Cascade Conference boys basketball preview

Breakdown

It may not be Taylor-made, but all signs point to it being King’s and Cedarcrest’s conference crown to lose again.

Despite losing their respective star players in Caleb Taylor and Zach Taylor to graduation, the Knights and Red Wolves return a healthy portion of teams that shared the conference crown last year.

King’s returns guard Andrew Ayers, who will be asked to step up his scoring with the absence of Caleb Taylor, and a strong inside presence in Calvin Kispert.

“Their depth and buy-in to Coach (Rick) Skeen’s system will put King’s at or near the top of the Cascade Conference,” said first-year Lakewood coach David Choi.

Cedarcrest returns possibly the star of the conference in Jordan Corpus. The senior guard was the other half of a dynamic duo with Zach Taylor that averaged nearly 33 points per game last season.

“Jordan Corpus can flat out ball,” Choi said. “It will be interesting to see how he will do as the premier player with Zach Taylor gone.”

Archbishop Murphy finished third behind King’s and Cedarcrest last season but lost leading scorers Phil Hoban and Zander Clouse. In their place the Wildcats will count on a pair of all-league selections in Josh Parafina and Connor Longoria and a number of utility players.

“Our versatility for players to play multiple positions should enable us to stay competitive throughout the season,” said Murphy head coach Jamar Williams.

Two programs on the rise have new coaches in Choi at Lakewood and Andy Estes at Granite Falls. The Tigers return two starters in Riley Larsen, who was selected to the all-conference first team last year, and Evan West.

Choi takes over a Lakewood program that finished 7-13 last season and just out of the playoffs but returns a number of solid contributors, including Ryan Alford, Paul Coleman and Hunter Fritz.

The starting 5: The Herald’s Preseason All-League Team

  • G Josh Parafina, So., A. Murphy: The Wildcats versatile guard averaged 8.6 points per game last season and was selected to the all-conference second team.
  • G Ryan Alford, Jr., Lakewood: The Cougars will rely on the junior guard, who was top five in the league in scoring as a sophomore, to put the ball in the hole.
  • G Jordan Corpus, Sr., Cedarcrest: The senior guard is now the top dog in the Red Wolves’ offense after the graduation of last year’s conference player of the year Zach Taylor.
  • F Evan West, Sr., Granite Falls: The Tigers forward was voted the defensive player of the year last season and will be counted on to lock down some of the best players in the league.
  • F Calvin Kispert, Jr., King’s: In a league with tons of good guards, Kispert could stand out as a big advantage down low. “I love his mental and physical toughness; he plays hard every play,” said Cedarcrest head coach Mark Prince

Fresh face: Nolan Rogge, Jr., Archbishop Murphy

The transfer from Everett averaged 8.2 points per game last season and will be counted on to replace the scoring of Hoban and Clouse.

Coaches poll

1. King’s

2. Cedarcrest

3. Archbishop Murphy

4. Sultan

5. Lakewood

6. Granite Falls

7. South Whidbey

8. Coupeville

More in Sports

Snohomish’s 1970 basketball team headlines Hall of Fame class

Those Panthers will be inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Cascade’s Kolomiyets tops Jackson’s Vimawala in tennis showdown

The Bruins’ star beat his Timberwolves counterpart in straight sets in a matchup of the region’s best.

NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

The coaches, now in custody, work at Oklahoma State, Auburn University, Arizona and USC.

Poll: Help us plan this week’s high school football coverage

This week The Herald covers HS football at Glacier Peak/Monroe, and Jackson/Lake… Continue reading

UW receiver McClatcher likely out for season

Federal Way product broke his ankle during the Huskies’ win over Colorado.

Carroll: Seahawks at forefront of ‘extraordinary’ times

The Seattle coach spoke on what his players believe is their duty as pro athletes with a platform.

Monday’s prep results and links

Here are Monday’s prep results and links: BOYS TENNIS Wesco 4A Kamiak… Continue reading

Granite Falls volleyball building from grassroots level

The Granite Falls volleyball team has won a combined 11 matches over… Continue reading

Multi-sport athletes fueling Mountlake Terrace cross country

Mountlake Terrace cross country coach Todd Weber said he believes both of… Continue reading

Most Read