With two teams playing in district-tournament finals, another in a region-tournament title game and all three having winning records, the 2019-20 boys high-school basketball season was a big success story for the Wakefield Warriors, Washington-Liberty Generals and Yorktown Patriots.
The trio combined for a 53-28 record, with Yorktown owning the best overall mark at 20-6 and winning the Liberty District Tournament.
The natural question this season is can those three continue that type of winning?
The biggest question, of course, is will the season be played. Practice is scheduled to begin Dec. 7 with games starting Dec. 21-23. That is all in question because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and changing adjustments to various guidelines.
“We want to play, we are hoping to play and we are preparing,” Wakefield boys head coach Tony Bentley said.
If the teams take the court, Yorktown returns multiple players from last season, while Wakefield and W-L graduated key starters.
Top returners for Yorktown and its fast-pace and quick-shooting offense are forwards Steven Lincoln and John Shonheim and scads of guards such as Brandon Warner, Chris Short, Liam Andersen and Jack Burris, plus others who had varsity experience last season.
Yorktown finished 3-0 in the district tournament last season, winng two games in overtime. The Patriots then lost to Washington-Liberty in its first region-tourney contest.
Washington-Liberty was 16-12 last season and finished second in the 6D Region Tournament, after opening with a win over Westfield in a play-in game, then dropped its first-round state-tournament contest.
The Generals graduated three key players. Top returners will be guard Christian Stackpole, forward Jack Kimbrell and a few others with varsity experience.
"We will be young but we have some good players so it will be a fun season," W-L coach Bobby Dobson said.
Wakefield was 17-10 last season, finished second in the National District Tournament to the Edison Eagles, then was 1-1 in region playoff action, eliminated by W-L.
Guards Bryson Horsford, Jalon Lipford and James Clark return for the Warriors, with a roster that will include top players from strong freshmen and junior varsity teams the last couple of seasons.
NOTES: The Washington-Liberty boys had a 4-2 overall record, including 2-1 in the postseason, against Wakefield and Yorktown last season. The Generals were 3-1 overall against Yorktown and 1-1 versus Wakefield . . . The Wakefield and W-L boys are scheduled to play Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Washington-Liberty.