We take a look at our preseason preview of the VISAA divisions as the season is right around the corner. We will start with division one, featuring some of the perennial powerhouses throughout the state. Here’s a look at some…
We take a look at our preseason preview of the VISAA divisions as the season is right around the corner. We will start with division one, featuring some of the perennial powerhouses throughout the state. Here’s a look at some of the state title contenders and dark horse candidates as we head into the season.
State Title Contenders
Paul VI Panthers
The Panthers are younger than they have been in the past few years, but they have one of the best players in the state leading the team in Michigan commit Knasir McDaniel Knasir McDaniel 5'9" | PG Paul VI Cathlolic (VA) | 2022 State #126 Nation VA (pic) and have as much talent as anyone in the state. They’re always one of the top teams in the state and Head Coach Glen Farrello will have them ready to compete with pretty much anyone. Junior wing DeShawn Harris-Smith DeShawn Harris-Smith 6'5" | SF Paul VI | 2023 State #53 Nation VA is one of the states top perimeter defenders, sophomore 6’6” forward Darren Harris Darren Harris 6'6" | SF Paul VI | 2024 State #38 Nation VA is set to be one of the breakout players in the WCAC and newcomer junior Justin Janaski Justin Janaski 6'2" | CG Scotland Campus | 2023 State PA provides another shooter and athlete on the wing. They are young up front but have good size and a good amount of depth as well.
St. Stephen’s St. Agnes Saints
The Saints boast a starting five that will be as tough as anyone in the state, and their point guard is as dynamic as they come in senior Buffalo commit Devin Ceaser Devin Ceaser 6'1" | CG St. Stephen's & St. Agnes | 2022 State VA (pic) who is coming off of a big time summer and is as tough to guard as anyone you’ll find. They have good size and experience up front in seniors 6’8” St. Frances (PA) commit Miles Webb Miles Webb 6'7" | PF St. Stephen's St. Agnes | 2022 State VA and 6’7” Elliot Black, they have an x-factor leader in senior combo guard Garrett Brennan Garrett Brennan 6'3" | CG St. Stephens & St. Agnes | 2022 State VA and junior guard Mason So Mason So 6'1" | PG DeMatha | 2023 State MD gives them another scorer and playmaker. Their bench is a little unproven but Head Coach Mike Jones will have them ready to compete and find roles for them as he always does.
Cape Henry Collegiate Dolphins
Cape Henry won the state championship last year although many of the northern VA teams didn’t compete, and while they lose some of their top scoring they still have a mix of size and experience that will be tough to match up with. Up front they have great size and athleticism in 6’7” senior Greg Melvin Greg Melvin 6'7" | PF Cape Henry | 2022 State VA (pic), 6’7” junior Tristan Whitfield and 6’8” reclass freshman Martez Harris who is one of the top young prospects in the state. They have two seniors in the backcourt in George Cutler and CJ Bailey CJ Bailey 6'1" | CG Cape Henry | 2022 State VA who set the tone on both ends of the floor and they have a lot to prove this year.
Bishop O’Connell Knights
The Knights went through a rebuilding process the last few years, but now they are stacked with one of the deepest lineups in the DMV area that feature both experience, youth and talent at all positions for Head Coach Joe Wootten. The backcourt is stacked with seniors Paul Lewis Paul Lewis 6'1" | PG Bishop O'Connell | 2022 State VA (pic), Towson commit Christian May Christian May 6'6" | SF Bishop O'Connell | 2022 State VA and sophomore Del Jones Del Jones 6'3" | CG Huntington Prep | 2024 WV that can fill it up with anyone, and they have good athleticism across the board. A senior that will be looked at to bring it is big man David Onanina David Onanina 6'6" | PF Bishop O'Connell | 2022 State VA who is one of the best interior defenders and rebounders in the WCAC, and they have a lot of talented young guys in sophomores Jadyn Harris Jadyn Harris 6'6" | PF Bishop O'Connell | 2024 State VA , Machi Chester Machi Chester 6'3" | PG Gwynn Park | 2024 State MD and Jake Williams Jake Williams 6'4" | SG Sidwell Friends | 2024 State MD to give them depth.
Dark Horse Contenders
The Cadets have been through a rebuild process the last few years but new Head Coach Matt Murrer wasted no time bringing in some elite talent that will make them tough to beat as they have multiple guys who can go out and take over games. Senior Jaden Daughtry Jaden Daughtry 6'6" | SF Benedictine College Prep | 2022 VA (pic) returns to VA after a brief stint at AZ Compass and has been playing extremely well this fall, junior 6’4” shooting guard Davin Cosby returns to Benedictine and is one of the elite shooters and scorers in the RVA area and sophomore Kris Tiller is set to have a breakout year running the point for this group.
St. Anne’s Belfield Saints
STAB has built themselves into one of the top programs in a Charlottesville area that has some of the best boarding schools in the state, and despite losing Syracuse commit Justin Taylor to IMG, Head Coach Damin Altizer still has some pieces that will make them a tough out. They may be a year away but junior big man Carter Lang Carter Lang 6'9" | C St. Anne's Belfield | 2023 State #199 Nation VA (pic) and point guard John St. Germain John St. Germain 6'2" | PG St. Anne's Belfield | 2023 State VA have been playing high level high school ball since they were in eighth grade and are very consistent and productive, sophomore Chance Mallory Chance Mallory 5'10" | PG St. Anne's Belfield | 2025 State VA may be small at 5’7” but he always finds ways to produce and can really shoot it and they have great chemistry. They have a few young kids that will be thrown in the fire, but 6’4” freshman Austin Williford is ready to make a name for himself.
Flint Hill Huskies
The Huskies played extremely well over the summer, and they are a dark horse team that could be able to shock a lot of teams with their experience and talent across the board. Senior lead guard Saxby Sunderland Saxby Sunderland 6'2" | CG Flint Hill | 2022 State VA (pic) is a walking bucket who can score it with the best of them, and fellow senior 6’6” wing Matt Gray is one of the most improved players in the DMV and brings great size, athleticism and energy. The Huskies have great size with senior 6’7” Reis Jones Reis Jones 6'10" | C Flint Hill | 2022 State VA anchoring the middle and junior 6’7” forward Gibraltar Coleman Gibraltar Coleman 6'6" | PF Flint Hill | 2023 State VA providing a big mismatch option, and 6’4” wing Nate Pabis Nate Pabis 6'5" | SF Flint Hill | 2023 State VA is a big time x-factor that can really shoot it.
The Crusaders are back on track to be a dark horse candidate in this division as they have playmakers and difference makers at every position and Head Coach Bobby Steinberg has brought in some talent from all over. They only have one senior in their main rotation in 6’4” wing Kendon Peebles Kendon Peebles 6'4" | SF Catholic | 2022 State VA who is a high motor two way impact player, but their young guys are ready now to play with anyone. Led by 6’10” transfers Steven Solano (pic) from NY who is an elite level prospect who is a natural rim protector and big time athlete, the Crusaders also sport some perimeter playmakers in sophomore 6’4” wing Josiah Rickards Josiah Rickards 6'3" | CG Catholic | 2024 State VA , sophomore point guard Brayden Thorne Brayden Thorne 6'1" | PG Catholic | 2024 State VA and junior combo guard Aiden Filiapiano.