Jan. 23 vs. TBD at Brush, Jan. 26 at Holy Name, Jan. 29 at St. Edward

Feb. 1 vs. Fairview, Feb. 4 vs. Brecksville, Feb. 5 at Massillon Jackson, Feb. 11 at St. Ignatius, Feb. 18 vs. Independence

CLEVELAND JFK EAGLES

Coach: Omar Williams (first season)

2020-21 record: N/A

Returning starters: None

In the rotation: Davondo Logan (sr.), Kobe Ocacio (sr.) Brian Brazzell (sr.) Jalen Brooks (jr.), Damarion Logan (so.), Michael Taylor (fr.)

Outlook: Williams, who previously coached at Lincoln West, takes over the Eagles as Senate League schools regain their footing following an inactive season.

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Shaw, Nov. 30 vs. John Marshall at Glenville, Dec. 3 vs. John Hay at EPC, Dec. 4 at Euclid, Dec. 7 at Rhodes, Dec. 14 vs. East Tech, Dec. 23 at Archbishop Hoban, Dec. 30 vs. Walsh Jesuit

Jan. 7 vs. John Adams, Jan. 11 vs. Glenville, Jan. 14 at John Marshall, Jan. 18 vs. John Hay, Jan. 21 vs. Rhodes, Jan. 25 at Chardon, Jan. 28 at East Tech

Feb. 1 at John Adams, Feb. 2 vs. Lake Ridge, Feb. 4 at Glenville, Feb. 5 vs. Rocky River, Feb. 11 at Akron North

CUYAHOGA VALLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ROYALS

Coach: Matthew Futch (second season)

2020-21 record: 13-12, 5-7 Principals Athletic Conference (district semifinalist)

Returning starters: Seth Bagwell (6-2, sr., G, 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds), Brennan Darr (6-3, sr., G/F, 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds)

In the rotation: Darryn Peterson (6-6, fr., G), Niles Nuru (5-8, fr., G), Paul Rusimo (6-5, fr., F), Jackson Shelby (6-2, jr., G)

Outlook: Peterson, considered one of the top freshmen in the country, already has scholarship offers from Ohio State, Pitt, Arizona State and Akron — where his father, Darryl, played with Futch in college. Futch plans to play at least three freshmen in a lineup that brings back Bagwell and Darr from a productive first season with Futch, who took over the Royals after leading Buchtel to a state semifinal run in 2018.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Woodridge, Dec. 3 vs. Navarre Fairless, Dec. 7 vs. Nordonia, Dec. 10 vs. Wooster Triway, Dec. 14 vs. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Dec. 17 at Youngstown Chaney, Dec. 21 at Massillon Tuslaw, Dec. 28 vs. Manchester, Dec. 30 at Shaw

Jan. 4 at Orrville, Jan. 7 vs. Canal Fulton Northwest, Jan. 14 at Navarre Fairless, Jan. 18 at Wooster Triway, Jan. 22 vs. Harvest Prep in Columbus, Jan. 25 at Streetsboro, Jan. 28 vs. Massillon Tuslaw, Jan. 29 vs. Akron East

Feb. 4 at Manchester, Feb. 5 vs. Carolina Basketball Academy in Wexford, Pa., Feb. 8 vs. Orrville, Feb. 11 at Canal Fulton Northwest, Feb. 15 vs. Walsh Jesuit

FIELD FALCONS

Coach: Derek Widuck (second season)

2020-21 record: 4-19, 2-12 Metro Athletic Conference (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: Jimmy Cultrona (5-7, sr., G, 3.9 points), Braxton Baumberger (5-11, jr., G, 4.4 points), Xander Rorrer (6-3, sr., F, 6.7 points, 7.7 rebounds)

In the rotation: Brayden Cadwell (6-3, sr., F), Will Young (6-2, sr., F), Hayden Tronge (5-10, sr., G), Cole Muncy (6-0, sr., G), Joe Crawford (6-0, jr., G), Garit Greene (6-0, jr., G/F), Caleb Gartner (6-2, jr., G/F)

Outlook: The Falcons have nine returning letterwinners and are strong inside with Rorrer leading the way. Last season ended with a tournament loss to Ravenna in Widuck’s first year as coach.

