Twin Falls, the reigning 4A champion, graduated most of its key players from that team. Holdovers like Braden Stutzman and Avery Manring will now hold down key roles. … Jerome returns only two players with varsity experience, Jacob Lloyd and Trever Ostler, but if the past is any indication the Tigers will have the inexperienced kids ready at the right time. … Minico has five returning players, including Nico Chavez and Matthew Brumley. The Spartans look to improve in Year 2 under Ty Shippen. … Burley graduated much of its team from back-to-back state tournament appearances. This looks to be a rebuilding season for the Bobcats under longtime coach Jack Bagley. … Canyon Ridge may have a formidable lineup with key players like Drew Schwarz, Keion Peterson and Bailey Hiebert. The Riverhawks will certainly have the athletes to compete, and the season will be dictated by how well they mesh on-court. … Wood River, like in football, could be the surprise package. The Wolverines have quality in Alec Nordsieck and a growing stable of athletes to complement.
Class 3A SCIC
Buhl is the reigning 3A champ and has plenty of athletes returning, but it might take time for the Indians to grow together. … Filer graduated most of its key players, including the Beard brothers. The Wildcats will be young and undersized, but we’ve learned never to count them out. … Gooding has improved in recent seasons, and with Clancy Cockerham and Bryson Comstock back, the Senators will be tough. … Kimberly returns minimal experience and has Daren Garey coming on for his first season in charge.
Class 2A Canyon
Declo returns a stable of good players that helped the Hornets get to the 2A title game last season. Stegan Garner and Kyle Heward headline Declo’s arsenal of athletes. … Wendell has two big-time athletes back in Logan Bowers and Johnny Lancaster. The Trojans will look to unseat Declo for one state tournament berth.
Class 1A-I Snake River
Valley moves down from the 2A ranks and looks poised to compete well in 1A-I. The Vikings have Cole Lickley, Garrett Mussmann and Ben Taylor, all of whom are capable of going off on a given night. … Raft River has no shortage of athletes and continuity with Brian Poole coaching from football to basketball yet again. Wil Holtman and Co. should be in business. … Glenns Ferry might fly under the radar, but Wes Arce leads a talented bunch that might surprise. … Hagerman returns a couple of nice players in Cody Douville and Daniel Daily, and the Pirates will be long and rangy, but they’re inexperienced and not terribly deep. … Shoshone has two returning players, Jose Regalado and Devin Bollar, both sophomores. They’ll be expected to lead a team that’s got four seniors out of 10 players, but is largely inexperienced. … Oakley has a very young group, with just three seniors – Clay and Curtis Bedke, and Kwayd Wadsworth – but the Hornets have plenty of athletes and should be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
Class 1A-II Northside
Carey returns virtually everybody from its fourth-place team from a season ago. Joe Parke, Matt Whitworth and reigning Times-News small-school player of the year Nate Adamson will make the Panthers formidable. ... Dietrich returns matchup nightmare Trey Dill, who will become a four-year starter this season. He’s tough to handle and will lead a talented Blue Devils bunch along the way to what they hope is a state playoff team. … Richfield returns key players Jeff Henson, Victor Robles and Dakota Donovan to try to crack the state tournament after a sizable hiatus. … Hansen has the talented Jimmy Lasso returning, but not a lot else around him. … Castleford lost plenty from last year’s team and will try to rebuild around Mike Nield. … Lighthouse Christian has some talented athletes back from a team that nearly made the state tournament.