High School Boys Preview: RCAC

basket-2-701x728RCAC Upper Division

EAST EAGLES (Class A1)

Last season: Finished 18-3 and lost to Aquinas 63-48 in the Class AA semi-final.

Coach: Darrell Barley/ 15th year.

Top returners:  Zion Morrison (19.4 ppg, 5.1 apg) and Windell Lucas (17.7ppg, 4.9 reb).

Top newcomers:  Chaz Washington 6’0 So. and Jordan Randolph 6’3″ So.

Outlook: East will go as far as Zion and Windell take them. The Eagles have a nice mix of young talent that will have to produce on the varsity level. East wins if players other than Zion and Windell step up.

First Game: Leadership Academy/December 6th.

EDISON TECH INVENTORS (CLASS AA)

Last season: Finished 15- 7 and lost to Fairport, 56-48 in the Class AA semi-final.

Coach: Jacob Scott/ninth year.

Top returnerMarique Simkin — Sr. PG (19.6 ppg, 5 apg, 3 rpg).

 Top newcomers:  Tristian Flowers — Jr. F 6’4″ 130 lbs. Felipe Carter — Jr. G 6’0 120lbs, Jahrel Holt — Sr. F 6’3″140 lbs. Dylan Foster — Fr. G 6’0 115 lbs. and Chaz McKinney — Sr. G, 6’5, 120 lbs.

Outlook: Edison Tech will look for senior leadership from guard, Simkin – the only returning starter from last year’s 15-7 team. The Inventors will be extremely scrappy and rely on their intensive ball pressure as they have in the past.

“We win if everyone comes to school ready to work, comes to practice ready to give their all, and if everyone comes to the games willing to trust each other.”

First Game: Early College/December 6th.

FRANKLIN QUAKERS (CLASS A1)

Last season: Finished 5-16 and lost to Monroe in the opening round of Class A2.

Coach: Eddie Lee/12th year (120-112 overall).

Top returners:  Nate Ellison 6′ Sr. F and Tyron Blair 5’10” Sr. F.

Top newcomers: Jam Michael Rodriguez 5’7″ Fr. PG and Heyden Padilla 5’8” Jr. G.

Outlook: Franklin is small and will rely on perimeter production to level the playing field. The Quakers biggest challenge to overcome is their lack of height.

“We win when they play team ball on offense and defense.”

First Game: Monroe/ December 6th.

McQUAID JESUIT KNIGHTS (Class AA)

Last season: Finished 15-7/RCAC Champions. Lost to East, 59-58 in the Class AA quarter-finals.

Coach: Jack Leasure/3rd year (33-29 overall).

Top Returners: Anthony Iglesia — Jr. PG (4.7 ppg, 2.1 apg), Thomas Jones — Jr. G/F (12 ppg, 5 rpg) and Cam Wilson — Sr. F (3.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.1 bpg).

Top Newcomers: David Berger — Jr. F, Patrick Broderick — Sr. G, R.J. Brongo — Jr. G, Tyler Cyrus — Sr. F, Conor Dalton — Sr. G, Connor Kurz — Sr. G, Kobe Long — Fr. G, Josh Purcell — Jr. G, Aldan Ruppert — Jr. F, Nick Tomei — Sr. G, Divine Williams — Jr. G and Connor Zamiara — So. F.

Outlook: McQuaid will be without the services of sophomore forward Isaiah Stewart who was injured in the off-season. If the Knights can pull together, they have a strong nucleus starting with Jones and Wilson.

Teachable Moment from Last Season: “It’s no one else’s fault. It’s up to you.”

First Game: School of the Arts/December 6th.

JAMES MONROE REDJACKETS (CLASS A2)

Last season: Finished 8-13  and lost to Batavia in A2 quarterfinals, 60-52.

