Preseason rankings for Suburban Middle Six boys basketball teams
Raytown or Raytown South is not the choice to claim a conference basketball title.
Lee’s Summit West is the early favorite of the coaches to capture the Suburban Middle Six boys basketball championship.
Raytown and Raytown South tied for second place followed by Fort Osage, North Kansas City and Belton in The Examiner’s poll of the coaches.
Lettermen Michael Dixon, Todd Fletcher, B.J. Jackson, Banks Born, Alec Hall, Colin Artinger, Melvin Turner and Ryan Hafner return from an 18-7 West team that was last season’s Suburban Small Six titlist.
“Our strong points are experience and depth,” coach Michael Schieber said. “But we need solid post play and rebounding.”
RAYTOWN: Graduation took its toll on a stellar 27-1 team that fell to Truman 52-49 in the state Class 5 quarterfinals.
“We will be a young team and very small,” veteran coach Mark Scanlon said. “Rebounding will be a problem. Josh Gibbs should be one of the best players in the area.”
Gibbs, Chase Kuehl, Vince Spilker, Frank Williams and Jordan Hoplkins are returning lettermen.
RAYTOWN SOUTH: Graduation losses also hurt the Cardinals.
Returning from a 17-8 team are Rian Pearson, Jamal Mitchell, DaJuan Beard and Miles Shelton.
“We will be young but very athletic,” coach Brad Oestreich said. “Not many players have varsity experience. But work ethic should create good opportunities.”
FORT OSAGE: Prospects are bright because of lettermen Ja’Wan Davis, Chad Gordon, Ryan Baldin, Jesse Kribbs, D.J. Nunez, E.J. Gaines and Edward Pearl.
“We are smaller than we have been but what we lack in height we make up in quickness and intensity,” coach Josh Wilson said.
“We are looking to build on success of districts last year. Guard play will be strong. We have the taste of success from last year and the kids are hungry for more.”
Fort Osage went 10-17 last year, losing 48-44 to Truman in the district finals.
NORTH KANSAS CITY: Dropping from the Big Seven to the Middle Six should help the Hornets.
Starters Garrison Plummer and Reggie Maxwell return from a 14-9 team and head a group of nine lettermen. Others are Micah Brown, Brandon Shively, Nate Biggs, Cameron Daniels, Tobias Thompson, Madmoud Sabil and Justin Selig.
BELTON: New coach Greg Martin, who played at William Chrisman, returns only Devin Burgin and Jake Jones from a 7-16 team.
“Two returning letter winners and the rest is undecided,” Martin said. “We have a new coach and a new system.”