League predictions go with the territory when you are sports editor of a local paper, and even though I’m the new kid in town, I thought I would take a stab at predicting the Sierra League boys basketball race.
Four teams, as of last week, were above the .500 mark, and four were below, including Douglas.
1. Reno. The Huskies, buoyed by the return of Josh Barrett and Nate Dolan from the football team, are starting to play better basketball. That, coupled with the usual sterling play of 6-foot-11 David Padgett, should be enough to get the Huskles a league title.
2. Hug. The defending league champs lost four players from last year’s team, and will need to get a big year from 6-8 Tyler Hatrey. Returnee Wendell Ware averaged nine points a game last year, and he should reach double digits this year.
3. South Lake Tahoe. Much will depend on the supporting cast around 6-7 senior center Curtis Johnson, who averaged 11 points and 14 rebounds per game. Dan Tobin, a 6-3 forward, and 6-5 senior forward-center Niko Klansek are among the top newcomers.
4. Douglas. The Tigers are off to a 3-7 start, including three straight losses at a tournament in Vacaville, Calif. Keith Lewis’ team bounced back with a win over Incline, and hopefully are headed in the right direction. Junior Nick Summers and sophomore Travis Stuman have been the most-consistent scorers, and Luke Rippee scored 21 in a recent game. This team may be a year away based on the amount of sophomores and juniro on the team.
5. Carson. The Senators are very small, and Ryan Hendry is the top returnee. It will be tough to replace league MVP Vince Inglima and Ryan Buttner, an all-Northern 4A selection.
6. North Valleys. The Panthers have nowhere to go but up after an 0-12 season in their first year of varsity competition. Sophomore Tim Wholey (10.2 points per game) and senior Allen Aaron (12.3) figure to lead the NV attack.
7. Wooster. The Colts do have Julian Hatcher, who averaged 22 points a game last year. They also have Joey Galow, a 5-7 guard, who averaged 10 points and five assists a contest. Wooster isn’t very big, but has plenty of speed. The Colts need to play up-tempo to be successful.
He didn’t say that
When talking about lack of shot clocks and three-man officiating crews last week, I misquoted Douglas basketball coach Keith Lewis.
In reference to a game when Douglas stalled against Reno three years ago, Lewis was quoted in the Dec. 21 article as saying, “We had a terrible team.” He actually said, “We had a terrible year.”
I was sorry to hear that U.S. Bank was dropping its sponsorship of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.
High school sports all over the country are in need of financial help, and hopefully some of Nevada’s big companies will offer to come in and sign a long-term contract.
U.S. Bank contributed approximately $175,000 a year, which included annual sponsorship fees plus event marketing. The money also was used
to rent facilities for championships and to pay general operating expenses in the NIAA office.
Darrell Moody, R-C sports editor, can be reached at 782-5121.