The Suburban Conference high school boys basketball teams featured an array of surprise teams whose rebuilding projects accelerated a bit more quickly than initially expected.
None surprised more than Raytown.
One year after finishing with only six victories, the Blue Jays won the Suburban White Conference, edging Fort Osage by one game. Raytown finished with a 19-7 record.
Similarly, Grandview was unbeaten in the Suburban Blue Conference one season after compiling a losing record in league play.
The journeys to conference championships for Blue Springs South and Lee's Summit West were less surprising after both won their respective leagues last season.
Those four teams earned banners for their titles, and the individual accolades trickled in over the last week, too.
Blue Springs South junior Kevin Puryear was named the player of the year in the Suburban Gold Conference. He was joined on the all-conference first team by Blue Springs South senior Kendall Blanton, Liberty senior Kellan Turner, Blue Springs South sophomore K.J. Robinson and Liberty senior Brandyn Moultrie. The conference's second team consisted of Lee's Summit junior Drew Lock, Blue Springs junior Kirk Finley, Lee's Summit sophomore Blake Spellman, Lee's Summit North senior Caleb Berry and Lee's Summit senior Bruce Bias.
Honorable mentions from the Suburban Gold Conference were Brandon Kilgore and Jacob Towler of Blue Springs South, Darius Vaughn and Cody Isabel of Blue Springs, Lee's Summit senior Grant Robbins, Lee's Summit North senior Zach Lamb and Raymore-Peculiar junior Ben Harris.
All-state selection Monte Harrison from Lee's Summit West highlighted the Suburban Red Conference first team, along with Titans juniors Jarred Dixon and Gary Davis and Park Hill South seniors Hudson Welty and Evan Hines. The Red Conference second team members were Park Hill South senior Payton Meek, Park Hill juniors Landry Shamet and Deionte Wilson, Truman sophomore Reid Titus and Ruskin sophomore Nate Washington. Honorable mentions from the conference were Park Hill South sophomore Ryan Welty, Lee's Summit West players Ryan Williams, Thomas Ganaden and Dale Brown, Park Hill junior Louis Reinmiller, Truman guards Dewayne Thornton and Michael Hernandez and Ruskin seniors Brenan Latimer and Jamari Chalmers.
After leading Raytown to the Suburban White Conference championship, Blue Jays junior Jailen Gill was named the league's player of the year. He was joined on the first team by Fort Osage guards Brian Starr and Skylar Thompson, along with Belton senior Lewis Wilkins and Staley junior Trevor Lamb. The second team from the league included Oak Park senior Justin Walker, Raytown junior Brandon Sublett and William Chrisman players Chris Horn, Brett Pendergist and Alex Ball. The honorable mentions were North Kansas City junior Major Finley, Raytown players John Burton, Derrick Walker, Curtis Dunnell and Will Nelson, Staley sophomores Beau Baker and Christian Covington, Fort Osage players Will Penamon and Logan Haugmo and Belton juniors Antwon Winn and Louis McKamey.
All-state seniors Tyrone Taylor of Grandview, Brinkley Jolly of Liberty North and Dray Starzl of Kearney were part of a six-player first team from the Suburban Blue Conference, which also included Grandview senior Nelson Nweke, Liberty North sophomore Michael Hughes and Raytown South junior Tyrone Gibbs. The all-conference second team consisted of Grandview senior Walter Sorrells, Kearney forwards Tanner Owens and Reece Frizzell, Raytown South sophomore Bryan Trimble, Winnetonka guard Julious Sebastiano and Platte County players Jesse Eggers, John Houpe and Sam Zimmerman.
The Blue Conference honorable mentions were Grandview seniors Freedom Akinmoladun, Nathan Scott and Damon King, Kearney junior point guard Pierce Moling, Liberty North's Ian Sanderford and Brian Sharp, Raytown South's Elijah Childs, Jabril Cox and Robert Hunt and Winnetonka's Chris Harbison and AJ Roup.