Posted On: 12/1/21 11:45 AM
After a non-traditional season in 2021, the 2021-22 campaign is highly anticipated as it will be back to “normal” for just about everyone across the state. The Three Rivers League is year after year arguably top to bottom the most competitive conference in all of 6A and this year is no different. Here’s how we see it turning out.
Player of the Year:, Beaverton
All-League Predictions: Hamilton;, Mountainside; , Mountainside; , Sunset; , Westview
Top Sleeper/Newcomer:, Mountainside
State Tournament Threats: Mountainside, Beaverton
Other Post-Season Teams: Westview, Jesuit, Sunset
It appears that this may be the year that the ascension of Mountainside to the top of Metro League is complete. The Mavericks have just about everything on his roster to capture the title, namely speed, shooting, experience, and definitely depth. Seniors(12.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, .444 3pt%) and (8.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg) have been a part of the program since they were freshmen and this will be Baker’s fourth year as a varsity starter. If Cohen isn’t leading the team in scoring then fellow senior (9.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 apg) will be the man as the Alaska native is explosive getting to the hoop and finishing. Sophomore (7.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and junior are perimeter threats and 6-foot-5 junior will man the paint. Add in freshman who comes into high school with a Division I offer from Portland in hand and head coach Dustin Hewitt has a rotation that could go 9-to-10 deep every night.
Beaverton had the best record in the Metro League last season (there was no official title awarded) and the Beavers will once again contend for the top. The Beavers will miss big man Dane Erikstrup (19.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) but head coach Andrew Vancil notes that they will play differently. The reason why is Beaverton may have the best guards in the conference. It will all start with senior(8.2 ppg, 6.0 apg). The pure point guard led all of 6A in assists but look for him to take on more scoring this season. He’ll be surrounded by shooters such as returning starters junior (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and senior (4.8 ppg, .378 3pt%), both of whom should see their individual numbers increase. It will be by committee inside but look for 6-foot-6 senior Phillip Rosenfeld (0.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and 6-foot-4 senior Keenan Apperson to be the main contributors.
Head coach Michael Wolf will have Westview in the hunt as usual. The Wildcats, who have the most size in the league, have plenty of talent and varsity experience on their roster but players will be moving into more prominent roles. The scoring and rebounding will be balanced but junior wing(4.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg) is the leading returnee in both. His stats will rise as those of fellow junior point guard (4.5 ppg, .405 3pt%) and senior forward (2.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, .421 3pt%), who is now on his fourth year on varsity. Look for 6-foot-8 big man Alex Clement (1.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg) to really increase his production in the paint and 6-foot-9 post (2.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg) is full of potential. Football quarterback Sam Levitt will add athleticism and scoring to the mix.
For the first time in several years, Jesuit may not have the big names on its roster that we are all used to but that very well may be how head coach Gene Potter likes it. It’s hard to think of the Crusaders as underdogs as long as Potter and “the system” are around though, and they will undoubtedly compete hard every night. Statistically, the top returnees from last year are standouts on the football team like Tyree Blake (4.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg) and(2.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .682 fg%) and they will man the frontcourt along with 6-foot-7 senior (1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg) and 6-foot-4 senior . Guards to watch out for include senior Johnny Miller (1.2 ppg, 1.0 apg) and junior . Of note: the last time Jesuit failed to make the 6A state tournament when it was held was 2008.
When a team like Sunset isn’t projected to be in the top half of a conference race, that’s an indication of how competitive the Metro League will be this year. Head coach David Saultz has a squad that will give opponents fits this season with their ability to shoot and score. Point guard(9.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.9 apg) heads up the point and his combination of speed, athleticism, and size at the position will be very hard to match up with. While he’ll score more this season, look for him to drive and kick to the bevy of Apollos shooters – namely (5.3 ppg, .548 3pt%) who is primed to have a huge season as the returning 6A leader in three-point percentage is a lights out shooter. (3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and are two other perimeter threats and 6-foot-7 post will be the main big man underneath.
Southridge came back to respectability in 2021 with the return of head coach Phil Vesel to the helm but the loss of key seniors sets the Skyhawks back a bit this year.(8.1 ppg) and (4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg) are the main returnees that Vesel will be expecting to set the tone with their ability to score the basketball. Fortune in particular should see his numbers skyrocket. Seniors (5.4 ppg, .395 3pt%) and () will be perimeter threats. Randall Llamas (0.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg) and Kraig Westberg (0.4 ppg) are hustle guy contributors and 6-foot-4 senior Evan McKee and 6-foot-5 junior Vitomir Petcov bring some size to the table.
Aloha rounds out the list as head coach Brett Vernon continues to instill his culture and build his program, which is now in year two. Much of the load will be placed on senior forward(7.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg) who has the talent to be an all-league candidate. The rest of the roster will be senior-dominated; look for guys like Trey Dennis (3.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Dawson Cowlthorp (2.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Hunter Reeve, and Anthony Liggins to be among the top contributors.