Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
After an exciting season, we’re putting the final touches on our fall sports coverage and, like the weather, transitioning to winter.
With the start of a new boys basketball season less than a week away — we can’t believe it either — here’s a list of 10 players in our coverage area, and in no particular order, to keep an eye on this coming season.
Cam Evans, Zane Trace
The SVC’s Player of the Year in 2018-19 led his Pioneers to a regional semifinal appearance, where the Pioneers eventually fell to New Philadelphia. It was the program’s first district championship since 1970 and he was the eye of the team’s storm. Evans posted 25.2 points each night, driving to the hoop with authority while making the best defenders look pedestrian.
Jayvon Maughmer, Chillicothe
Maughmer averaged 15 points per game last season while journeying through, quite possibly, the area’s toughest schedule. After committing to play at Cedarville University, Maughmer will be the key piece to Chillicothe’s offense as the Cavaliers go to battle against programs like Moeller, Upper Arlington, etc. Maughmer is special. If you don’t believe me, just watch him play.
J.J. Truitt, Wheelersburg
After taking a backseat in a scoring sense to teammate Tanner Holden last season, Truitt will be the man at Wheelersburg this winter. The first-team all-SOC and second-team all-district honoree averaged 13 points per game as a sophomore, and that was while seeing limited touches. This season, he’ll have more scoring opportunities and he’ll take advantage of each.
Trey Robertson, Waverly
Shooters shoot and Robertson continually proved he was one of the best at doing so during his freshman year. He gives the Tigers a deep ball option and can create his own shot opportunities at will. If you’ve seen him play, you know the type of range he brings. When you add that in with his ability to defend, you get a complete package that’s imperative to Waverly’s success.
Caleb Wallis, Jackson
Following a season where he led his Ironmen to a district final, Wallis signed with the University of Rio Grande. With that decision out of his way, he can simply focus on playing the game, which should be scary for opposing teams. Wallis was a key piece in Jackson’s first sectional title since 2003. He’ll be back and better than ever, trying to make it two straight.
Logan Bennett, Adena
The Warriors ended a 59-year drought when they captured a district championship last season. In that district title win, a 53-40 victory over Chesapeake, Bennett had 17 points and 14 rebounds. But that was a usual occurrence for the 6-foot-6 sophomore. Now a junior, Bennett will try and lead Adena back to glory after a 19-win season. He’s got the tools to do it, too.
Kyle Sexton, New Boston
Plum full of versatility, Sexton has plenty of potential entering his junior season. You may remember his instrumental role in New Boston’s first district championship since 1960 and an Elite Eight appearance last year. During that magnificent campaign, Sexton was a guaranteed double-double, posting 20.4 points and 16.2 rebounds per night. He’s as good as it gets.
Isaac Little, Unioto
While Unioto managed to win just 10 games last season, Little did everything he could to lead the team to victory. As a sophomore, he led the team in scoring with 13.6 points per night alongside averages of 1.7 steals and 2.0 assists per game. He shot 37 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 85 percent from the free throw line. He should be even better in 2019-20.
Nick Nesser, Zane Trace
As instrumental as Evans was to ZT’s success, Nesser was right there with him every step of the way. The Pioneers’ big man put up 12.5 points per game while bringing down rebounds per night. He’s perfected his jumper and is, of course, tremendous near the net. If he’s playing well, Zane Trace usually follows suit.
Gage Sampson, Green
The Bobcats finished 14-9 last season after a loss to Whiteoak in a Division IV sectional final. However, Gage Sampson was tremendous all year long. The junior put up 19 points per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. He added 11 rebounds and 1.4 steals per night as well. After the loss of several seniors from last year’s team, Sampson will be the Bobcats’ leader.