Coach: Matt McCormick/11th year

Top returners: Rayshawn Boswell — Jr. G (23 ppg/RCAC First Team as Sophomore), Chris Gibson —Jr. F Jonathan Jones — Jr. F, Tyquil Glasgow — So. F and Chris Williams — Jr. G.

Top newcomers: De’vante Mateo So. PG, Felton Henderson So. F and Trevor Glasgow So. F.

Outlook:  Monroe enters the season as a more mature team. Mostly all returning players logged heavy minutes during 2015-16 as sophomores and freshmen. Boswell should anchor a lineup that can score, but will have to prove that they can defend.

“We win if every player realizes their specific role. Guys will have to prove individually and as a team that they can defend.”

First Game: Eastridge/December 2nd.

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RCAC Lower Division

ROCHESTER EARLY COLLEGE COBRAS (Class B)

Last season: Finished 16-10 and claimed the Class C Championship. Lost to Middle Early College (VI), 62-58 in Far West Regional Finals. Finished No. 2 in Final NYS Rankings.

Coach: John Geglia/5th year (50-40 overall).

Top returners:  Tajmin Holt (20 ppg, 7 rpg, 3.3 apg 1st team AGR selection/ 1st Team All-RCAC), Bryan Harrell (21.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 56 percent from the floor, 1st Team Class C All-State Selection/ 1st Team All-RCAC),  Jagdeep Drumgoole (7.3 ppg).

Top newcomers: Shandare Figgins 6’5″ G, Emmanuel Cotton 6’2″ G/F,  Jermer Murrell 6’4″ F (returning from knee surgery).

Outlook: The beginning of the season may be a rocky start for Early College. Harrell, Holt and Murrell are returning from significant injuries.  The Cobras have also loaded a difficult schedule, especially early in the season and are moving up to class B.  If they can weather these challenges and stay together, a league championship is within reach as well as another sectional run.

“We win if everyone gets and stays healthy first and foremost.  Furthermore, if everyone learns and accepts their roles, works hard, and plays unselfishly, the have the potential to be a very good basketball team at the end of the season.”

First Game; Edison Tech/December 6th.

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY LIONS (CLASS A2)

Last season: Finished 10-10 and tied for first place in RCAC Lower Division. Lost to Palmyra Macedon, 71-66 in the Class B1 quarter-finals. Class B2 Sectional champs 2013-14. Class B1 Sectional Champs and Western Region Champs 2014-15.

Coach: Reggie Simmons/4th year (46-22 overall).

Top returners: Tymeek Mackey — Sr. G (16 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg), Dezmere Ellis — Jr. G (10 ppg, 4 rpg, 7 apg), Davon Brown — Jr. F (8 ppg, 8 rpg) and Jaquane Reed — Sr. G (5 ppg).

Top newcomers: Leevonson Mcknight — Jr. F 6’2″, 175 lbs Rondell Watson — So. G 5’10” 155 lbs and Nathaniel Doyle — So. G 6’0, 170 lbs.

Outlook: Leadership moves up to Class A2 this season. Mackey and Ellis are the team’s dynamic duo and two of the best players in the RCAC. High energy, quick, young team that likes to get out and run, pass and shoot. Intends to capitalize on opponents mistakes to get easy scoring opportunities.

Leadership’s biggest challenge to overcome this season will be youthfulness- the lack of experienced players at the varsity level.

“We win if we get transition points, share the ball and play great defense.”

The most important teachable moment from last year: “UNSELFISH PLAY, TEAM LOYALTY & GREAT DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!”

First Game: East/December 6th.

NE DOUGLASS PANTHERS (Class A2)

Last season: Finished 12-9 and lost to Wilson in A2 quarterfinals, 82-76.

Coach: Kyle Crandall/fourth year (38-26 overall)

Top returners: Daiquon Turner — Sr. G (13.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 apg) and Torrence Phillips — Sr. G (14 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3 apg).

Top newcomers: Jiahmere Mitchell — So. G, 5’9”, 160 lbs. and Larry Young — Sr. F, 6’5”, 185 lbs.