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Kent Roosevelt, Nov. 30 vs. Crestwood, Dec. 3 vs. Ravenna, Dec. 7 at Cloverleaf, Dec. 10 at Akron Springfield, Dec. 14 at Woodridge, Dec. 17 at Streetsboro, Dec. 28 vs. Mogadore, Dec. 29 vs. TBD

Jan. 4 vs. Coventry, Jan. 7 at Norton, Jan. 11 at Ravenna, Jan. 14 vs. Cloverleaf, Jan. 21 vs. Akron Springfield, Jan. 25 at Mogadore, Jan. 28 vs. Woodridge

Feb. 1 vs. Rootstown, Feb. 4 vs. Streetsboro, Feb. 8 vs. Lake Center Christian, Feb. 11 at Coventry, Feb. 15 at Cuyahoga Falls, Feb. 18 vs. Norton

FIRELANDS FALCONS

Coach: Alan Januzzi (seventh season)

2020-21 record: 15-7, 11-3 Lorain County League (district semifinalist)

Returning starters: None

In the rotation: Austin Copen (6-2, sr.), Brock Grude (6-2, sr.), Nate Draga (6-2, so.), Anthony Januzzi (5-10, so.), Timmy Phillips (6-0, so.), Gary Uhler (6-2, sr.), Christopher Radman (6-0, so.), Gabe Bargasz (6-4, sr.), Abel Coultrip (6-2, jr.), Niko Gotsis (6-3, so.)

Outlook: It took Buchtel, led by Kentucky commit Chris Livingston, to end the Falcons’ season. Januzzi’s bunch impressed the Griffins, whom the Falcons pushed before a 60-48 loss. Now, the rebuilding begins no returning starters and a whole new lineup from the junior varsity squad. That includes a handful of sophomores who played JV as freshmen, giving the Falcons a promising Class of 2024. They will look to Grude, who earned some varsity time last season, to be among their leaders.

Schedule

Nov. 24 vs. North Ridgeville at Midview, Nov. 27 at Collins Western Reserve, Dec. 3 vs. Brookside, Dec. 10 at Clearview, Dec. 17 vs. Oberlin, Dec. 21 at Wellington, Dec. 28 vs. Westlake

Jan. 4 vs. Columbia, Jan. 7 vs. Black River, Jan. 8 at Avon, Jan. 11 at Keystone, Jan. 14 at Brookside, Jan. 18 vs. Amherst, Jan. 21 vs. Clearview, Jan. 28 at Oberlin, Jan. 29 vs. Milan Edison

Feb. 1 vs. Midview, Feb. 4 vs. Wellington, Feb. 8 at Columbia, Feb. 11 at Black River, Feb. 14 at Vermilion

GILMOUR LANCERS

Coach: Dan DeCrane (fourth season)

2020-21 record: 11-10 (regional finalist)

Returning starters: Adisa Molton (6-0, jr., G, 9.4 points, 3.1 assists), Brandon Rose (6-3, jr., F, 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists), Ryan Mueller (6-6, sr., F, 13.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks)

In the rotation: Dorjan Flowers (6-0, jr., G, 3.0 points), Nathan Nootbaar (6-7, sr., F), Nathan Flaherty (6-0, sr., G), Andy Kavcic (5-10, so., G), Jake Kavcic (5-10, so. G)

Outlook: Not only does Gilmour bring back three starters, but three of its top four scorers from last season’s regional final run. Seven members of this season’s squad are returning letterwinners, too, for DeCrane, who is 12 wins shy of his 100th at Gilmour. The Lancers will face Padua in a rematch of last season’s district finals early on the schedule, following an early season visit from Division I state semifinalist St. Ignatius.

Schedule

Nov. 28 vs. Willoughby South at Cleveland Heights, Dec. 3 vs. St. Ignatius, Dec. 10 at University School, Dec. 11 at Padua, Dec. 17 vs. Archbishop Hoban, Dec. 21 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Dec. 23 vs. Kenston at Garfield Heights, Dec. 28 vs. Lutheran East, Dec. 30 vs. Lake Catholic

Jan. 7 at Hawken, Jan. 8 vs. Brush at Cleveland Heights, Jan. 14 at Cleveland Central Catholic, Jan. 15 vs. Olmsted Falls, Jan. 21 vs. University School, Jan. 22 vs. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Jan. 28 vs. Chagrin Falls, Jan. 29 vs. Andrews Osborne

