Posted On: 12/19/17 10:42 AM
The saying goes: Freshmen want to play, sophomores want to start, juniors want to score and seniors want to win! With the high school season getting started a couple of weeks ago there’s already been a number of seniors who are stepping up and helping their team reach that goal of winning. Take a look at some of the breakout guys to keep an eye on in their last season of high school basketball in the smaller markets of Central and Western VA. Their are quite a few sleepers out there.
Josh Thomas | 6’5” WG | Staunton River
Thomas has already got off to a fast start for Staunton River, including a 24 point outburst against William Campbell last week. The 6’5” wing is a smooth lefty that can knock it down out to 25 feet, and he’s always under control and playing with a high IQ. If he continues to fill it up the way he has so far this season, he’ll have his choice of whatever division three school he wants to go to.
Cartier Key | 5’9” PG | Albemarle
Key continues to impress with his playmaking ability on both ends, and both him and Albemarle are off to another fast start this season. He’s the typical successful small guard. He’s a pesky defender, he’s quick in transition, he can make shots from all three levels and he has a natural feel to his game that makes other’s around him better. He no longer has the two bigs of Austin Katstra and Jake Hahn as he has the last couple of years, but he’s not missing a beat this season.
Jake Martin | 5’11” WG | George Wythe (Wytheville)
Gone is former Division One State Player of the Year Malik Johnson who’s now at Concord in West Virginia, and Martin’s stepping in and stepping up the way he did in the state championship game last year. He’s a knock down shooter and a high IQ kid that makes shots and brings energy when his team needs it the most. He’s a scrappy and tough kid that isn’t afraid to mix it up on both ends, and his deep range makes him a threat from all over the floor.
Josh Whelan | 6’8” PF | Fort Defiance
Whelan, who signed to division two West Virginia Tech, is a late bloomer that has everything you want out of a blue collar big man. He has good footwork, a strong upper body frame, a soft touch with both hands and he eats on the glass on both ends. While he has to work on his quickness and his hands. he’s better than most think in that area and his production level continues to increase with time. Whelan already has multiple twenty point games, including 22 over Wilson Memorial and 23 over Stuarts Draft, as he’s been a big reason that Defiance is undefeated so far this season.
Ean Bassham | 6’3” WF | Abbingdon
A strong wing that plays as a slasher, there aren’t many players in SWVA that can keep Bassham out of the paint, and his ability to finish in traffic makes him a big time threat. He can score it going both ways, he’s a high IQ guy who’s great in drive-and-kick situations and he rebounds well on both ends of the floor. Bassham doesn’t play in the biggest market, but small college coaches looking for a steal at the next level should take a look at him if they get a chance.
Chris McGharren | 6’3” WG | Western Albemarle
A dead eye shooter from deep, McGharren has already put up big numbers for an undefeated Western Albemarle team and after three seasons as a role player, is stepping into the go-to role nicely. He has good size for a shooter, he gets to his spots and shoots it confidently and he has the toughness to attack closeouts and finish around the basket as well. After losing two of their top players, McGharren looks ready to help Western Albemarle get back to the state tournament if he continues to play this well.
Zach Hatter | 6’0″ CG | Eastern Mennonite
The transfer from Waynesboro High School has took off at his new school. A knock down shooter from deep, Hatter is averaging 21 points per game so far at EMH, and he’s doing it by shooting a very high clip of 45% from deep and 56% overall. His ability to shoot the basketball is his biggest asset and that’s what will allow him to play at the next level, but he also has tremendous feel both on and off the ball. He understands spacing, sees the floor with the ball in his hands and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He’s primed for a big year this year at his new school.