Big Shoes to Fill: 4A
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Turnover is a fact of life for high school programs. All-state players graduate and young players step up. Here are some talented players ready to take on bigger roles in the absence of a 4A all-state graduate: Cooper Carr Cooper…
Turnover is a fact of life for high school programs. All-state players graduate and young players step up.
Here are some talented players ready to take on bigger roles in the absence of a 4A all-state graduate:
, 6-foot-1 guard, 2026, Baldwin:
It’s pretty easy to believe that all-stater Caleb Carr can be replaced by his younger brother Cooper. Not that replacing an all-stater is easy. But both players are shooters/slashers who create in the open floor and rebound well from the guard spot. The younger Carr is taller and may develop more physically. He gained a ton of experience, averaging 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as part of the 4A state tournament run.
, 6-foot-3 forward, 2024, Rose Hill:
They play a different style, but Evans will have to pick up some of the slack from the graduation of all-state guard Kellan Simoneau. Evans is a long, lanky multi-sport stud who plays with more physicality. He had some nice scoring games as a junior as an athletic slasher. Evans probably won’t match Simoneau’s 20 points per game, but he does a lot of other things well.
Griffin Heger, 5-foot-10 guard, 2024, Hugoton (pictured)
Hugoton had a rare blessing last season: two all-state guards in Carson Bennett and Ryle Riddlesperger who could handle the ball, shoot and provide mature leadership. You won’t replace that with any one player. Heger is a vastly different player, but he’s waited his turn to be one of the main guards for Hugoton. He was an important reserve the past two seasons, providing a ton of energy, athleticism and intensity. Heger has shown in club action that he can score, particularly on break-neck attacks in transition.
Blayne Marshall, 6-foot guard, 2026, Bishop Miege:
The Stags lose a couple of all-staters in Aidan Wing and Jason Rodriguez. Marshall is not really like either of them, but he’s poised to pick up a ton of their minutes as a sophomore. He’s a physical specimen and a guy who, as seen in club games, can handle being the go-to option in crunch time. He’s powerful, quick and tough. He picked up some valuable experience as a reserve guard as a freshman. Improving his shooting accuracy will be big.
, 5-foot-8 guard, 2024, Hayden:
Jake Muller has been a coach’s favorite at Hayden, playing with the kind of relentlessness that you would expect from a track champion. He played point or off the ball as needed and scored a lot of points over the years in addition to being a defensive stopper. Injuries have prevented Padilla from getting all the credit he deserves, but he’s a fine point guard in his own right. If he can play a full season as a senior, fans will see he’s a talented and fearless ball handler and distributor.