League playoffs are the goal
Don Carter returns to coach his alma mater at Corbett, while Damascus Christian and Portland Lutheran chase spots in the Valley 10 bracket
Damascus Christian boys basketball coach Terry Calhoun has spent 49 years on the sidelines in Oregon high school gyms, and this season may be one of his most challenging.
Calhoun, in his fifth season at Damascus, returns just two players from last years varsity lineup those players, Luke Jackson and Austin Wood, combined to contribute about five points per game. That leaves Calhoun to find a way to boost point production with a squad that spent most of last season coming off the bench for the jayvee.
The leading scorer so far this season is junior Eddie Zopf, who served as the team manager last year.
Every year is just as exciting as the one before coaching is just a lot of fun, Calhoun said. These kids have been working hard all summer. We may take some lumps until we learn to take care of the ball better, but there is a lot of room for growth.
Jackson directs the attack from the point guard spot and is also a scoring threat from behind the arc.
Hes a heady kid, who handles the ball well and can get us into our offense, Calhoun said. We dont have much size and arent going to get a lot of cheap points, so it boils down to taking good care of the ball.
Calhoun sees Columbia Christian and City Christian as the favorites in the Valley 10 race. Columbia won last years title with a perfect 16-0 run through league.
The Eagles biggest loss is the graduation of sharp-shooter Eric Rauch, who is playing D3 basketball this year in Washington.
PORTLAND LUTHERAN BLUE JAYS
The Blue Jays return largely in tact from last season and hope to boost their win total and find a spot in the league playoffs come February.
We have a handful of returners and that should really pay off, Portland Lutheran coach Chad Rush said. Our goal is certainly to finish in that top five and get back to districts.
Jonathan Parrish is the teams leading scorer, while point guard Chris Ek Juarez directed the offense as a freshman.
Chris is a real quick player, who does a lot of things that you cant teach, Rush said.
Nick Lommasson brings a 6-foot-3 body to the paint, while forward Andrew Hinkel is another scoring threat from the perimeter.
Were going to try to push tempo, get out and go, and get some easy baskets in transition, Rush said.
The Cardinals return only one player from last years squad that finished in the top half of the 3A Lewis & Clark League with a 17-7 record. But new coach, and Corbett alum, Don Carter expects this years batch of new faces to stay in the playoff hunt.
Theres a lot of energy and enthusiasm with these guys, Carter said. Were fast and can get up and down the floor. Our goal is to run, run, run, run and whoever scores the most points at the end of the night wins.
Carter moves into the head coaching seat after spending last year as an assistant in the program. He graduated from Corbett in 1995 and went on to a college playing career in Montana.
Seniors Matt Hsu and Lucas OConnell hold down the backcourt.
Our seniors are in those key positions that you need to be able to get the ball down the floor, Carter said.
Hunter Raglione is another scoring threat for the Cardinals, while junior John Ferek gives the team some size at 6-feet-4.
Hunter is strong to the hole, can beat people off the dribble and drill deep 3s, Carter said. He has the entire toolbox and is our biggest threat to put the ball in the hole.