Can Shawnee Heights basketball challenge for a United Kansas Conference title? Here's what coaches say.

·5 min read

The United Kansas Conference is beginning its high school boys basketball season.

We talked to the league coaches for breakdowns on their teams, their top players to replace, their top returning players, key position battles and new players that could make an impact this season along with their outlook and schedules for this season.

*Home games are in bold, all varsity start times are 7:30 or 7:45 unless otherwise noted

Basehor-Linwood

Last season: 15-5

Last league title: 2020

Top players to replace:

Top returning players: Trevor McBride (6-1, Sr. G, 10.2 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.7 spg, 2.0 rpg), Carter Bergman (6’2”, Sr. G, 13.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.0 spg), Ty Hofer (6’4", Sr, G, 8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg ) Aidan Ford (5'9" Sr, G, 2.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg)

Other returning players, players that could contribute: Tyson Ruud (6’5”, Jr, G/F, Kid can flat fly and can score in a variety of ways. He will make us different around the rim), Aidan Ingram (6’4”, Sr, F, Very crafty kid who will be big for us on defense. Can score when needed), Will Blankenship (6’0”, Jr, G, Hardnosed kid with an ability to post up. Great work ethic and he can score), Layton Rothwell (6’2”, Sr, G, Tremendous upside. If he can produce how he is capable, he will be a difference-maker. Great body and has a great feel in the post)

Eighteenth-year head coach Mike McBride: This team lost a total of 23 points and 10 rebounds a game from last season. But with experience coming back and the addition of some big-time newcomers, this team is ready to get back to state championship caliber basketball. The Bobcats don’t have a true post player this year, but they do have good length overall, which will allow them to give teams different looks all over the floor. All the guards, including Ford, have experience posting up, so this will be a nice team who understands the game very well and they will be able to expose mismatches. A state tournament berth is always the goal and then we will see if we have what it takes to win it all.

Schedule

12/7 at Tournament, TBD

12/9 at Tournament, TBD

12/10 at Tournament, TBD

12/18 at SM Northwest vs. McPherson, 5:30 p.m.

1/7 vs. De Soto

1/11 vs. Lansing

1/14 at Leavenworth

1/18 - Tournament, TBD

1/21 - Tournament, TBD

1/22 - Tournament, TBD

1/28 at Turner

2/1 vs. Baldwin

2/4 vs. Wamego

2/8 at Shawnee Heights

2/11 at De Soto

2/15 at Lansing

2/18 vs. Leavenworth

2/22 vs. Turner

2/25 vs. Shawnee Heights

De Soto

Last season: 19-4

Last league title: 2020

Top players to replace: Wyatt Noll (F, 18 ppg), Nate Barnhart (F, 13 ppg)

Top returning players: Tyler Schultze (6’1, Sr, 3rd year starting PG), Ethan Schultze (6’1, Sr, 2nd year varsity)

Other returning players, players that could contribute: David Cobin (5’9, So, PG), Trent Johnson (5’10, G)

Twelfth-year head coach Matt Rice: We are young and undersized. We will take our lumps early but I expect to compete later in the year. We will likely lose to someone we should beat and beat someone we should lose to.

Schedule

12/7 - 12/11 at Huhtamaki Hardwood Classic, TBD

12/16 vs. Bonner Springs

1/7 at Basehor Linwood

1/11 vs. Turner

1/14 at Lansing

1/17 at Tonganoxie

1/28 at Paola

2/1 vs. Spring Hill

2/4 at Shawnee Heights

2/8 vs. Leavenworth

2/11 vs. Basehor Linwood

2/15 at Turner

2/18 vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest

2/22 vs. Shawnee Heights

2/25 at Leavenworth

Lansing

Last season: 12-8

Last league title: 2015

Top players to replace: Malik Benson, Peyton Basler, Jake Jackson, Caden Crawford, Trevor Couch

Top returning players: Joren Remington (10.7 ppg as junior), Adam Allen (Played in every varsity game, Richie Patrick (Played in every varsity game)

Other returning players, players that could contribute: Nathan Expose

20th-year head coach Jason Jones: A lot of new faces and a ton of scoring to replace. Joren Remington is the only returning starter.

