High School Sports

SLO County teams to watch as the prep basketball season kicks into full swing

Mission Prep junior Kyle Colvin drives to the hoop at the Mission Prep Christmas Classic.
Mission Prep junior Kyle Colvin drives to the hoop at the Mission Prep Christmas Classic. tgibson@thetribunenews.com

Prep basketball league play kicked off this week on the Central Coast. The Tribune decided it would be a good time to check out all the teams in San Luis Obispo County — from the PAC 8 to the Los Padres League — to see who the contenders will be as the season moves along.

PAC 8

Mission Prep

At a glance

2015-16 record: 20-9 overall, 13-1 PAC 8

2016-17 so far: 9-7 overall, 1-0 PAC 8

Mission Prep won a share of the PAC 8 title with St. Joseph last season and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs, led by 2015 Tribune County Player of the Year Kyle Stewart. A tough nonleague schedule has already resulted in some close defeats this season, but make no mistake: The Royals will be right in the mix for the league title again this season.

Key Departures

Matthew Blaney (G), Max Basile (F)

With the departure of Basile, Mission Prep lost a scrappy lock-down defender. Without Blaney, the Royals lost a player who could get hot from deep or dunk on heads.

Key Returners

Kyle Stewart (Sr., F), Kyle Colvin (Jr., G), Carter Gran (Sr., F), Jake Jensen (Sr., PG)

Despite the departures, Mission Prep has its core back in place for this season. Kyle Colvin is looking like he’s ready to be the No. 1 option on offense, as well as a Tribune County Player of the Year contender, to go along with capable scorers in Stewart and Gran. Jensen gives Mission Prep the ability to score at the point guard spot, a luxury the team didn’t have last season.

Under The Radar

Brayden Corona (Sr., G)

Corona, a star for the Royals football team, is undersized and not really a scoring threat, but he’s a bulldog on defense.

San Luis Obispo

At a glance

2015-16 record: 16-14 overall, 6-8 PAC 8

2016-17 so far: 8-8 overall, 0-1 PAC 8

San Luis Obispo finished fifth in the PAC 8 last season and lost to La Canada in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs. After losing the size that defined last year’s team, the Tigers will have to find a different way to win with one of the smallest teams in the PAC 8. They were able to hang with a good Atascadero team but lost 53-49 in the league opener.

Key Departures

Alex Chai (G/F), Nick Attala (F), Augusto Supertino (F)

All three of the departed players hovered around 6-foot-3 and gave the Tigers a solid presence inside the paint. Supertino and Chai could step outside and hit threes, too. Outside of that, Chai and Attala were leaders who provided team toughness.

Key Returners

Seth Moore (Sr., PG), Will Compton (Jr., G)

Seth Moore, who was one of the most exciting players to watch in the PAC 8 last season, has only improved. Despite being undersized, Moore has an ability to get to the rim and either score or get fouled and will be the key to the Tigers’ season. Compton is probably SLO High’s best defender and rebounder.

Under The Radar

Mac McConnell (Jr., G)

McConnell might get blown away by a stiff breeze, but he has shown an ability to hit from deep and can play the point, allowing Moore to play off the ball.

Arroyo Grande

At a glance

2015-16 record: 15-14, 6-8 PAC 8

2016-17 so far: 8-6 overall, 1-0 PAC 8

As one of the better three-point shooting teams last season, the guard-heavy Eagles finished in fourth place in the PAC 8 and advanced to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs before losing to eventual runner-up Edison.

Key Departures

Bradley Mickey (G)

Mickey, the 2015 Tribune County Football Player of the Year, did a little bit of everything for the Eagles last season and will be hard to replace.

Key Returners

Patrick Angle (Sr., G), Will Silmon (Sr., PF)

Angle, who might be the best pure shooter in the league, will let his fair share of deep balls fly this season. Silmon seems to have improved as a scorer and is off to a great start this season.

Under the Radar

Gage Antonio (Sr., G)

Antonio is another shooter for Arroyo Grande. He hit five 3-pointers on his way to 23 points in a win over Righetti to open PAC 8 play.

Paso Robles

At a glance

2015-16 record: 5-20, 1-13 PAC 8

2016-17 so far: 5-5 overall, 0-1 PAC 8

After a dismal season and a last place finish in the PAC 8, the Bearcats have new life and a new coach this season. Derrick Jasper, a former star for the school, was named the new head coach in July and brings with him a winning pedigree after playing at Kentucky and UNLV and spending time as an assistant under Tubby Smith at Texas Tech. Paso Robles has already matched its win total from last season.

Key Departures

Ty Jones (G)

Key Returners

Dante Coletta (Jr., C), Gabe Linn (Sr., F)

Coletta gives Paso Robles size inside and has worked his way into the starting lineup entering league season. Linn provides experience and is a double-double threat every game.

Under the Radar

Sebastian Galsim (Jr., G)

Galsim is a solid distributor of the ball and can get hot from 3-point range. He led the team with 13 points in the Bearcats’ 63-52 loss to St. Joseph to open league play.

