The Star’s high school basketball preview zeroes in on five Missouri boys teams to watch this season.
Perhaps the most obvious strength for the Wildcats is their depth. They expect contributions from four post players, led by junior Daniel Parker. Add to that, senior Tyree King and junior RJ Lawrence make up a formidable backcourt. Parker, Lawrence and King combined to score 40.9 points per game last season.
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The Tigers ran the table through the regular season last year before finishing fourth in Missouri Class 5. But there’s a significant amount to replace following the graduation of leading scorer Blake Spellman and defensive leader Nick Larkin, among others. That leaves Somaj Brewer and Delshaun Presley with some big shoes to fill.
LEE’S SUMMIT WEST
Three double-digit scorers are back for the Titans, who could be as athletic as any team in the city. Senior Elijah Childs is a talented post player; junior Mario Goodrich has displayed a knack for getting to the basket; and junior Phillip Brooks is another weapon from the guard position.
PARK HILL SOUTH
The Panthers lost only one player from last year’s rotation, though it was a valuable piece in all-state selection Ryan Welty. Still, they are loaded in the backcourt with sophomores Lamel Robinson and Desi Williams, along with three-year starter Jacob Kline. Robinson has already drawn Division I interest.
A couple of injuries prevented the Hawklets from taking flight a year ago, but they return a good balance in 2016-17. Senior Chris Teahan (13.6 points per game) and junior Xavier Rhodes (11.8) are reliable scorers.