Posted On: 01/3/18 8:27 AM
photo credit: Otto Kitsinger for the IPT
A number of 2020 prospects have entered the 2018 calendar year in style as they have positioned themselves as some of the top young and upcoming talent in the state. With a good amount of games under their belts finishing off 2017, we can highlight some of the top players from a class certainly worth tracking. Guards and a couple players with some size crack our top risers list, so there is a little bit of everything in this group. Here are our top risers of the 2020 class to help kick off 2018.
Briggs Ranstorm, Rocky Mountain, 6’6, Forward
Briggs Ranstorm (pictured left above) has catapulted up our rankings this season as he has put up impressive stats for one of the state’s top teams at the 5A level. Despite his team dropping their last two games entering 2018, albeit to two very good teams in Preston and Borah respectively, Ranstorm has helped lead his team in a number of statistical categories and has established himself as a key cog for head coach Dane Roy’s team.
In six games, Ranstorm is averaging 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 54.7% from the field. With excellent size, but room to grow into his frame even more so, Ranstorm is an excellent looking prospect on a team that will help him undoubtedly develop. Rocky Mountain and Ranstorm will look to turn things up in 2018 as they fight for the top spot in the 5A rankings heading into the state tournament where they return to defend their title from a season ago.
Austin Bolt, Borah, 6’4, Forward
Through seven games, Austin Bolt is averaging close to a double-double as he has helped propel his team to an unbeaten streak now lasting nine games, as the Lions are 9-0 and atop the 5A standings. Bolt has been a big part of their success and his defensive play down low has been noticeable. In stats through his first 7 games, Bolt averaged 9.0 points and 11.1 rebounds a contest.
Against a larger opponent where Bolt’s fundamentals were tested, Bolt put up a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds helping his team in overtime get past a very tough Rocky Mountain team. Bolt is a fun player to watch as he is seemingly in the action on every play and will continue to be a piece to this Borah Lions’ puzzle that looks on track to doing big things come state tournament time.
Donovan Sanor, Meridian 6’3, Guard
Son of head coach Jeff Sanor, Donovan Sanor has helped this team to a 7-3 record through it’s first 10 games. In Sanor’s first nine games, the well-rounded guard posted averages of 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1. steals per game. As a 2020 prospect, Sanor shot up our rankings and caught our attention so far this season as his father and team are making some noise at the 5A level.
As the only team to have beaten Boise this season, Meridian is a team to watch against the big opponents in 5A and Donovan is playing a big role. Look for the Sanors to keep up the good work as we move further into the season.
Jace Whiting, Burley, 5’10 Guard
After suffering a tough loss to arguably the state’s top team in Preston, whom Jace Whiting and his father head coach Trent Whiting have had to face twice this season so far, the father son combo went out and got the win against a talented Century team 51-46 recently. Whiting, who plays his AAU ball with Adidas sponsored Utah Exum Elith, has been excellent for this Burley team that features a number of skilled players.
Entering his team’s big matchup vs Preston, Whiting had averaged 20.5 points per game in two straight contests. He has proven that he can be a leading and trusted scorer for this team that is one to keep an eye on as we move into the latter part of the season. Whiting is new to the Idaho prep scene as he and his father are in their first season at Burley, but this name is one to make note of moving forward.
Donavon Estrada, Nampa, 5’10, Guard
On a team that closed out the 2017 calendar year with just two wins, Donavon Estrada has been a bright spot for this Nampa Bulldogs and head coach Trevor Morris. A guard with room to grow size wise, Estrada has put up nice stats as a varsity player for his team. Through seven games, Estrada has averaged 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.0 steals. His defensive prowess is what really stands out here as Estrada has put himself in the conversation of top ball swipers in the 5A SIC in a group that features a player like Paul Pennington of Boise High.
Estrada has room to grow in terms of his game, but what he has done so far for a team that has struggled to find wins is noteworthy. Keep tabs on this young gun as the season rounds out and as his Nampa team grows together and perhaps finds some more success out on the court.