The GSHL has some seasoned backcourt talent coming back for the 2023 season as well as plenty of young guards that should make a bigger impact in the coming season. This is a guard heavy league, full of them who can do it all. There are some elite level scorers from last season that will be back to impress in 2023. Mark Morris has three, R.A. Long has the reigning GSHL 2A MVP back, and Woodland returns it entire backcourt from a year ago as does Washougal. The GSHL 2A will be a battle next season between some of the best guards in all of 2A night in and night out. Who will reign supreme next season down south? The cross- town rivals from Longview will no doubt be the early favorites, with defending champion R.A. Long andleading the way. The trio from Mark Morris won’t be going away. Those are the early favorites, but there is plenty of other talented players that might have a say in that. Here’s a look at the best backcourts in the GSHL for the 2023 season. I will start with reigning MVP himself.
Last year’s GSHL 2A MVP, he’s a do it all guard that is on the short list for 2A player of the year in 2023. The 10th ranked point-guard on Prephoops WA class of 2023 list does it all. He can create for himself with his elite quickness. He’s a great shooter, with a beautiful compact shot, has a nice running floater, and a mid-range game that is excellent. He is tough to guard because he can shoot it so well, and if you come out on him, he will blow by you and take it all the way or use his variety of moves in the mid-range, like the soft touch floater I mentioned. He’s an all level scorer, and one of the best in all of 2A next season. He’s l bouncy and has great quickness that he uses to make it look easy for him. He understands how to create space and can pick apart the defense, and he does so often. He is able to read the defense and react with quick moves that always seem to be the right decision even when he misses. He will put up monster scoring games for a good R.A. Long team next season that has the talent to make a return trip to the state tournament even though they lost a couple of key pieces. I watched a few of his teammates in the West Coast Clash and was impressed with all of them. I think they might surprise some teams next season with the group they have coming back since some didn’t necessarily get a lot of playing time last year. They are re-loading and with a center piece like Holden, they are going to be a dangerous team that can beat anyone on any given night. I won’t write about all his backcourt mates, but as I said there are a few and they all can play.
Ranked the 9th best combo guard in 2023 by Prephoops WA, Parlin is a smooth lefty who has shown a lot of improvement over the past couple of seasons. He has been a key component in the Mark Morris offense for what seems like a decade, and each year he has stepped it up a notch. He has a great mid-range game and can pull up going either way or use his dribble to get all the way to the basket where he finishes with control and craftiness. He is a good three-point shooter and has gotten better each year. He has gotten noticeably quicker and stronger and is tough to stop in the open floor. He plays under control, which shows when he breaks down his defender on the way to the hoop. He rebounds well for a guard and has quick feet on defense. His best asset is his ability to score, and he can do that on all levels. He will create his own or knock down open looks, with the former being something he does at an elite level. He will consistently break his guy down off the dribble, and if you need a bucket, he can be trusted to get you one. He was around 18PPG last season and will contribute big numbers in all aspects of the game but his ability to score will be something that Mark Morris will count on him doing nightly on a championship caliber team.
Elite level athlete, with a strong build, making him a do it all type of player for Mark Morris. Hes ranked as the 16th best combo guard on our 2023 list. This is a tough kid who really competes. He’s great in the open floor and a strong finisher. He is also good at creating space to get his shot off if he needs to, using a couple dribbles and elevating above the defense. He rebounds well, plays tough, hard-nosed basketball and is seemingly all over the floor. He is a defensive stopper, who isn’t going to get pushed around by anyone. He’s a multi-sport athlete who looks to be no stranger to the weight room and can throw down dunks in the open floor. He might not score as much as Parlin or Olson next year but is every bit as valuable to his team and will also have his share of big time scoring games. Mark Morris has a chance to be playing on Saturday in Yakima next season and he will be counted on by his teammates to be the leader to get them there. Competitor!
This kid is just a scorer. He knows how to put the ball in the basket, whether it be shooting threes, he knocked down 9 of them in a game last year, breaking the previous school record of 8 held since 1993. That record happened to belong to my own cousin. He’s great at creating his own shot. He can score in various ways but seems more comfortable shooting from deep or pulling up from mid-range than getting all the way to the hoop, but he does so effectively, and is a bucket getter either way. He has good ball handling skills, he was a late bloomer and grew a lot the last couple years, so he was already used to handling the ball as a guard who had to be crafty in order to get his shot off. He’s only been at Mark Morris since his Freshman year and came from much smaller school where he had plenty of opportunity to develop that scorer mind-set that he should be even more comfortable with next season. Mark Morris has a tandem of guards who are all elite 2A players and possess multiple skill sets. They should be fun to watch next season and will be hungry after a loss to Prosser in the final regional round game to get to state last season.
This kid has some great skills that stood out to me as translating to the next level. His quickness and speed in the open floor were impressive. He uses a lot of spin moves, fan dribbles, and change of speed that make him effective in the open court and allow him to create space in the half court. He is a crafty passer and seems to have a natural feel for the game. Sometimes maybe even getting ahead of himself. He’s good at getting himself to the basket, usually to his left, which looked to be a good indicator that the pull-up jumper is waiting to happen. He finishes well with either hand, has good length at 6’2, and isn’t afraid to pursue the basket. Needs to stay in control and focus on the end result at times but everything else tells me he has what it takes to be a great scorer. He’s fast in the open floor and plays with great tempo throughout games. He swings the ball quick on the perimeter to his open teammates. A very capable defender who anticipates well. He averaged 17 PPG last season and if he works on his shooting and mid-range game, he looks like a kid who could make a huge jump in 2023. He has all the intangibles of a good point guard. Mostly a slashing scorer last season, he could make a big jump with the skill set that he already possesses. His shooting should only get better, and if it does, he is a true break out candidate for 2023.
Averaged around 14 points a game last year as Swett’s running mate in the backcourt. He can really shoot it and isn’t afraid to let it fly from deep. He hit 8 threes in a game against Washougal last season. He is capable ball handler, although more of a spot up shooter with deep range. He has the ability to stretch the defense and should get plenty of looks with Swett creating for him on drive and kicks. He will probably be marked on every opposing team’s scouting report as the guy you can’t leave open, so the more capable he comfortable he becomes scoring in a variety of ways will help him make that next step to becoming a big- time weapon in the Beavers offense in 2023. The quicker the pace, the better for these Woodland guards.
This kid had some big games last season as a sophomore, including a 26-point night against Mark Morris. He can shoot it from deep and likes to get out and run. Good athlete, who has decent size for his age, and he’s able to use that to get steals, and score in the transition at the rim. Plays with a reckless abandoned style that was apparent as a young kid playing against tough competition in the GSHL last season. It should be interesting to watch what he brings to the 2023 season. Expect some big scoring numbers. I will talk about his backcourt mate next, but Evers is probably the better shooter of the two.
Another Sophomore last season in the Washougal backcourt. Bea showed some impressive skills on the offensive end. At 6’3, he has good size for a guard, and can also play the small forward but looks best suited to play the 2. He used that size to get to the rim with speed and athleticism as well as the ability to create his own shot. He gets downhill fast and preferred that in games I watched. Neither he or Evers are your traditional point guard types, as both are more in the mold of a scoring guard, though they should work well with each other in the seasons to come to prove they are a top guard combo in the GSHL. Both are active and like to show that on the offensive and defensive end of the floor and both averaged between 10 and 12PPG.
They will have their hands full with the other top guards in the league but are more than capable of holding their own next season and should be one of the top duos come the 2024 season.