The scorers are back.
Anyone hoping to catch some exciting boys basketball games this winter will have a good chance of finding quality action regardless of what gym they walk into, as several big-time scorers return to the area.
Of course, there is Joseph Girard III of Glens Falls. The senior guard averaged 50 points per game last year, leading the Indians to a 20-3 record and earning several honors including Gatorade Player of the Year in New York.
But there are other serious talents throughout Section II who get buckets.
Arygle’s Peyton Lufkin averaged 27 points per game last year and was the key part of the Scots’ offense. Only entering his junior season, Lufkin is poised for another stat-filling campagin.
Defending Class C state champion Lake George brings back two of its four key pieces from last year’s team. Seniors Mason Flatley and Chris Becker each averaged 15 points per game last year, and new coach Blake White should not have an issue creating offense for his two talented all-state players.
Fort Ann returns 16-point-per-game scorer Luke Loso along with fellow seniors Brendan Wright and Sawyer Lunt, both of whom averaged double figures a year ago.
At Schuylerville, Stratton Sherman returns after averaging 16 points per game in 2017-18. Sherman should be one of Foothills Council’s top scorers this season.
Greenwich returns Carson Mosher, who averaged 14 points per game a year ago, and Ticonderoga brings back Colton Huestis and his 17 points per game from last season. Warrensburg also has senior Evan MacDuff, a 14-point-per-game forward.
Overall, there are scorers all over to appreciate, so go enjoy them.
Glens Falls: With Joseph Girard III back, the Indians will likely be one of the top teams in Section II. But a bulk of their roster from last year returns also. Trent Girard nailed 50 regular season triples last season, and he’s back to operate off-ball. Forwards David Barclay and Nick Danahy also return for Glens Falls.
Hudson Falls: The Tigers bring back six players from last year and will feature five new players from their junior varsity. Riley Maddison averaged 12 points per game last season and is back along with sophomore Jonathan Beagle and senior Caleb Condon.
Queensbury: Eighty percent of the Spartans’ scoring is gone from last season, but a few younger players will have chances to help Queensbury get back to double-digit win total again. Bryce Bleibtrey has logged some important minutes and could emerge as this team’s go-to scorer early.
Schuylerville: Returning leading scorer Stratton Sherman should position the Black Horses to challenge for a league crown. Fellow seniors Paul Harshbarger and Nick Budesheim are also back. There are 11 years of varsity experience between those three players according to coach Matt Steinfort.
South High: The Bulldogs will have to fill the scoring void left by Sam Maziejka and Cam Becrill. Coach Jim Woodard is entering his second season as head of the program and said he’ll lean on intense defense and patient offense early until scorers emerge.
Argyle: After averaging nearly 30 points per game, junior Peyton Lufkin is back at the helm for the Scots. Lufkin will likely be counted on to score early and often as Argyle lost some seniors from last year’s team. Drew Cormie saw crunch-time minutes a season ago and will start.
Corinth: A close-to-.500 record last year gives Corinth a foundation to build on, but replacing four starters lost to graduation likely will be the Tomahawks’ biggest concern early. Coach Craig Falkenbury, who is entering his ninth year with the program, believes senior Shawn Tedesco has the potential to be a top-five league player this year.
Fort Ann: All the veterans are back for the Cardinals. Seniors Sawyer Lunt, Luke Loso and Brendan Wright return to a Fort Ann team that won its division last year and repeatedly gave teams like Whitehall and Lake George problems. Add talented junior Dylan Frost to the mix and the Cardinals are set to challenge for Section II supremacy.
Granville: One of the few teams in Section II that plans on starting five guards, Granville will be a small, but aggressive team, coach Grant Sharrow said. Bart Bartholomew will bring the physicality while Nick Sumner, who averaged 12 points per game last season, will look to increase that average. Sumner only played half of last year due to injury.
Hadley-Luzerne: Last year, Hadley-Luzerne rostered 10 seniors, including 1,000-point scorer Conner Backus. All those players are gone, and coach Gary Wilson is coaching up a largely inexperienced group, but there is some returning talent. Danny McMahon is a guard with decent shooting range and will be counted on early to score.
Hartford: In his first year as head coach at Hartford, Jason Harrington is setting the bar high. The Tanagers feature a roster of five juniors and six seniors, led by a 12th-grade group of Kyle Eastman, Luke Case and Mitchell Brayman. Harringtion said he is pleased with the size of his roster and expects his team to be big and athletic.
Lake George: After winning 28 games, going undefeated and winning the Class C state championship, a lot has changed in Lake George. Dave Jones retired and coach Blake White replaced him. Several seniors graduated, including all-state talents Caleb Scrime and Alex Jones, along with fellow starter Nick Hoffis. But studs Mason Flatley and Chris Becker are back, along with many talented shooters. All things considered, the Warriors are going to be just fine this year.
North Warren: Coach Jeremey Whipple hopes to improve upon North Warren’s 6-14 record from a year ago, and he has an unselfish, defensively active group ready to do so. Jay Hopper will run point for the Cougars while Anthony Girard plays off-ball. Jack Buckman is a three-year varsity player and should provide rebounding and sound decision making.
Warrensburg: According to coach Mike Perrone, it has been a “very long time” since Warrensburg finished above .500. That could change this year. The Burghers return two talented forwards in seniors Evan MacDuff and Brandon Bailey. MacDuff averaged 14 points per game last season and has the size and quickness required defensively. Jesse Griffin will miss time early due to injury. Perrone is hoping he can return at some point this season.
Whitehall: Whitehall lost a core of seniors, including league MVP Evan St. Claire. Replacing all that scoring will be difficult. However, a few starters return in Thomas Fish and Bryce Eddy who should provide leadership and physicality down low.
Cambridge: After winning 13 games last year, Cambridge will have to find a way to fill the void left by leading scorer Brenden Holcomb from last year. Coach Tim Ogilvie may not be sure who that player will be yet, which likely means it will be a team effort.
Spa Catholic: It is going to take Spa Catholic some time to find its identity. Coach John Catone decided to return to the bench, but nine kids from last year’s squad are gone, including leading scorer Terel Tillman, who decided not to play basketball as a senior.
Greenwich: After winning 10 games last year, the Witches bring back a group of talented seniors led by John Walsh and leading scorer Carson Mosher. Mosher averaged 14 points per game a year ago and will be counted on to produce defensively along as provide the type of leadership that is expected of a top player.
Northern Basketball League
Bolton: With four senior starters, Bolton returns a deep and experienced group. Led by guard Adam Seamans, Bolton coach Ryan Volkmann knows his team is a guard-oriented group that will need to attack the glass as a team to make up for a lack of size. The team’s best shooter is Craig Wholey, and he has the ability to slash effectively as well.
Ticonderoga: Despite losing all-state guard Evan Graney to graduation, the Sentinels return enough talent this year where double-digit wins should be expected. A lot of the scoring pressure will fall on senior Colton Huestis, a 6-foot-4 forward with the ability to hit from deep.