Atascadero

At a glance

2015-16 record: 19-8 overall, 10-4 PAC 8

2016-17 so far: 8-4 overall, 1-0 PAC 8

Atascadero’s only league losses last season came against co-champs Mission Prep and St. Joseph. The team fell in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs to Laguna Beach. This year the Greyhounds appear to have the pieces in place to be able to compete for a league title.

Key Departures

Gabe Perry (F), Michael McClain (F)

Perry and McClain were team captains last season and consistent performers on both sides of the floor. Perry was the Hounds’ go-to post player on offense.

Key Returners

Kyler Warren (Jr., F), Elijah Cooks (Sr., G/F), Marco Rojas (Sr., PG)

They make up the Big 3 for Atascadero. Cooks, a football star for the Greyhounds, grew an inch and at 6-foot-5 is a dynamic playmaker and scorer as a point-forward. Warren, at 6-foot-8 and 265 pounds, is the biggest player in the PAC 8 and can shoot from beyond the arc, too. Rojas, just 5-foot-8, can play point guard or shooting guard and has a nice mid-range game.

Under the radar

Levi Williams (Jr., G)

Williams has been the best 3-point shooter for the Hounds, percentage wise. When paired with senior guard Trevor Howell, the two shooters create nice inside-outside balance for Atascadero.

Other PAC 8 Teams

Coming off a CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA championship and a trip to the CIF Division 5 semifinals last season, St. Joseph is off to an 12-2 start and on a nine-game winning streak after capturing a co-league championship last season. JoJo Walker, who signed with Portland University in November, is the favorite to win PAC 8 MVP and is averaging more than 24 points per game so far this season. Shot blocker Elihu Cobb (12.8 ppg) and shooter Scott McBeth (12.7 ppg) make the Knights a complete team with a chance to go undefeated in league play.

Pioneer Valley, after going 5-21 last season, has already won eight games this season and should be in the middle of the pack along with Righetti, a team that went 10-17 last season and is off to a 6-6 start.

Los Padres League

Morro Bay

At a glance

2015-16 record: 12-15 overall, 3-11 Los Padres

2016-17 so far: 11-5 overall, 2-1 Los Padres

Morro Bay is having a resurgent season. The Pirates have almost matched their win total from last season and got off to a 2-0 start in league play before dropping a game to Cabrillo, the defending league champs.

Key Departures

Marjoe DeLaCruz (G), Noah Agapay (G/F)

Key Returners

Spencer Cecil (Sr., F), Kalvin Hilliard (Sr., G), Tyler Chivens (Sr., F)

Morro Bay returns Cecil, a 6-foot-5 forward who averaged nearly 18 points and 8 rebounds last season, along with Hilliard and Chivens to make up a core group of seniors.

Under the radar

Noah Tugade (Soph., PG)

Templeton

At a glance

2015-16 record: 6-18 overall, 3-11 Los Padres

2016-17 so far: 5-6 overall, 2-1 Los Padres

A more balanced scoring attack this season has helped Templeton get to five wins in 11 games, just one off their win total from last season.

Key Departures

Matteo D’Alfonso (F), Blake VandeHoef (G), Robby Kaiser (PG)

D’Alfonso and VandeHoef were the Eagles’ top two scorers from last season. D’Alfonso was a big body and averaged over 14 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Key Players

Rigel Hall (Jr., F), Jordan Stowers (Soph., PG)

Not technically returners. Both of these players weren’t on the team last season, but are leading the way so far this season. Hall is the team’s leading scorer with 13.4 points per game and Stowers is averaging eight per game.

Under the radar

Dennis Isbell (Jr., F)

Isbell is averaging eight rebounds per game so far this season.

Nipomo

At a glance

2015-16 record: 11-19 overall, 7-7 Los Padres

2016-17 so far: 5-6 overall, 2-1 Los Padres

The Titans are off to a rough start after finishing fourth in league play last season a making it to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. Points have been hard to come by with the team averaging just 43 per game, but the preseason schedule included games against quite a few good teams.

Key Departures

Mason Gallegos (G), Mark Hilbert (F)

Gallegos was a sharp-shooter that averaged 13 points per game last season and Hilbert provided length and 10 points per game.

Key Returners

Daniel Hyun (Soph., G), Luke Wilenius (Sr., F)

Hyun is the only Nipomo player averaging double digit scoring at 18 points per game. Wilenius averages 10 points per game, but the scoring drops off after that.

Under the radar

Sasha Mitchell (Sr., PG)

Other Los Padres teams

Cabrillo is coming off a 14-0 record and the Los Padres league championship last season and is off to a fast start at 12-3 (3-0 Los Padres). After that, it’s pretty wide open with most teams having a shot to fall in behind. Santa Ynez is 7-4 (2-1 Los Padres) and Santa Maria is 10-6 (1-2 Los Padres).

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