Boys basketball: The defending Class 3A state champs should be strong again this year
TUALATIN - The defending state champions have a bit of a different look this year.
The Horizon Christian High School boys basketball team, which has won the Class 3A state title in each of the past two years, will have a more inexperienced group of players on the floor this season.
The Hawks graduated six seniors off of last year's team that went 27-3 on the season and defeated Dayton 58-44 in the Class 3A state championship game.
Horizon Christian also lost standout Jordan Tebbutt, the two-time Class 3A Player of the Year, who transferred to prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior year.
'We are a young team this year,' Horizon Christian coach Dave Brown said.
But the cupboard is far from bare for the Hawks, as they return three key players.
Among the returnees is junior wing Michael Loomis (6-foot-6), who has been a starter for each of the Horizon Christian state championship teams. Last year, Loomis was a second-team all-state tournament selection.
Also back is junior post Wyatt Houston (6-5), who also started for Horizon Christian last year in his first year at the school. Houston, who also was a standout quarterback for the Hawks' football team that reached the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs this fall, will be out of action until mid January as he recovers from shoulder surgery from a football injury.
Horizon Christian's third returnee is junior wing Calvin Anderson (6-5).
New to the varsity this year, after moving up from last year's junior varsity squad, are sophomore wing Parker Belan (6-2), sophomore guard Connor Marleau (6-0) and sophomore post Isaiah Hall (6-4).
The Horizon Christian varsity also includes senior guard Cameron Egger (6-0), who is a transfer from Country Christian, and freshman guard Trent Pihas.
Horizon Christian got off to a 1-4 start to the season, after going 1-2 at The Christian Cup tournament, held last Thursday through Saturday in Phoenix, Ariz.
'We have played a challenging schedule,' Brown said. 'I think once Houston returns and our young players begin to jell and gain confidence, we will have a good season.'
On Tuesday, Horizon Christian won 72-59 at home in a non-league game with Regis.
The Hawks will be back in action Saturday when they host Portland Adventist in a non-league game starting at 6 p.m. at Horizon Christian High School.