Feb. 1 at Streetsboro, Feb. 4 at Walsh Jesuit, Feb. 8 at Garfield Heights, Feb. 11 vs. Beachwood, Feb. 19 vs. Warren JFK

GLENVILLE TARBLOODERS

Coach: Michael Holt (20th season)

Outlook: Glenville is back after a year hiatus with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s season of inactivity. Holt also is back after his battle with leukemia. While many of the Senate League’s teams will be starting from scratch, Holt and the Tarblooders welcomed the return of two standouts who played on their 2020 city league finalist team in Savontae Quarles, Raekwon Easter and LaShawn Beard, who spent last season at Cleveland Central Catholic. The Tarblooders also added two football players, including 6-foot-4, 300-pounder Tavareon Sanders. He averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game last season for Shaw, while 6-3 sophomore Damarion Witten is expected to be an integral part.

Schedule

Nov. 28 vs. Lutheran East at Cleveland Heights, Dec. 3 vs. John Marshall, Dec. 7 at East Tech, Dec. 8 at Brush, Dec. 10 vs. John Hay, Dec. 14 at John Adams, Dec. 15 at Shaw, Dec. 23 vs. Euclid at Garfield Heights

Jan. 4 vs. Cleveland Central Catholic, Jan. 7 vs. Rhodes, Jan. 11 at Cleveland JFK, Jan. 18 at John Marshall, Jan. 21 vs. East Tech, Jan. 22 at Warrensville Heights, Jan. 25 at John Hay, Jan. 27 at St. Edward, Jan. 28 vs. John Adams

Feb. 1 at Rhodes, Feb. 4 vs. Cleveland JFK, Feb. 10 vs. TBD/Senate League championship at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Feb. 18 at Shaker Heights, Feb. 19 at Mentor

HAWKEN HAWKS

Schedule

Nov. 30 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Dec. 4 at West Geauga, Dec. 8 at Orange, Dec. 11 at Harvey, Dec. 15 vs. Richmond Heights, Dec. 18 vs. Ashtabula Edgewood, Dec. 23 vs. St. Martin de Porres

Jan. 5 vs. Chagrin Falls, Jan. 7 vs. Gilmour, Jan. 11 at Beachwood, Jan. 14 vs. Perry, Jan. 18 vs. West Geauga, Jan. 19 vs. Padua, Jan. 21 at Ashtabula Lakeside, Jan. 25 vs. Orange, Jan. 26 at Andrews Osborne, Jan. 28 vs. Geneva

Feb. 1 at Richmond Heights, Feb. 4 at Chagrin Falls, Feb. 8 vs. Beachwood, Feb. 11 at University School

KEYSTONE WILDCATS

Coach: Jeff Holzhauer (10th season)

2020-21 record: 14-6, 13-1 Lorain County League (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: Konner Rodick (6-2, jr., G, 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds), Christian Pataky (6-3, sr., F, 6.5 points, 9.1 rebounds)

In the rotation: Alex Nagle (6-0, jr., G, 4.0 points)

Outlook: Rodick is Keystone’s leading returning starter and fresh off a second year as the football team’s starting quarterback. The Wildcats took a hit on the court with the loss of leading scorer Ryan Walsh (18 points per to Elyria, as only 25 points per game of scoring is back for this season. Keystone averaged 65 points last season. With that, Holzhauer is stressing defense as a strength. Pataky’s rebounding should help, as the ‘Cats look to defend their LCL title. Their nonleague schedule includes early tests at Midview and Brunswick, which should prepare them for it.

Schedule

Nov. 24 at Midview, Dec. 3 vs. Wellington, Dec. 3 vs. Western Reserve, Dec. 7 at Brunswick, Dec. 10 at Brookside, Dec. 14 at Oberlin, Dec. 17 at Black River, Dec. 27 at Norwalk

Jan. 4 vs. Clearview, Jan. 7 vs. Columbia, Jan. 11 vs. Firelands, Jan. 14 at Wellington, Jan. 15 vs. Edison, Jan. 18 vs. North Ridgeville, Jan. 21 vs. Brookside, Jan. 25 vs. Buckeye, Jan. 28 vs. Black River, Jan. 29 at Amherst

Feb. 4 vs. Oberlin, Feb. 8 at Clearview, Feb. 11 at Columbia, Feb. 18 at Firelands

LAKE CATHOLIC COUGARS

Coach: Matt Moran (eighth season)