 Outlook: The Panthers will mix veteran leadership with some returning players who should get much more playing time along with key newcomers to the varsity team this year.  Guard play should be the strength of this team.  The real success will probably lie in how much the forwards can develop and improve throughout the season.

The Panthers’ biggest challenge will be adverse moments.  If the team can stick together during difficult times then they could become very resilient by the end of the season.

Last year’s teachable moment: Getting off to a 2-6 start.  The team eventually rattled off 10 wins in their final 12 regular season games.  However, the slow start cost the team the chance to defend the Lower Division RCAC league title.

“We win if we play good defense, minimize turnovers, and make a high percentage of free throws.”

First Game: Geneva (Eastridge Tournament)/December 2nd.

SCHOOL OF THE ARTS SILVER HAWKS (Class A2)

Last season: Finished 8-13 and lost to Honeoye Falls-Lima, 73-41 in the A2 quarter-finals.

Coach: Al Nash/third year at SOTA (12th overall).

Top returners: Justin Brumfield G (9.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Ian Jordan G (8.o ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Top newcomers: Rashid Pendelton G, 6’1″ and Dezmir Philips G, 5’10”.

Outlook: SOTA looks to build team chemistry to become a competitive unit as the season goes along. The Silver Hawks biggest challenge will be overcoming inexperience.

First Game: Pembroke/November 30th.

WILSON MAGNET WILDCATS (Class A2)

Last season: Finished 10-13 and lost to Batavia in A2 final, 64-57.

Coach: Brendan O’Toole/6th year (38-60 overall).  

Top returners:  Robert Davis — So. PG (17 ppg) and Patrick Phillips — Sr. C  (8.0 rpg).

Top newcomers: Desi Floyd G, Keavaughn Harris-Hill G, Joe Blanding F.

Outlook: Wilson lost a lot from last year.  Three of the Wildcats top four scorers and their top two rebounders left with the graduations of Donovan Campbell and Darius Hartzog as well as Earl English moving to California. They can still be competitive this year, but new guys will have to step up.  The starting five might not be as strong as last year, but the quality of depth has improved.  It might take a while for everyone to get comfortable with each other on the court. With a difficult regular season schedule, Wilson should be competitive by sectionals.

Most important teachable moment from last year: Regardless of record, everyone has a chance in sectionals.  Wilson lost several close games last year and had to forfeit three wins, so they went into sectionals with a losing record.  As the No. 5 seed they knocked off the No. 4 seed and No. 1 seed to make it to the finals, ultimately losing by seven to No. 2 seed Batavia.

WORLD OF INQUIRY GRIFFINS (Class C)

Last season: Finished 13-9  and fell to No.1 seed East Rochester in the C1 quarter-finals, 64-60.

Coach: Stephen Campe/second year (13-9 overall)

Top returners: CeyQuan Salmon — Jr. (third year on varsity/21 ppg /768 career points), Charles Maurice Brown — Jr. (third year on varsity/13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Terrell June — Sr. (returning starter/7.0 ppg) and Leander Blue — Sr. (returning starter/7.0 ppg).

Top newcomers:  Dannie Palmer — Fr. 5’10″, 165 lbs Isaiah Brock – So. 5’11″, 180 lbs Bobby Searight – So., 6’4″, 290 lbs Kyle Beasley – Jr. 6’0″, 185 lbs and Javonte Burrell – Jr., 5’8″, 150 lbs.

Outlook: WOI will need to keep the big picture in mind throughout the season. Joining the RCAC gives the Griffins a very difficult schedule. They will need to use league games to get better prepared for the class C sectional tournament. Getting a couple of wins against larger class schools will improve seeding.

“We win if we stay positive with one another, play unselfish team basketball, and stay focused on our goal of winning Class C.”

First game: Bloomfield/November 29th.

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***Quotes provided by head coaches. 

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