Eagle High School
Conference: 5A Southern Idaho Conference
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Eagle High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Jeff Ranstrom
Record Last Year: 7-15
State Titles: None
Cole Lake, 11, G
Photo By: Chris Melgaard - #1 Cole Lake
Written by: Sven Alskog
5A Southern Idaho Conference
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
2. Rocky Mountain
4. Mountain View
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Paul Pennington, Senior, Boise
Lucas Centeno, Senior, Boise
Ellis Magnuson, Junior, Borah
Zack Barton, Senior, Kuna
Jake Poulton, Junior, Columbia
Donovan Sanor, Sophomore, Meridian
Jalen Galloway, Senior, Mountain View
Tyler O’Donnell, Senior, Rocky Mountain
Hunter Ranstrom, Senior, Rocky Mountain
Cole Lake, Junior, Eagle
Zac Zenner, Senior, Timberline
With senior talents like Delveion Jackson, Kolby Lee and Kobe Terashima roaming the 5A SIC last season the conference represented well at state and had both representatives in the title game.
While those players may have graduated, don’t expect the conference to see much of a drop-off, with quality athletes up and down the rosters ready to keep things rolling.
Led by Second Team All-State returning guard Paul Pennington and Second Team All-Conference wing Lucas Centeno, Boise should again be a force to be reckoned with.
The Braves lost interior presence Andrew Theobald and team leader Jack Streeby, but with all the players who do come back, the excitement level for the new season is as high as ever.
“This squad has a lot of experienced players returning. With them comes chemistry and work ethic that sets the tone for the direction of our program. Our players have chosen to sacrifice some individual statistics to achieve greater things as a unit,” said third year head coach Manny Varela.
Junior post Garrett Hansen is a player who could make a big impact this season down-low. With less height than some of the opponents they will face this year, Boise expects to rely on a swarming defense to make things difficult for opponents.
“Our team strives to be gritty on the defensive end. We want to fly around on defense and make everything difficult for our opponent. Offensively, we want to shoot high percentage shots and limit turnovers. Our offense struggled last year when we limited our pressure on the rim. One of our points of emphasis is going to be getting paint touches off of the pass or dribble,” added Varela.
Rocky Mountain lost plenty of height in its own right with the graduation of 6-foot-9 4-star recruit, BYU commit and State Player of the Year Kolby Lee.
The Grizzlies have a pair of senior guards in Tyler O’Donnell and Hunter Ranstrom that will lead the way for the new-look roster.
“Our team is unselfish and has multiple threats to score. We need to learn to communicate better on defense,” said seventh year Rocky Mountain head coach Dane Roy.
Expect a heavy emphasis on rebuilding from all five positions for the Grizzlies as they transition to a smaller lineup.
“I think Rocky could surprise some people this year,” said Nampa head coach Derek Pegram. “They lost quite a bit, but such a well-coached team could see much success again this year.”
Borah has endless athleticism with a fairly young roster that still has plenty of varsity experience.
Second Team All-Conference point guard Ellis Magnuson pilots the Lions attack, with forwards Austin Bolt and Jay Ahlstrom a couple of players he will look for plenty.
“Our core players were pretty young last year. [It] looks like they have taken a step in the right direction in terms of maturity and confidence. We will have very good team chemistry this year,” said second year Borah head coach Jeremy Dennis.
Cyprien Ndabanyenzuye and Alex Jimenez are a couple of pieces to the puzzle who could see lots of minutes this season for the Lions.
“I feel they are the most athletic team in the conference,” said Meridian head coach Jeff Sanor.
“Stud guards, active bigs and great coaching,” added Roy.
Senior wing Jalen Galloway is the player to watch for Mountain View, a team which lost a ton of talent from a state tournament team a year ago, including Tyler Brotherson, Cam Howard, Juan Aguilar and Spencer Erickson.
But alongside fellow seniors Cooper Anderson and Carson Wells, Galloway and the Mavericks should be a threat again.
“We have a few returners that are expected to produce this year but so many new players, so it will be fun to watch them improve day-to-day,” said Mountain View head coach Jon Nettleton.
Led by a quality coach, there shouldn’t be much doubt that the team will remain competitive again this season.
“We will be mostly a man-to-man team with a motion type of offense. We will always work hard and compete. Biggest area of improvement needed will be just the chemistry on the floor throughout the season,” added Nettleton.
In reality, the Mavericks are right in the thick of what will be an all-out battle for district tournament seeding, with a handful of interesting teams around them.