2020-21 record: 7-12 (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: Aidan Fitzgerald (6-4, jr., G, 18.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals), Nick Brandt (5-10, jr., G, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals), Peyton Budrys-Rini (6-1, so., G, 9.0 points, 2.6 assists), Robert Russell (6-3, jr., F, 5.0 points, 5.0 rebounds)

In the rotation: Evan Sims (5-9, jr., G), Gavin Davenport (5-11, jr., G), Dom Cosic (5-11, jr., G), Nick Pellechia (6-4, jr., F), Cross Nimmo (6-5, fr., F)

Outlook: Lake Catholic is now in the Crown Conference after a year as an independent, following the North Coast League’s breakup. It was a season of learning for the Cougars, following the graduation of a big and experienced class in 2020. Fitzgerald started among that group and is now the leader with a core that has more seasoning around him. There are no seniors on this Lake Catholic roster, which can continue to grow.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. West Geauga, Dec. 3 at Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Dec. 7 at Willoughby South, Dec. 10 vs. Walsh Jesuit, Dec. 17 vs. Padua, Dec. 21 vs. Orange, Dec. 23 vs. Harvey, Dec. 28 at Mentor

Jan. 7 vs. Ashtabula St. John, Jan. 8 at Berkshire, Jan. 11 vs. Eastlake North, Jan. 14 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Jan. 18 vs. Cornerstone Christian, Jan. 21 vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Jan. 25 at Andrews Osborne, Jan. 28 at Walsh Jesuit

Feb. 4 at Padua, Feb. 5 at Gilmour, Feb. 10 at Perry, Feb. 11 at Lutheran West, Feb. 15 vs. Euclid, Feb. 18 vs. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.

LUTHERAN WEST LONGHORNS

Coach: Jordan Duke (first season)

2020-21 record: 13-9 (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: D.J. Robinson (6-2, sr., G), Jamie Peterson (6-3, sr., F)

In the rotation: Bo Djigo, Derek Fairley, Marcus Whitmore, Eric Dill, Lewis Smith, Matt Meyer, Josh Meyer, Zack Van Farowe, Junior Kambomba (6-2, so., F)

Outlook: Duke takes over the Longhorns, members of the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division, after a successful six-year run at Cleveland Central Catholic that included three district championships. He replaces Nick Gallo, whose Longhorns ran into Warrensville Heights in the second round of last season’s tournament. They bring back size and scoring, led by their second-leading scorer in Peterson.

Schedule

Nov. 26 at Fairview, Nov. 27 vs. Garfield Heights at Cleveland Heights, Dec. 4 vs. Trinity, Dec. 8 vs. Brooklyn, Dec. 11 at Kirtland, Dec. 15 at Independence, Dec. 22 vs. Padua at Garfield Heights, Dec. 29 at Berkshire

Jan. 5 at Cuyahoga Heights, Jan. 11 vs. Warrensville Heights, Jan. 14 vs. Wickliffe, Jan. 18 at Trinity, Jan. 21 at Crestwood, Jan. 25 at Brooklyn, Jan. 28 vs. Orwell Grand Valley

Feb. 1 vs. Independence, Feb. 4 vs. Cuyahoga Heights, Feb. 11 vs. Lake Catholic, Feb. 12 vs. Lutheran East, Feb. 15 at Columbia, Feb. 18 vs. Cardinal

ORANGE LIONS

Coach: Michael Cruz (second season)

2020-21 record: 4-9, 1-3 Chagrin Valley Conference (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: Matthew Krasnow (5-9, sr., PG), John Boyle (5-10, sr., G), Trevor Moss (6-3, sr., F/C)

In the rotation: Dominic Anekwe (6-4, so., F), Noah Page (6-1, jr., F)

Outlook: Three starters return for an Orange program that is being built from the ground up by Cruz, who formerly led Cleveland Heights for a season after several stops as an assistant, including Garfield Heights. An early CVC test at Richmond Heights, last season’s Division IV state runner-up, will provide a test.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Midview, Dec. 2 vs. Hearts for Jesus, Dec. 4 at Richmond Heights, Dec. 8 vs. Hawken, Dec. 11 at Ashtabula Edgewood, Dec. 15 at Chagrin Falls, Dec. 21 at Lake Catholic, Dec. 27 vs. Urban Scholars

