Keep an eye on Rich East. The Rockets boast a dangerous 1-2 punch in guard Quinton Moore and forward Don Henderson. Moore was forced to sit out last season after transferring from an Indiana school. He’s topped 30 points in a game on four occasions and provides East with a lethal perimeter threat. He’s also fearless going to the basket. The 6-foot-5 Henderson is a three-year starter and dependable post presence who greatly has improved his shooting range. At 7-3, the Rockets should be included in the mix for Southland Conference supremacy.
Thornton is finding its groove. Hot off the heels of a runner-up finish at McDipper 41, the Wildcats tipped off the new year with a 33-point whipping Friday of Lincoln-Way West. Seniors Justin Taylor and Jamani Pierce largely have led the resurgence. Taylor recorded 20 points, including a jaw-dropping dunk, seven rebounds and three steals. If junior guards D’Quan Applewhite and Keondre Woods continue to develop, Thornton could emerge among the state’s elite squads.
Reavis’ Eddie Puha can play. The senior guard is averaging 23.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The Rams schedule might not resemble a meat-grinder. Puha, though, is a skilled and determined player who knows how to play the game. A kid of deep Christian faith, Trinity Christian or Olivet Nazarene would be ideal college fits.