HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' BASKETBALL: FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR AREA HOOPS TEAMS
It was a season to remember for area boys’ basketball teams, and next year is shaping up to possibly be even better.
The Corning boys started the year undefeated, until a late-season loss to Elmira in the regular season. The wound up winning sectionals and reaching the regional final.
While the Hawks graduate three seniors in Aidan Chamberlin, Landen Burch and Nesu Maphosa, the first two all-STSR picks this year, the last a an all-defensive team pick, the Hawks return a strong group next season.
All-STSR Player of the Year Jackson Casey will be back for his senior year, and Casey is one of the best players in all of Section 4.
The Hawks guard is the area’s assist leader and he is one of the most fun players to watch in the state.
Throw in the return of All-STSR Newcomer of the Year Isaiah Henderson and you have the makings of a great team next year.
Henderson averaged more than 18 points a game this year, shooting 40% from three, and he did that in his first varsity season as a sophomore.
The future looks bright for Henderson and he could very easily lead all of Section 4 in scoring next year.
The Hawks also return Reed Walrath and Logan Booker off the bench. The two are two of the first three players off the bench for Corning and they should move into the starting lineup next year.
With some other returning players off the bench, such as Jeremiah Green, who is on the five to watch next year, and some young players coming up, the Hawks should be one of the best in Section 4 again next year.
Don’t sleep on the younger kids for the Hawks either. Corning has a dominant sixth-grade team, led by one of the best players in that age group in the state, and so the Hawks could have some big-time players up on varsity from that room sooner rather than later.
Horseheads was led by the Truax brothers this year, and both will be back next season.
Amauri averaged more than 20 a game as a junior this year, and Jeremy was the team’s second leading scorer as a sophomore and both will return next season for Horseheads.
The team also returns Alex Daugherty, who was just a sophomore this year and was the team’s leading scorer, and they return guard Jackson Cook, who was a junior this year. Daugherty was on the All-STSR all-unsung team, while Cook was on the defensive team. Both the Truax brothers were on the Terrific Ten team this year, and Amauri was the offensive player of the year.
The Notre Dame boys graduate one of the best players in the IAC in Steven Gough, but they also return one of the best players in the section in Malakai Owens.
Owens, a 6-foot, 7-inch post player developed into one of the best post players in the section this year. He averaged nearly 15 a game this year and nearly averaged a double-double, while blocking two shots a game.
The Crusaders also return all-rookie team pick Save Waters and they have some talented younger players, with a lot of size, including 6-foot, 4-inch Malik Marshall.
The Edison boys had a tough season, but they return a lot next year.
Sophomore Blake Cobb made the all rookie team, after leading the team at nearly nine rebounds a game this year, and juniors George Smith and Evan Bush were both starters this year who return next year and were on the All-STSR five to watch list.
The team also returns juniors DeShon Cook and Malik McRae and sophomores Garrison Balash, Riley Cobb and Landon Allen.
No team was more senior led than the Elmira Express.
As Elmira made its run in the second half of the season that led to the sectional final the Express started five seniors.
With Seth Myles, Anthony Brooks, Xavier Jones, Mikey Middaugh and Tyler Marks all graduating from the starting lineup the Express will have some big shoes to fill.
What helps is having one of the best newcomers in the area this year with Chris Woodard. Woodard was one of the most dominant post players in the area. The 6-foot, 2-inch sophomore was a walking mismatch in the paint this year for Elmira.
The team also returns freshman James Harris, who hit four threes the first time they played Corning and is on the All-STSR newcomer team.
Johnnie Garcia is on the five to watch for the All-STSR team and the sophomore is one of the more athletic players in the area.
Elmira also returns juniors Kobe Thomas, Da’mon Jackson and Phil Nierstedt and Logan Houper, along with sophomore Tyre Daniel, all who got time off the bench this year for Elmira.
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