Jan. 5 vs. Beachwood, Jan. 8 at Perry, Jan. 11 at West Geauga, Jan. 14 vs. Ashtabula Lakeside, Jan. 18 vs. Richmond Heights, Jan. 21 at Geneva, Jan. 25 at Hawken, Jan. 28 vs. Harvey, Jan. 29 at Fuchs Mizrachi

Feb. 1 vs. Chagrin Falls, Feb. 4 at Beachwood, Feb. 8 vs. West Geauga, Feb. 12 vs. St. Martin de Porres, Feb. 19 vs. North Ridgeville

PADUA BRUINS

Coach: Brian Ansberry (sixth season)

2020-21 record: 16-10 (Division II district finalist)

Returning starters: Akinlana Popoola (5-9, sr., G, 7.4 points, 2.4 assists), Jesse Hayes (6-7, jr., F/C, 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks)

In the rotation: Nick Rini (6-2, sr., F), Brenden Rees (5-11, sr., G), Benicio Roman (5-11, sr., G), Anthony Perry (6-3, sr., F), Tony Rosa (5-11, sr., G), Caden Fyock (5-8, jr., G), George Gonet (6-0, jr., G), Nick Danish (5-11, so., G), J.T. Giannakopolou (6-4, so., F), Riley Cervenka (5-11, fr., G), Manny Santiago (5-10, fr., G)

Outlook: Popoola and Hayes led the Bruins to last season’s district finals, where it lost at Gilmour. They are fourth- and third-year starters, giving Padua an excellent shot at building off that breakout postseason run. Two freshmen enter the fray, as Cervenka could push for a starting spot.

Schedule

Nov. 26 vs. Canton GlenOak at Cleveland Heights, Nov. 3 at North Ridgeville, Dec. 3 vs. University School, Dec. 10 vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Dec. 11 vs. Gilmour, Dec. 14 at Normandy, Dec. 17 at Lake Catholic, Dec. 21 vs. Holy Name, Dec. 21 vs. Holy Name, Dec. 22 vs. Lutheran West at Garfield Heights, Dec. 28 at Rocky River, Dec. 29 vs. Brunswick or Avon Lake at Rocky River

Jan. 7 vs. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Jan. 8 vs. John Marshall, Jan. 14 vs. Walsh Jesuit, Jan. 22 at Lakewood, Jan. 25 at Clearview, Jan. 28 at Villa Angela-St. Joseph

Feb. 1 vs. Revere, Feb. 4 vs. Lake Catholic, Feb. 5 vs. St. Martin de Porres, Feb. 11 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Feb. 18 at Walsh Jesuit

REVERE MINUTEMEN

Coach: Dean Rahas (20th season)

2020-21 record: 12-11 (district finalist)

Returning starters: Baron Bania (6-0, jr., G, 6.3 points), Aidan Palmer (6-5, sr., F, 4.5 rebounds)

In the rotation: Chris Muntean (jr., G), Alec Laramore (jr., G), Carson Banks (so., G)

Outlook: Revere looks to replace the one-two punch of senior guards Jimmy Salamone and Andrew Rinn, both capable of scoring 20-plus points per night. The Minutemen will be inexperienced, but have muscle inside with Palmer for the Suburban League’s American Division.

Schedule

Nov. 27 vs. Academy for Urban Scholars, Dec. 3 vs. Manchester, Dec. 7 vs. Bay, Dec. 10 vs. Cuyahoga Falls, Dec. 14 vs. Tallmadge, Dec. 17 at Barberton, Dec. 29 at Stow

Jan. 4 vs. Highland, Jan. 7 vs. Copley, Jan. 11 at Kent Roosevelt, Jan. 14 at Aurora, Jan. 18 vs. Brookside, Jan. 21 at Cuyahoga Falls, Jan. 25 at Tallmadge, Jan. 28 vs. Barberton

Feb. 1 at Padua, Feb. 4 at Highland, Feb. 8 at Copley, Feb. 11 vs. Kent Roosevelt, Feb. 12 vs. Dalton, Feb. 18 vs. Aurora

ROCKY RIVER PIRATES

Coach: Michael Murray (13th season)

2020-21 record: 10-13, 7-9 Great Lakes Conference (district semifinalist)

Returning starters: Braedon Spies (6-0, sr., G, 11.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 steals), Robby Lang (6-4, sr., F, 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists)

In the rotation: Stan Heuler (6-3, jr., G/F), Will DeClerck (6-5, jr., C), Gavin O’Brien (5-9, jr., G)

Outlook: An athletic group with several multisport standouts, the Pirates have the starting quarterback from the football team in Spies and a Division I college lacrosse recruit in Lang, who is headed to High Point. That should translate well on the defensive end for the Pirates, who have some size and depth.

