Best in KC
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June is high school team month. After a spring spent with club programs, players return to their high schools for a few weeks of practice and scrimmaging with their high school teammates. So that’s a good time for Prep Hoops…
June is high school team month. After a spring spent with club programs, players return to their high schools for a few weeks of practice and scrimmaging with their high school teammates. So that’s a good time for Prep Hoops to look around the state for a “Best of” series.
Here are the best returners in Kansas City:
Top ranked senior – #9, 6-foot-7 forward, 2024, Blue Valley Northwest (pictured):
One of the very best big men in the state, Matteoni helped his Huskies squad to the state championship after a second-place finish his sophomore year. He’s a great runner of the floor, a top rebounder and an athletic threat to score. He averaged 17 points and 10 boards as a junior.
Top ranked junior – #1, 6-foot-6 forward, 2025, Mill Valley:
The versatile big forward averaged 17 points and 6 boards as a sophomore for a balanced team. He hit 39% from deep. Kaifes has the combination of size and power, athleticism, IQ and ball skills to be one of the most highly recruited players in the state this year.
Most Underappreciated –, 6-foot-3 forward, 2024, Blue Valley:
Markes was a bright spot for a .500 team. A wing who can get hot in a hurry, Markes hit 40% from deep last year. He can get buckets in the paint and off offensive rebounds and he is a good passer, averaging nearly 2 assists per game as a junior.
Top rising talent – Ethan Taylor, 6-foot-9 center, 2026, Shawnee Mission Northwest:
His freshman stats aren’t the story. It’s Taylor’s ceiling that is creating a buzz. He measured 6-foot-9 as a ninth grader and apparently is still growing. He was lanky and thin, but he made strides during the season. He finished with a line of 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in limited time on the talented state-bound Cougars. You can bet a year of physical maturation and skill development will see Taylor make a big leap.
Top team – Shawnee Mission Northwest:
It’s hard to pick against perennial powers Blue Valley Northwest and Bishop Miege, but the team that looks poised to explode is Shawnee Mission Northwest. The Cougars return a trio of 2025s in, and who were pretty dynamic as sophomores. Taylor should be ready to make a much bigger impact, and seniors Deven Bolton and Dominic and are talented veterans. The Cougars went to 6A state last year and return most of that talented group.