Schedule

12/10 at Spring Hill

12/14 vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest

12/21 vs. Tonganoxie

1/4 at FL Schlagle

1/7 at Shawnee Heights

1/11 at Basehor Linwood

1/14 vs. De Soto

1/18 at Tournament, TBD

1/20 at Tournament, TBD

1/21 at Tournament, TBD

1/25 at Gardner Edgerton

1/28 vs. Blue Valley Southwest

2/4 at Leavenworth

2/8 vs. Turner

2/11 vs. Shawnee Heights

2/15 vs. Basehor Linwood

2/18 at Seaman

2/22 vs. Leavenworth

2/25 at Turner

Leavenworth

Last season: 4-17

Head coach: Dru Linebach, 3rd year

Top returning players: Jaikuan Darthard (6’4” Senior Guard, All UKC), Jeremiah Lewis (6’2” Junior Guard), Eddie Mclaughlin (5’11” Junior Guard), Corey Chatmon (5’9” Senior Guard), Ty Bennett (6’5” Senior Guard)

Top newcomers, others that could contribute: Anthony Jones (6’3” Senior Forward), Jamarcus Crawford (6’3” Freshman, Forward)

Schedule

12/9 at Carthage Tournament

12/10 at Carthage Tournament

12/11 at Carthage Tournament

12/17 at St. Joseph Central

12/21 at Spring Hill

1/7 vs. Turner

1/11 at Shawnee Heights

1/14 vs. Basehor Linwood

1/18 at Liberty Tournament

1/20 at Liberty Tournament

1/21 at Liberty Tournament

1/29 at Mill Valley

2/1 vs. Bonner Springs

2/4 vs. Lansing

2/8 at De Soto

2/11 at Turner

2/15 vs. Shawnee Heights

2/18 at Basehor Linwood

2/22 at Lansing

2/25 vs. De Soto

Shawnee Heights

Last season: 6-11

Last league title: N/A

Head coach: Ken Darting, 4th year

Top players to replace: Harvey Davis, Andrew Rantz, Isiah Johnson, Brent Showalter

Top returning players: Jarin Sanders (Sr, PG, 5 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3rd year Varsity), Nate Pewe (Sr, G, 10 ppg, 6 rpg, 2nd year Varsity)

Schedule

12/8 at Topeka High

12/10 at Ottawa

12/14 vs. Topeka West

1/4 at Bonner Springs

1/7 vs. Lansing

1/11 vs. Leavenworth

1/14 at Turner

1/18 at Tournament, TBD

1/20 at Tournament, TBD

1/21 at Tournament, TBD

2/1 at Tonganoxie

2/4 vs. De Soto

2/8 vs. Basehor Linwood

2/11 at Lansing

2/15 at Leavenworth

2/17 vs. Piper

2/18 vs. Turner

2/22 at De Soto

2/25 at Basehor Linwood

Turner

Last season: 0-18

Last league title: 1998

Top returning players: Cedric Bates (6’6, Sr, F, 2 yrs. Varsity), Davionte (Davo) Suttington )6’0 Jr, G 3 yrs. Varsity)

Other returning players, players that could contribute: Daleshawn Jenkins (DJ) (6’2, Jr, G 2 yrs. varsity), Antonio Garrett (Tone) (6’2 So, G, 2 yrs. varsity), Erickson George (5’7, Fr, G), MeKhi Follick (6’2, Fr, G), JaRon Brown (6’3, Fr, G)

1st year head coach Trinity Hall: Compete for 40 mins and never quit.

Schedule

12/6 at Bonner Springs

12/7 at Eudora

12/14 vs. Tonganoxie

12/17 at Bishop Ward

1/14 at Washington

1/7 at Leavenworth

1/11 at De Soto

1/14 vs. Shawnee Heights

1/18 Tournament at Shawnee Mission Northwest, TBD

1/20 Tournament at Shawnee Mission Northwest, TBD

1/21 Tournament at Shawnee Mission Northwest, TBD

1/25 vs. Bonner Spring

1/28 vs. Basehor Linwood

2/8 at Lansing

2/11 vs. Leavenworth

2/15 vs. De Soto

2/18 at Shawnee Heights

2/22 at Basehor Linwood

2/25 vs. Lansing

Contact Seth Kinker at skinker@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @SethKinker

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Analyzing United Kansas Conference high school basketball for 2021-22

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