Schedule

Dec. 10 vs. North Olmsted, Dec. 17 at Westlake, Dec. 18 vs. Lincoln-West, Dec. 21 at Ellet, Dec. 23 vs. Wheelersburg at Harvest Prep, Dec. 28 vs. TBD

Jan. 4 at Fairview, Jan. 7 vs. Elyria Catholic, Jan. 11 at Bay, Jan. 14 at North Olmsted, Jan. 18 vs. Fairview, Jan. 21 vs. Westlake, Jan. 25 at Open Door, Jan. 28 at Elyria Catholic

Feb. 4 vs. Bay

SHAW CARDINALS

Coach: Marvin Rashad (second season)

2020-21 record: 8-13, 1-8 Lake Erie League (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: None

In the rotation: Jayavante Small (6-0, sr., G, 4.4 points, 2.3 steals, 1.8 assists), De’Lon Bush (6-1, jr., G, 6.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists), Chaysean Chavis (6-4, sr., F), Santana Bugg (5-8, sr., G), Shareef Ahmad (5-10, sr., G), Damrion Achoe (6-6, sr., F), Malachi Yisrael (5-6, sr., G)

Outlook: Shaw looks to replace its top two scorers from last season in big forward Tavareon Sanders, who is now at Glenville, and the graduated Randy Harris. Small and Bush are among the Cardinals’ most experienced players, as they look to make a jump in the LEL.

Schedule

Nov. 27 vs. Cleveland JFK, Dec. 3 at Warrensville Heights, Dec. 7 at Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Dec. 8 at Lutheran East, Dec. 10 vs. Lorain, Dec. 15 vs. Glenville, Dec. 17 at Shaker Heights, Dec. 30 vs. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy

Jan. 4 vs. Garfield Heights, Jan. 7 vs. Cleveland Heights, Jan. 8 vs. Rhodes at Cleveland Heights, Jan. 11 at Mayfield, Jan. 14 vs. Maple Heights, Jan. 18 vs. Chardon, Jan. 21 at Bedford, Jan. 25 vs. Warrensville Heights, Jan. 28 at Lorain

Feb. 1 vs. Shaker Heights, Feb. 4 at Garfield Heights, Feb. 11 at Cleveland Heights, Feb. 15 at Maple Heights, Feb. 18 vs. Bedford

STREETSBORO ROCKETS

Coach: Nick Marcini (12th season)

2020-21 record: 12-5, 11-3 Metro Athletic Conference (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: Devin Reese (6-3, sr., G/F, 15.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 steals), Bryce Vecchio (6-5, sr., F, 14.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.5 blocks)

In the rotation: Brevyn Nobles (6-2, jr., G), Sam Abbuhl (6-4, sr., F)

Outlook: Streetsboro should be strong up front, led by Vecchio and Reese, who is about 200 points away from 1,000 for his career. Question is, can the Rockets fuel up at guard?

Schedule

Dec. 3 vs. Cloverleaf, Dec. 7 at Ravenna, Dec. 10 vs. Norton, Dec. 14 at Coventry, Dec. 17 at Field, Dec. 21 vs. Kent Roosevelt, Dec. 23 at Aurora, Dec. 28 vs. TBD at Hudson, Dec. 30 vs. TBD at Hudson

Jan. 4 at Woodridge, Jan. 7 vs. Akron Springfield, Jan. 11 at Cloverleaf, Jan. 14 vs. Ravenna, Jan. 18 vs. Kenston, Jan. 21 at Norton, Jan. 25 vs. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Jan. 28 vs. Coventry

Feb. 1 vs. Gilmour, Feb. 4 at Field, Feb. 11 vs. Woodridge, Feb. 18 at Akron Springfield, Feb. 19 at Chagrin Falls

ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY FIGHTING IRISH

Coach: Dru Joyce II (21st season)

2020-21 record: 25-2 (state champion)

Returning starters: Sencire Harris (6-4, sr., G, 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists)

