Coal Ridge primed for strong hoops season
The upcoming boys and girls basketball seasons for the Coal Ridge Titans should be very lucrative for both programs thanks to the bundles of talent returning to the Titans.
Under eighth-year head coach Paul Harvey, the Titans boys team should see a huge jump in results compared to last year when the program hovered around .500 all season long.
Despite the up-and-down year, guards Hunter Gerber and Greyson Keener were named first-team All-Conference players. Both return for another year in Titan blue, which will boost the Titans offensive output. Along with Gerber and Keener, the Titans return the three other key starters from 2014-15. For a team with all five starters healthy and returning for another year of playing together, it’s easy to see why the Titans should see a nice jump in the number of wins in both nonconference and conference games.
While the Titans will also rely on senior guard Jake Solinger, sophomore guard Brandon Herrera and senior guard Dan Schouten, it’s clear who the leaders on the Titans are. Leadership all starts with Gerber and Keener.
“Both are great leaders on and off the court,” Harvey said. “They really lead by example for this program on the court, and they work really hard off the court in the classroom. As a team, we feed off of their energy, and we’re looking to do more of that this season.”
During the 2014-15 season, Gerber led the Titans with 16.1 points-per-game, scoring 355 points in the regular season, according to Max Preps. It’s hard to expect much more out of the junior guard this season, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that he raises his points-per-game average and exceeds 355 total points with another year of experience under his belt.
As the Titans boys team looks to lean on talented, veteran experience under Harvey, the Titans girls basketball team is looking to build a strong foundation under first-year head coach, Clyde Morgan, while relying heavily on a trio of seniors in guards Jenny Call and Courtney Young, along with senior forward Kaitlyn Detlefsen, who is recovering from an injury suffered during volleyball season.
Under Morgan, the Titans girls team will look to get out and run this season thanks to the experience and athleticism at the top of the roster with Call, Young and Detlefsen, along with sophomore guard Santana Martinez and junior forward Kaitlyn Harlow.
“We should be pretty strong this year with the athletes we have coming back,” Morgan said. “We’re going to be much better at getting the ball up the court. We’re very quick, so we’re going to use that to our advantage.”
Unfortunately, the Titans girls team is a bit behind schedule under Morgan, who took over at the end of June and didn’t have much of an off-season to work with the team and put his system into place.
The first few games of the season will be a great opportunity for Morgan and his staff to see what he has at his disposal.
Coal Ridge girls varsity
Head coach: Clyde Morgan, first year
Last year: 11-12, 9-5 3A Western Slope League, lost to Valley in first round
Key returners: Jeanie Call, Sr. G, Courtney Young, Sr. G, Kaitlyn Detlefsen, Sr., F
Players to watch: Santana Martinez, So., G, Kaitlyn Harlow, Jr., G
Outlook: With a very quick, experienced roster, first-year head coach Clyde Morgan will rely heavily on the run-and-gun offense that he’s bringing to the Titans. If Detlefsen is able to return from an injury suffered during volleyball season, the senior forward will provide a key defensive anchor to help the Titans get out and run against their opponents. Thanks to experience and athleticism, the Titans should be a strong team in 2015-16.
Coal Ridge boys varsity
Head coach: Paul Harvey, eighth year
Last year: 11-12, 8-6 3A Western Slope League, lost to Alamosa in first round
Key returners: Hunter Gerber, Jr., G, Greyson Keener, Sr., G, Jake Solinger, Sr., G, Brandon Herrera, So., G, Dan Schouten, Sr., G
Players to watch: Sawyer Snode, Sr., G
Outlook: Thanks to the return of Hunter Gerber (first-team 3A WSL All-Conference in ‘14) and Greyson Keener (first-team 3A WSL All-Conference in ‘14), the Coal Ridge Titans have a plethora of experienced leaders returning to a team that finished fourth in the league last season. On paper, the Titans are as deep and as skilled as any team in the Western Slope having not lost a starter from last year’s team, in addition to a strong group of underclassmen that will play significant roles for the Titans in 2015-16, led by Brandon Herrera, who took over as the starting point guard midway through last season as a freshman. This year is as good a time as ever for the Titans to claim the 3A Western Slope league title.
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