The boys and girls basketball seasons have arrived.
Check out the Tribune's basketball preview in Tuesday's paper.
Here's a rundown of how we think things are going to go this season.
Dale E. Tribune is the question-asker to Bogan and Adams...
DET: Gentlemen, welcome to the 2010-11 boys and girls basketball seasons. Since your football season came to an end a little earlier than usual, you boys should be well rested.
Let’s get to it.
DET: OK, let’s start in the race for the Greater Thumb West boys title. Vassar kind of surprised some people and wound up winning the league title last season, battling Bay City All Saints and Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port down to the final week. Who do you guys think is the team to beat the GTW this season?
ADAMS: I’m not sure if there is a “team” to beat.
To me, Vassar, Cass City, Reese, USA and BCAS all look to be solid. I picked Cass City to win the GTW, but if the Red Hawks do, it won’t be by a landslide.
USA should be vastly improved on its 11-11 record, but its success may hinge on the health of Jake Holland.
EPBP has a new coach and not much experience. I also think Bad Axe will be an improved team this year.
BOGAN: Like Adams, I picked Cass City to win the title, but it’s certainly not a sure thing. I love the Red Hawks’ backcourt with seniors Justin Ketterer and Alex Varney. And they have some nice players up front in Morgan Erla and Cameron Dunnuck.
I really think USA is the wild card in the league. If Holland is capable of playing, the Patriots, to me, become the favorite. If he can’t, they are once again going to have to rely on a backcourt which certainly was up and down last season.
And, of course, any team with Drew Janer on it has to be a threat. He might average around 25 points this season for BCAS
DET: Harbor Beach rolled last season in the GTE to a perfect 12-0 mark. Can the Pirates do it again?
ADAMS: It’s unrealistic to think Harbor Beach can duplicate the season it had after losing so many players. With that said, the Pirates have plenty of talent returning, and coach Ron Wruble always gets the most out of his players.
I also think Ubly is going to have a fine season. It’s going to be run-and-gun for the Bearcats, and they have the players to execute first-year coach Ken Pichla’s style.
BOGAN: I took Harbor Beach to win the crown, but I also like Ubly and Marlette. Harbor Beach senior Scott Grekowicz was the unsung hero of last season’s team, and I expect another solid season from him. And, from what I hear, Harbor Beach’s younger players are talented and are going to see the floor a lot this season.
We will get a good indication tomorrow night when the Pirates host USA in the season opener for both teams.
DET: Deckerville enters the North Central Thumb League this season. Give me a rundown of the NCTL boys races in the North and the South.
ADAMS: In the North Division, North Huron remains the team to beat, but the gap is closing. Akron-Fairgrove should be much better this season, and I think Caseville has a real chance to surprise some people this year.
In the South, Carsonvile-Port Sanilac may very well be the best team in the league. The Tigers have a ton of players back from the squad that won the title last year.
DET: Who are some of the top boys players in the area?
ADAMS: North Huron’s duo of Erik Dhyse and Kevin Rice should be very good.
I also like USA’s Holland. He could be the most dominant big man in the area if he can stay healthy.
Harbor Beach’s Scott Grekowicz is a very exciting guard.
BOGAN: Those four should be very good this season.
I have already mentioned Cass City’s foursome of Varney, Ketterer, Erla and Dunnuck.
I also like Bad Axe’s backcourt tandem of Jesse Quinn and Ethan Sisco.
Caseville has a fine player in Charlie Karafa.
Ubly’s duo of Eric Booms and Marshall Leipprandt should do plenty of damage.
DET: Let’s switch to the girls. Who will be tops in the GTW?
ADAMS: I think it’s Reese and everyone else. Yes, the Rockets lost some nice players, but they simply reloaded this season.
USA is a real sleeper for me. I like the experience and youth on that team.
BOGAN: I am not counting out the Lakers.
They have five girls who saw plenty of action last season, including sharp-shooting Taylor Comment and post player Erika Matteson. Kacey Peterson is an underrrated player who started every game for the Lakers last season.
And Cass City coach Lloyd Schinnerer thinks this is the year his Red Hawks make a major move up the standings. They have the talent to do it, too.
DET: What about the GTE?
ADAMS: It’s the same story as the GTW, just insert Sandusky in for Reese. Brown City will also be in the mix.
BOGAN: Yes, the Redskins are loaded once again.
I also like Marlette. The Raiders have a very talented group back.
DET: And the NCTL?
ADAMS: In the North, I think it’s still Port Hope, but with a new coach, and a loss of some solid post players, the gap has closed.
North Huron will be a strong contender. And I like the fact that Caseville has all five of its starters back.
In the South, Memphis is probably the class of the entire league. The Yellowjackets have a ton of players returning.
DET: Gimme some top-notch girls?
ADAMS: North Huron’s Sara Clancy could very well be one of the best post players in the Thumb, regardless of league.
Also, Harbor Beach’s Tori Kraft is a very talented player, but the Pirates will need a second scoring threat to emerge in order to take pressure off of her.
BOGAN: I have already mentioned EPBP’s trio of Comment, Matteson and Peterson.
I also think Cass City has four players with all-league talent in McKensie Parrish, Megan Parrish, Logan Rowell and Carley Hendrick.
USA’s inside tandem of Sam Eisengruber and Miranda Fuerst will be tough to stop.
And Bad Axe senior Taylor Breault has the size and experience to control the paint for the Hatchets.
DET: Anything else you’d like to add?
I have gotten used to the new scheduling, but it still doesn’t mean I like it. We’re barely into this new season, and I can’t make heads or tails of the schedule.
Since the seasons are never going back, the GTC and NCTL MUST get on the same page. They MUST match their schedules. It will be beneficial for everyone involved.
Mike Bogan is the Daily Tribune’s news/sports editor. Paul P. Adams is a Daily Tribune sports writer.