In the rotation: Ramar Pryor (6-2, sr., G, 13.0 points, 2.0 assists), Lance “L.A.” Hayes (6-4, jr., G), Kevin Hamilton (5-6, jr., PG), Darius Stratford (6-9, jr., C), Ethan Connery (6-4, sr., F), Clinton Thomas (6-3, sr., G), Nick Modugno (6-3, jr., G)

Outlook: STVM captured the state championship behind a performance from Malaki Branham that won him Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award. He is now at Ohio State, but the Fighting Irish still return three players either committed to Division I colleges or have offers from them. That includes Harris, the Illinois-bound point guard who should be another Mr. Basketball candidate with a strong left-handed shooting touch, athleticism and ball handling. Pryor proved to be a super sixth man last season and is committed to Cleveland State, while Hayes already has Mid-American Conference offers from Akron, Kent State and Western Michigan. This group is not as experienced as previous teams for Joyce, but Hamilton and Stratford have earned minutes in his lineups. STVM will have few home games and several high-profile showcases on the road, starting with a season-opening trip to the All-Ohio showcase, followed by a trip to Staples Center in Los Angeles against Sierra Canyon.

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Pickerington North, Dec. 4 vs. Sierra Canyon at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Dec. 11 vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Dec. 14 at Youngstown Chaney, Dec. 19 at Lima Senior, Dec. 23 vs. St. Ignatius, Dec. 28 at Richmond Heights

Jan. 2 vs. Gahanna Lincoln at Euclid, Jan. 8 vs. The Patrick School (N.J.), Jan. 9 vs. Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), Jan. 11 vs. Walsh Jesuit, Jan. 15 at Thomas Worthington, Jan. 16 vs. Fairfield at Flyin’ to the Hoop in Dayton, Jan. 20 at Cleveland Heights, Jan. 22 vs. Centerville

Feb. 1 at Archbishop Hoban, Feb. 4 at Brush, Feb. 5 at Pickerington Central, Feb. 9 at Lutheran East, Feb. 11 at St. Edward, Feb. 21 vs. Oak Hill Academy at University of Akron

TALLMADGE BLUE DEVILS

Coach: Bill Johnson (fourth season)

2020-21 record: 8-8, 3-5 Suburban League (sectional finalist)

Returning starters: Ty Hurst (6-2, jr., G, 8.9 points, 4.5 assists), Kyle Ries (6-1, sr., G, 12.9 points), Aaron Gergely (6-4, sr., G, 5.6 points), Collin Dixon (6-2, jr., F, 12.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists)

In the rotation: Desmond Coplean (6-3, sr., F), Caiden McCullough (5-11, jr., G), Mason Dexter (5-10, sr., G), Carson Cowley (6-0, sr., G), Niko Roldan (5-9, sr., G)

Outlook: Depth favors Tallmadge, which is led by a handful of football standouts including Dixon and Hurst. The Blue Devils are small, with one of their biggest players a 6-4 guard in Gergely. Will that be a strength or challenge? With the depth, it could work in their favor, especially competing for a Suburban League crown in the American Division.

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Akron Springfield, Dec. 3 vs. Firestone, Dec. 7 at Youngstown Boardman, Dec. 10 at Highland, Dec. 14 at Revere, Dec. 17 vs. Aurora, Dec. 23 vs. Louisville at Mount Union, Dec. 28 vs. Bexley at Tallmadge Holiday Classic, Dec. 29 vs. TBD at Tallmadge Holiday Classic

Jan. 4 at Cuyahoga Falls, Jan. 7 vs. Kent Roosevelt, Jan. 11 at Copley, Jan. 14 vs. Barberton, Jan. 15 vs. Coventry at North Canton Hoover, Jan. 21 vs. Highland, Jan. 25 vs. Revere, Jan. 28 at Aurora

Feb. 4 vs. Cuyahoga Falls, Feb 8 at Kent Roosevelt, Feb. 11 vs. Copley, Feb. 15 vs. Woodridge, Feb. 18 at Barberton

VILLA ANGELA-ST. JOSEPH VIKINGS

Coach: Ashen Ward (second season)

2020-21 record: 4-10 (sectional qualifier)

Returning starters: Noah Clarke (6-2, sr., G, 11.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists), Anthony Ivey III (6-5, jr., G/F, 10.5 points, 4.0 points, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals)

