Suburban One League
The only Suburban One boys' basketball team to advance beyond the first round of last season's state tournament graduated its entire starting lineup.
But the expectations remain high and Norristown should get experienced in a hurry.
"They're a close-knit group," coach Mike Evans said. "I think that will get them through the long haul."
The Eagles will lean on talented combo guard Curtis Lever and Chris Evans, a 6-foot-7 post player with a deft shooting touch. The seniors will be joined by Kip Patton, a 6-6 Norristown native who transferred home from Georgia.
Challenging Norristown in the American will be Upper Moreland, the defending District 1 Class AAA champion, which returns 6-5 center Kevin McFall, who is drawing Division III interest. He'll get help on the outside from James Martin and Tommy Robinson.
Wissahickon, with Chase Wilson and Chris Vila; Cheltenham, led by Aaron Burton, and Plymouth Whitemarsh, with Andre Mitchell, also should contend for the crown.
Upper Dublin will lean on the senior leadership of Marc Conran, Zach Greenberg, and Kevin Woods. Upper Merion 6-6 center Danny Kubler could have a breakout year for a senior-laden team that also returns hardworking point guard David Stecz.
Defending National Conference champion Abington graduated three all-league seniors but has fourth-year varsity player Anthony Lee, who averaged double figures a season ago.
Chasing the Ghosts will be Council Rock North, which, with Chris Rowland, Josh McWilliams, and Tyler Madison, looks to top what coach Derek Wright called one of the most successful seasons in the program's 60-year history.
Bensalem graduated seven seniors, but junior point guard Avery Nyekan returns to run an offense that also features crafty small forward Brian Kilcoyne and strong post player Jeff News, who returns from a knee injury.
Pennsbury, with standout juniors Mekhi Bryant and Cameron Jones, and Truman, led by Lucas Waters, also will be in the title mix.
Continental Conference cochampion Souderton returns point guard Steve Shaffer and 6-6 forward Jared Bernhardt, a pair of gym rats with Division III prospects. Back for cochampion Hatboro-Horsham is Zach Quattro, a natural scorer bound for Le Moyne.
Coming off a trip to the state tournament, Central Bucks South returns just one starter, but Matt Scamuffo averaged 13 points last season. Seniors Noah Melchior, Jason Jones, and Brian Coleman will set the tone for North Penn's experienced squad. Central Bucks East returns its all-league backcourt duo of Brendan McLaughlin and Tommy Strasburger.
Central Bucks West has back its entire starting lineup, including Jared Kelly, Cal Reichwein, and Kyle Salvitti. Pennridge, led by Zach Muredda, Pat McClatchy, and Joe Molettier, is looking up.
- Mark Macyk