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The Full-Time Hoops Top 50: 26-50

Belatedly, here is the final group of teams that comprises my Top 50 rankings.

26. Olympian

Key Players: JJ Walker, 5-7 So. G; Isaiah Aquino, 5-7 Sr. G; Sammell Humphries, 5-11 So. G; Tristan Anderson, 5-7 Fr. G; Nathan Cacao, 6-3 Sr. G; Xavier King, 6-3 So. F; Nijil Sherrard, 5-7 So. G; Yaseen Chemsi, 6-3 So. F; Koa Cardeno, 5-7 So. G

Outlook: A nice blend of speedy guards, underrated wings and just enough size should give the Eagles the edge in Division 3. 

27. Vista

Key Players: Gavin Guinn, 6-2 Jr. G; CJ Coleman, 6-4 Jr. G; Ashaun Mitchell, 6-2 Jr. G; Cody Myers, 6-4 Jr. F; Ramses Cathles, 6-4 Sr. F; Romeo Friend, 6-0 So. G

Outlook: It’s time for the Panthers junior quartet to live up to their capabilities. In Guinn, Coleman, Mitchell and Myers, the talent is there to make a run in Division 2. Friend is an underrated sophomore whose improvement will impact how far this team can go. But much here hinges on the health of the oft-injured Guinn. If he’s anywhere close to full strength, the Panthers are a different team. 

28. Sage Creek

Key Players: Elijah Stephens, 6-5 Jr. F; Elias Samady, 6-1 Jr. G; Kayden Naccarato, 5-10 Jr. G; Zac Peterson, 6-2 Sr. G; Jordan Barnhart, 6-3 So. G; Cole Vela, 5-10 Jr. G; Vaughn Young, 5-7 So. G; Charlie Balcar, 6-2 Jr. F; Rohan Keswani, 6-1 Jr. G; Schulyer Lydecker, Jr. W; Jaden Mendoza, 5-9 Jr. G; Ryan Gerhardt, Jr. F

Outlook: The Bobcats have depth on their roster to spare, especially with the transfer of Vela and Barnhart from nearby San Marcos, but this team revolves around the bruiser Stephens. The lefty scored 25 points a game as a sophomore. Trusting his supporting cast is the next step.

T-28. Steele Canyon 

Key players: Caleb Thach, 6-0 Jr. G; Alex Williams, 6-0 So. G; Ronnie Scott, 6-3 So. G; Salim Underwood, 6-3 So. G; Jacob Allen, 6-9 So. C; Tyler Starr, 5-7 So. G; Tyree Zakaryan, 6-2 So. F; Kaden Heinricy, 6-4 Sr. W; Derek Chuisano, 6-4 Jr. F; Chris Alexander, 6-1 Fr. W

Outlook: Is this the season Helix is dethroned from the Grossmont Hills? If there’s a team equipped to do it, it’s the Cougars and their combination of guard play (Thach, Williams and Scott), defense (Underwood, Chuisano, Zakaryan), shooting (Heinricy) and an intriguing long-term post presence in the paint (Allen). Aaron Douglas might have his deepest team of his three-year tenure. 

29. Westview

Key Players: Tate Van der Walt, 5-10 Sr. G; Mason Walsh, 6-2 Jr. G; Lawrence Lam, 6-5 So. F; Madyx Perovich, Jr.; Ari Koza, 5-11 Jr. G; 

Outlook: Chase Fraser brings back some solid weapons, including the rapidly evolving Lam, the improved Walsh and the dependable Van der Walt, one of North County’s most underrated guards. 

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