Centennial lost All-State performer Delveion Jackson, a dynamic talent who averaged over 15 points and 8 rebounds per game in his senior campaign.
Senior guards Kam Modrow and Parker Martens will lead the way for the Patriots, who look to dictate the pace and keep things fast.
“I really like our team chemistry. This group of guys is very close and eager to learn. We like to play fast on offense and on defense we want to pressure the ball,” said Centennial head coach Josh Aipperspach.
He acknowledges that in order to be in the upper echelon of the conference it will all start on the defensive end.
“We must compete every night. This is a great league. We must be a top three defensive team in the league to win it,” added Aipperspach.
Meridian and Kuna are two teams that have big sleeper potential, as both look to make a jump in the standings this time around.
The Warriors and first year head coach Jeff Sanor lost four seniors from a 10-12 team last year, but with so many freshmen and sophomores having gained experience during that run, the progression should be obvious.
“We were very young last year. At many points last year we had four sophomores and one freshman on the floor. I am excited to see how we will compete with an additional year of experience. We want to play fast, but should be balanced enough from a personnel standpoint to slow it down if needed. We will focus on defense and rebounding this year,” said Sanor.
Senior forward Ross Wallis is joined by the junior quintet of Spencer Fair, Preston Chandler, Spencer Tolman and Javen Woodall and sophomore forward Donovan Sanor to give Meridian a core that can compete with anybody.
“They were young last year as well and they had improved a lot when I saw them in the summer,” said Kuna head coach Pete Longgood.
“I think Meridian will surprise the conference. They are well-coached and have tremendous talent,” added Varela.
It’s much the same story for Kuna.
“Kuna was young last year, but competed with everyone,” said Nettleton.
The Kavemen have Honorable Mention All-Conference guard Zack Barton back for his senior season, along with posts Troy Patterson and Tren Halliday to give a good inside-out combination. Danny Rogers and Matthew Austin are players to watch in the backcourt as well.
“We had a young team learning a new system last year. We have a lot of returning players this year and should be more competitive,” said Longgood.
In comparison to some of the other teams in conference play, Kuna will look to slow things down and make contests more of the slug-it-out variety.
“We try to be a team that is physical defensively and patient on the offensive end. We need to continue to improve on our defense and ball movement,” added Longgood.
Just three players for Capital have experience at the varsity level, meaning it will be a much different look for the Eagles.
Those three returners are seniors Parker Olson, Jake Lindsey and Seth Egbert.
“The group of players we have this year bring a high character and high work-ethic to the floor, which will be exciting to work with,” said third year Capital head coach Scott Moore.
Toughness is the name of the game for Capital.
“We want to bring a toughness to the defensive side of the ball and establish a gritty style of play. Offensively we’ll look to push the ball and create opportunities for our scorers. We will look to improve throughout the season, and the goal will be to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” added Moore.
Eagle is a team that may be able to take advantage of its height, especially considering the losses for other teams throughout the conference.
“They are big and have a lot of guys back,” said Aipperspach.
Junior guard Cole Lake is a player multiple coaches will have their eyes on from the perimeter.
It’s a young and inexperienced group for Timberline, but that will make for an exciting season to see who steps up alongside All-Conference senior guard Zac Zenner.
The Wolves have a trio of sophomores who may very well be able to do just that in Nic Zenner, Jake Stranzl and Andy Peters.
“We want to play at our tempo. Dictate what we want to do. We want to have a championship effort and performance every night, playing our best basketball in February and March,” said Timberline head coach Bruce Logsdon.
Columbia is led by All-Conference returner Jake Poulton and Nampa has a new coach in Derek Pegram that will be looking to turn around the fortunes of a program that went 1-19 a season ago.
“I’m most excited about building a new culture here at Nampa High [and] watching this program grow and have success at all levels,” said Pegram.
Senior forwards Josue Siguenza and Hayden Woolstenhulme are a couple of the players who could emerge as leaders for the Bulldogs.
“Offensively we are guard heavy and want to play a spread game with lots of cuts and ball movement. Defensively we like to mix it up. Lots of ball pressure and good help defense. Winning the glass will be a key for us,” added Pegram.
Controlling the glass could very well end up being the key to the conference according to the first year Nampa head coach and multiple others throughout the SIC, with teams at the top looking to rebuild their interiors so to speak.
“The x-factor will be owning the boards. The team who can do that and play lock-down defense will win this conference.”