After a non-traditional season in 2021, the 2021-22 campaign is highly anticipated as it will be back to “normal” for just about everyone across the state. The Mt Hood Conference will once again be stacked at the top in the…
After a non-traditional season in 2021, the 2021-22 campaign is highly anticipated as it will be back to “normal” for just about everyone across the state. The Mt Hood Conference will once again be stacked at the top in the race for the league title. Here’s how we see it shaking out.
1. Central Catholic
5. David Douglas
Player of the Year: Esyah Pippa-White Esyah Pippa-White 6'2" | PG Gresham | 2023 State OR , Gresham
All-League Predictions: Pippa-White; Luke Johnson Luke Johnson 6'8" | PF Central Catholic | 2022 WV , Central Catholic; Aidan Slater Aidan Slater 6'1" | CG Central Catholic | 2022 State OR , Central Catholic; Connor Hills Connor Hills 5'6" | PG Barlow | 2022 State OR , Barlow; Josiah Collins Josiah Collins 6'0" | PG David Douglas | 2022 State OR , David Douglas
Top Sleeper/Newcomer: Jalen Atkins Jalen Atkins 6'1" | SG Barlow | 2025 State OR , Barlow
State Tournament Threats: Central Catholic, Barlow
Other Post-Season Teams: Gresham, Clackamas, David Douglas
Even though they lose a starter to the Ivy League in Darius Gakwasi (19.2 ppg, 6 rpg) and another to a move back to California in Malik Rose Malik Rose 5'8" | PG Central Catholic | 2022 CA-N (13 ppg, 5 apg), Central Catholic still has plenty back to capture the Mt Hood Conference title. It’s kind of an embarrassment of riches for head coach David Blue but he would be the first to tell you that the Rams still need to earn it all. 6-foot-8 big man Luke Johnson Luke Johnson 6'8" | PF Central Catholic | 2022 WV (19.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg) is back for his senior year and having fully focused on hoops this off-season, will look to really dominate both inside and out. Fellow senior Aidan Slater Aidan Slater 6'1" | CG Central Catholic | 2022 State OR (10 ppg, .483 3pt%) will transition over to the point and is anxious to show that he’s more than just a long-range shooter. Juniors 6-foot-6 swingman Gray Thompson Gray Thompson 6'6" | SF Central Catholic | 2023 State OR and national football recruit 6-foot-7 post Riley Williams Riley Williams 6'7" | PF Central Catholic | 2023 OR will also play major roles for the Rams, and Blue is extremely high on a couple of newcomers in 6-foot-4 Catlin Gabel transfer Marley Zeller Marley Zeller 6'5" | SF Central Catholic | 2024 State OR and freshman sharpshooter Isaac Carr Isaac Carr 6'3" | CG Central Catholic | 2025 State OR .
Barlow is back in a big way as the Bruins seem to be rock solid for second. Head coach Tom Johnson’s Bruins have great chemistry and flow having played together all summer and fall and there’s tremendous senior leadership on the squad. It all starts with point guard Connor Hills Connor Hills 5'6" | PG Barlow | 2022 State OR (14 ppg, 3.7 apg) who is one of the smartest floor generals and game managers in the state. Leading scorer Nathan Jones Nathan Jones 6'3" | SG Barlow | 2022 State OR (15 ppg, 8 rpg, .725 fg%) is back with his junkyard dog mentality which helps him be one of the most efficient scorers in the state, having led all of 6A in field goal percentage. Brother Jesse Jones Jesse Jones 6'6" | PF Barlow | 2022 State OR (8 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.4 bpg) anchors the middle with his defense and rebounding. And adding to the mix is heralded 6-foot-3 freshman Jalen Atkins Jalen Atkins 6'1" | SG Barlow | 2025 State OR , whom Johnson believes could be one of his best players ever. Atkins, a skilled scorer who many consider the top freshman in the state, is recovering from injury and is projected to be ready to play in January.
Gresham continues to make waves in the MHC and should once again make a run toward the post-season. Esyah Pippa-White Esyah Pippa-White 6'2" | PG Gresham | 2023 State OR (20.8 ppg) had a breakout sophomore campaign, one that resulted in league Player of the Year honors and PrepHoops Oregon First Team All-State mention. It would be a shock if he didn’t repeat those awards as his numbers could be even higher this season. While the rest of last year’s backcourt graduated, there’s instant help as combo guard Scottie Riddle transferred in from Reynolds. His ability to handle the ball will give Pippa-White the opportunity to play both and off the ball. Around these two head coach Erik Lyslo has a number of solid role players that will help the Gophers go.
It was a special year at Clackamas as the senior-dominated Cavs made quite the run, getting to the title game of the culminating week Blue Bracket. The one starter head coach Cameron Mitchell has back for 2021-22 is senior guard Jackson Jaha Jackson Jaha 6'1" | SG Clackamas | 2022 State OR (10.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg) who should lead the team in scoring. 6-foot-9 big man Nate Senatra (2.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg) will have an elevated role. He showed great improvement over the summer on the offensive end and will rebound and protect the rim. Levi Simmonds (3.9 ppg) adds size at 6-foot-6 and Rylan Peterson (2.6 ppg) is also back and the Cavs added Life Christian transfer Forrest Reyes Forrest Reyes 5'6" | CG Clackamas | 2022 State OR at the point.
Head coach Chad Reeves is back on for another year at David Douglas and once again has the kind of under-the-radar guys that could surprise in league play. Senior lead guard Josiah Collins Josiah Collins 6'0" | PG David Douglas | 2022 State OR (11.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg) is the key guy back and he’ll put pressure on opponents on both ends of the floor. His cousin Ja’maree Collins Ja’maree Collins 6'2" | SG David Douglas | 2022 State OR (7.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg) is also back on the wing and David Alderton David Alderton 6'3" | SG David Douglas | 2023 State OR (3.8 ppg) will be the designated shooter. The Scots will once again lack size but will make up for it with quickness and toughness.
Centennial has been slowly returning to significance since head coach John Poetsch returned and practically everyone from last year’s team is back. The coach’s son, Parker Poetsch (14.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.0 apg) is one of the more underrated players in the league and he’ll be running the point from day one. Hayden Boyd (12.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Dylan Ronnfeldt (6.0 ppg, .423 3pt) are solid returnees and you can bet the Eagles will be winning more than the three victories they notched in the spring.
Reynolds continues to rebuild under head coach Terrance Dickens. The Raiders took a hit with the transfer of Riddle to Gresham, but senior Jovanny Guzman is back to lead the way. Sandy is on its second coach since former head man Jason Maki left for Montana, but brand new coach Paul Henderson comes in an experienced winner from Riverdale. It will take some time for the Pioneers to make an impact though. Finally, brand new program Nelson is on the scene with energetic young head coach Alex Edwards at the helm. There’s potential for the future but 2021-22 will undoubtedly be a year of growth for the Hawks.