Kootenai High School
Conference: 1AD2 North Star League
Classification: 1A D2
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Kootenai High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Mike Maitland
Record Last Year: 5-12
State Titles: None
Written by: Sven Alskog
1AD2 North Star League
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
*Wallace does not factor into conference standings, but is included in this poll, as the team plays a full schedule against North Star opponents
1. Genesis Prep
3. Clark Fork
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Junior Williams, Genesis Prep
Jonny Hillman, Genesis Prep
Jacob Schroeder, Genesis Prep
Kobe Banks, Clark Fork
Sky Galloway, Mullan
DayDay Higgins, Lakeside
Sheldon Trogden, Mullan
After winning the first state title in school history in exciting fashion over the Dietrich Blue Devils last season, Genesis Prep returns the core of that roster looking to go for the repeat this time around.
Coming back for the Jaguars is stud guard Jonny Hillman, just a junior. The explosive playmaker can fill it up from all over the floor and will give Genesis Prep a strong scoring option to lead the way as the season progresses.
Joining Hillman is a strong backcourt led by Junior Williams, Jacob Schroeder and Max Reidt, with Luke Gonzales looking to fill the shoes left vacated by the graduation of big man Stephane Manzi.
“We are excited to be a part of our senior’s final season. We want to play like a family on both ends of the floor; together,” said Genesis Prep head coach Marsell Colbert.
While the Jaguars should be able to again take the crown within the North Star Conference, the team will challenge itself with a non-conference slate featuring Washington schools such as Gonzaga Prep, Rogers, Northwest Christian, Mt. Spokane, Hellgate of Montana and a tournament in San Diego.
Wallace will be a tough team, as it looks to get past the play-in game against the second place team out of district two, likely either Prairie, Lapwai or Potlatch.
Clark Fork has sleeper potential, led by the return of All-League performer Kobe Banks.
“I’m excited to see which boys will step up and be willing to push and lead the team. It’s hard to instill in young men how far hard work can get you in life. In school and on the court, when they decide to stand out in this area that’s when you see them succeed,” said Clark Fork head coach Jim Banks.
The Wampus Cats also have senior guards Wade Stevens and TJ Henderson back to help lead the way.
In the new year, Banks wants the focus to start on the defensive end.
“I want my boys to utilize one another and to work on holding every team we play to a less amount of points than before and to learn the plays aren’t always going to work, so read the defense and take what they give you.”
With a good core group coming back, Mullan could also see a spike in wins.
“They have all of their returning players [back],” added Banks.
The Tigers are led by the duo of Sky Galloway and Sheldon Trogden, while fellow conference foe Lakeside brings back DayDay Higgins, who should fill up the state sheet for the Knights.
Kootenai won five games last season and could struggle again within the North Star Conference.