Posted On: 06/30/18 6:30 PM

There is a new team at the top of the charts in the Cincinnati Hills League. The Deer Park Wildcats finished the season with a perfect 29-0 record while claiming there first state title in hoops. So how will they respond with the target on their back? And are they even the favorites to win the league this year? Here are the summer story lines for the CHL.


Can Deer Park repeat as league champions?


Yes, they can as this is a team that has the talent to be a factor for the long haul. They lost over 33ppg with the graduation of the 2018 Cincinnati Enquirer POY Damani McEntire (PHO #26) and all-league performer Jalen Rose (PHO#188/Brescia), but the cupboard is not bare for the Wildcats. There starting line-up will include four players currently ranked by Prep Hoops Ohio including G Steve Gentry Jr. (PHO #85) along with big man Joe Hocker (2019 PHO #97) and they have quality depth coming off the bench. They will be the favorites to take the crown again this season.


But, Wyoming could have something to say about that


A lot of programs around the city would be happy with a 15-8 record for the season, especially if the included going 9-5 in league play. But the Wyoming Cowboys are not most programs. Those records yielded them a 4th place finish in league play, then combine that with a first round exit in the playoffs!? Coach Tim Edmonds team will be better next season as some guys who were face year players last season are now veterans in the system. And the Cowboys have plenty of talent as well with three players currently either ranked by PHO. I can’t wait for there two matchups against Deer Park.


Let the post Jack Cravaack era begin for Madeira


It has been a heck of a four years for the Purdue football commit on the hardwood. Over his 4-year career Cravaack never averaged less than 14.5ppg over his career rebounded at a clip of over 7 per game. He also played with an intensity that can’t be measured as well, and in most instances that is harder to replace than anything. How is Coach Rockwell going to replace arguably the greatest player in Madeira history? And let’s not forget that his running mate Kyle Johnson has moved on to Cincinnati Christian University, which is another 13ppg gone. Big changes ahead on the court for the Mustangs this season.


Who are some of the candidates for league POY?


There was a lot of controversy surrounding this award last season as many around the city felt that the before mentioned Damani McEntire deserved the award over the winner Wyoming G Joey Edmonds (2019 PHO #35/Findlay). But it’s not like Edmonds didn’t average over 21 points and 4 assists per game last season, so the number were there. And again, Edmonds is a top candidate for the award this season along with two Wildcats as well. Look for 2020 G Mark Wise (PHO #14) and 2019 F Ibrahima Athie (PHO #85) to both have strong seasons and stake there claim to the award. Just another layer to what is becoming one of the better rivalries in Cincinnati.