In the rotation: Bryce Bowles (6-5, jr., F/C), Brayden Daniels (6-5, so., F/C), Patrick Dunmire (6-1, sr., F), Deangelo Irving (6-3, jr., C), Quandell Wright (5-10, so., G), Londen Dukes (6-1, so., F), Daveon Zellars (5-9, sr., G), Jalen Minter (5-9, sr., G), Dominic Kirks (6-5, so., F), Desmond Kirks (6-2, so., G)

Outlook: Ivey enters his third year on varsity for the Vikings with an experienced guard in Clarke. Both are capable of being scoring nights for a team that has speed, athleticism, shooting and length. Beyond Ivey and Clarke, however, VASJ is inexperienced. It could have a boost from Minter and the Kirks brothers, who played last season at Beachwood and transferred to VASJ this year. All three contributed to the football team, but have yet to be confirmed additions to the basketball team. Ward’s second season leading his alma mater also will be VASJ’s first in the new Crown Conference.

Schedule

Dec. 3 vs. Lake Catholic, Dec. 4 at St. Edward, Dec. 7 vs. Shaw, Dec. 10 at Padua, Dec. 15 vs. Benedictine at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Dec. 17 vs. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Dec. 27 at Holy Name, Dec. 28 vs. Rhodes

Jan. 4 vs. St. Martin de Porres, Jan. 7 at Walsh Jesuit, Jan. 11 vs. Mentor, Jan. 15 at Struthers, Jan. 18 vs. Andrews Osborne, Jan. 21 at Lake Catholic, Jan. 25 at St. Ignatius, Jan. 28 vs. Padua, Jan. 29 at University School

Feb. 4 at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Feb. 8 at Archbishop Hoban, Feb. 11 vs. Walsh Jesuit, Feb. 15 at Cleveland Central Catholic, Feb. 19 vs. Willoughby South

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS TIGERS

Coach: Brett Moore (first season)

2020-21 record: 13-6, 8-3 Lake Erie League (district semifinalist)

Outlook: Moore takes over the Tigers for athletic director Brian Swift, who stepped down following a 10-season run leading his alma mater. Moore guided East Tech to prominence with a 2014 state final four run in Division I, more than 200 wins in 14 years and seven city championships in Cleveland’s Senate League. Following a one-year hiatus last season, when city schools were sidelined by their district, Moore took the Warrensville job. It’s a challenging one, considering the graduation of four-year starting point guard Ramelle Arnold and sharpshooting Jaden Hameed. Both were All-Ohio guards, and Moore must find a new set of five starters in his first season.

Schedule

Nov. 28 vs. Beachwood at Cleveland Heights, Dec. 3 vs. Shaw, Dec. 4 at University School, Dec. 7 vs. Fairview, Dec. 10 vs. Bedford, Dec. 14 vs. Cleveland Central Catholic, Dec. 22 vs. Elyria at Garfield Heights

Jan. 4 vs. Shaker Heights, Jan. 7 at Maple Heights, Jan. 11 at Lutheran West, Jan. 14 at Cleveland Heights, Jan. 21 at Lorain, Jan. 22 vs. Glenville, Jan. 25 at Shaw, Jan. 28 at Bedford

Feb. 1 at Garfield Heights, Feb. 4 at Shaker Heights, Feb. 8 vs. Brush, Feb. 11 vs. Maple Heights, Feb. 15 vs. Cleveland Heights, Feb. 18 vs. Lorain

WOODRIDGE BULLDOGS

Schedule

Nov. 30 at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Dec. 3 at Akron Springfield, Dec. 3 at Norton, Dec. 10 vs. Coventry, Dec. 11 vs. Firestone at Barberton, Dec. 14 at Field, Dec. 17 vs. Cloverleaf, Dec. 21 at Alliance, Dec. 30 vs. Highland

Jan. 4 vs. Streetsboro, Jan. 7 at Ravenna, Jan. 9 vs. TBD at College of Wooster, Jan. 11 vs. Akron Springfield, Jan. 14 vs. Norton, Jan. 15 vs. Louisville at North Canton Hoover, Jan. 21 at Coventry, Jan. 28 vs. Field

Feb. 4 at Cloverleaf, Feb. 11 at Streetsboro, Feb. 15 at Tallmadge, Feb. 18 vs. Ravenna, Feb. 19 at Aurora

Contact sports reporter Matt Goul on Twitter (@mgoul) or email (mgoul@cleveland.com).

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