Posted On: 05/12/21 3:02 PM
The season is finally here and it’s going to be a very competitive season at the 6A level in 2021 with lots of individual talent throughout Oregon’s highest classification. As the details surrounding any event during culminating week in June are still being ironed out, here’s a look at our pre-season top ten.
Ask anyone in the state and they’ll tell you the Timberwolves have access to some of the top talent in the state. Head coach Todd Jukkala may have one of the best backcourts in the state in juniors Noah Ogoli Noah Ogoli 6'0" | CG Tualatin | 2022 State OR and Malik Ross Malik Ross 6'0" | CG Tualatin | 2022 State OR and swingman Peter Burke Peter Burke 6'4" | SF Tualatin | 2022 State OR turned some heads this past off-season. Seniors Logan Shaw Logan Shaw 6'4" | PF Tualatin | 2021 State OR and Carson Denning Carson Denning 6'4" | SF Tualatin | 2021 State OR will provide strength and experience up front as Tualatin will battle it out in the super tough TRL.
Head coach Rahim Tufts took Sherwood one step closer to qualifying for the state tournament last season and while perhaps the school’s all-time winningest senior class moves on, there’s still plenty of talent remaining. The senior backcourt of Asher Krauel Asher Krauel 6'1" | CG Sherwood | 2021 State OR and Caden Davis Caden Davis 6'0" | CG Sherwood | 2021 State OR are ready to take on the offensive load and juniors such as Baydon Kullowatz Baydon Kullowatz 6'5" | PF Sherwood | 2022 State OR and Owen Caudle Owen Caudle 6'0" | PG Sherwood | 2022 OR are prepared to accept larger roles for the Bowmen, who should be one of the most up-tempo, three-point shooting teams in the state.
When it first appeared that there wouldn’t be any state championship to gun for, Westview head coach Michael Wolf wasn’t concerned. He knew his guys would want to compete for a Metro League title and he’s got some key returnees that will work hard for it. College-bound seniors Brady Grier Brady Grier 6'6" | SF Westview | 2021 State OR and Aiden Grady Aiden Grady 6'7" | PF Westview | 2021 State OR will lead the charge and Ams Juwara Ams Juwara 5'9" | PG Westview | 2021 State OR transfers in from Southridge to get them the ball. The Metro League will be a dogfight but the Wildcats will be right in the mix.
7. West Linn
West Linn had plenty of graduation losses but head coach Erik Viuhkola has a young, but talented squad that should give plenty of opponents fits. It will all start with Jackson Shelstad Jackson Shelstad 6'0" | PG West Linn | 2023 State #131 Nation OR who has gotten even bigger, stronger, and more skilled. The early college scholarship offers have been rolling in for the point guard. Mason VanBeenen Mason VanBeenen 6'8" | PF West Linn | 2022 State OR has also gotten stronger and more confident in his game and the rest of the spots will be filled in by guys moving up from the Lions talented JV and freshman teams.
Had Drew Carter Drew Carter 6'3" | SG Tigard | 2021 OR not graduated early to head to Colorado, head coach Shawn Alderman might be staring at a potentially top three team. Still, there’s plenty back to label the Tigers a TRL title contender. It will be a nice blend of seniors and younger players – Brett Moss Brett Moss 6'4" | SG Tigard | 2021 State OR and Jake Wihtol Jake Wihtol 6'5" | PF Tigard | 2021 State OR have shown signs of breaking out and sophomore twins Malik Brown Malik Brown 6'0" | PG Tigard | 2023 State OR and Kalim Brown Kalim Brown 6'0" | CG Tigard | 2023 State OR are set to shine. Junior Cade Smith is a sleeper to watch out for as well.
5. Lake Oswego
Head coach Marshall Cho has made his stamp on Oregon high school basketball having helped lead the Lakers to three straight Three Rivers League titles and has qualified for the state tournament the past two years. They’re gunning for four and senior Trace Salton Trace Salton 6'5" | SF Lake Oswego | 2021 State OR will be the key guy to help Lake Oswego achieve that goal. Transfers Christian Rowell Christian Rowell 6'7" | SF Lake Oswego | 2022 State OR and Koa Bacci Koa Bacci 6'8" | PF Lake Oswego | 2022 State OR come into the program with high expectations and other previously under the radar guys like Greyden Smith, Marcus Lee Marcus Lee 5'10" | PG Lake Oswego | 2022 State OR , and Carson Reno Carson Reno 5'10" | PG Lake Oswego | 2022 State OR should fit right into Cho’s system, which is founded on preparation and execution.
Most will say if only Ben Gregg Ben Gregg 6'8" | SF Clackamas | 2021 #50 Nation OR hadn’t graduated early. But even though last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year followed his dream at Gonzaga all the way to the national championship game, head coach Cam Mitchell has just about everyone else back from last year’s team that qualified for state. The senior quartet of Ryan Lewis Ryan Lewis 6'4" | SG Clackamas | 2021 State OR , Damon Erickson Damon Erickson 6'4" | SG Clackamas | 2021 State OR , Izzy Baker Izzy Baker 6'4" | PF Clackamas | 2021 State OR , and KJ Horsley KJ Horsley 5'10" | PG Clackamas | 2021 State OR will lead the way for the Cavs, a team that might boast the most experience playing together in all of 6A.
As opposed to other years, the Crusaders return most of their firepower with their guard crew – all three of whom are locked into playing college ball next year – back for their senior seasons. Roy Bunn Roy Bunn 5'9" | PG Jesuit | 2021 State OR will head the point while James Lang James Lang 6'0" | CG Jesuit | 2021 State OR and Liam Ruttledge Liam Ruttledge 6'2" | CG Jesuit | 2021 State OR will spot up on the wings and knock down shots. As usual the Crusaders lack size but head coach Gene Potter’s system has proven to win games and once again Jesuit should be the team to beat in the Metro League.
2. Central Catholic
Central Catholic graduated one guy to Division I and two others to Division II but there’s still an abundance of young talent at head coach David Blue’s disposal. It all starts with senior swingman Darius Gakwasi Darius Gakwasi 6'5" | SG Central Catholic | 2021 State OR , who should finish out a stellar four-year career before heading to Princeton. Luke Johnson Luke Johnson 6'8" | PF Central Catholic | 2022 State OR is the anchor down low, Aiden Slater is the sniper outside, and varsity newcomers Malik Ross Malik Ross 6'0" | CG Tualatin | 2022 State OR and Sean Chris Tresvant Sean Chris Tresvant 5'8" | PG Central Catholic | 2023 State OR will run the show.
One can only imagine if the Demos hadn’t lost the services of 6A Player of the Year Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge 6'7" | PF Jefferson | 2021 #228 Nation OR early to Oklahoma football or even if big man Kamron Robinson had returned. Nevertheless, head coach Pat Strickland still returns arguably the two best players in the state in Lamar Washington Lamar Washington 6'4" | SG Jefferson | 2022 State #163 Nation OR and Marquis Cook Marquis Cook 6'6" | SF Jefferson | 2023 State #27 Nation OR . That one-two punch along with the surrounding cast like football stud Trejon Williams Trejon Williams 5'11" | PG Jefferson | 2022 State OR and sophomore Sanborne Melson Sanborne Melson 5'10" | CG Jefferson | 2023 State OR is talented enough to still make Jefferson the team to beat in this abbreviated 2021 season.
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