Under the leadership of new head coach Dan Chapman and senior class, Colton Vikings aim for top

Coach: Daniel ChapmanPIONEER PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Colton's Chance Ritchie battles inside the paint for a basket against Portland Christian in the teams season opener.

2017-18: 12-14

Key losses: Evan Rasor, Dawson Hall, Kreygan Raasch, Seth Bruesch

Key returners: James Parker, Javontae Maes

Outlook: It's hard not to look at the Colton boys' basketball team and not be optimistic for the team's upcoming season.

After placing third in the PacWest Conference last year with a 5-7 league record, the team drops back down into the 2A classification. The Tri-River Conference (TRC) will be a competitive place for the Vikings, as they find themselves in a league with last year's state finalists Western Christian. Other heavy hitters in the TRC include Kennedy and Santiam, both of whom qualified for the state tournament last year.

"It is Western Christian's league title to lose this year," first year Colton head coach Dan Chapman said. "Kennedy and Santiam are both capable of winning it as well. We have a lot of work to do to break in to that top group. As a team we need to focus in practice on the little things. Footwork, shot selection, rebounding, passing under pressure, etcetera."

Chapman grew up in McMinnville, where he has coached youth and travels teams since 2002. For the last two seasons, he was a coach for the Yamhill Carlton girls program, before making the move to Colton this season.

Coming together in practice will be important, especially under the leadership of a large group of seniors. The seniors number 12 total, with two juniors adding to the upperclassmen count. Chapman expects seniors James Parker and Javontae Maes to helm the squad on the court and off of it.

"James is a great ball handler and has great scoring vision," Chapman said. "He leads the team on and off the court. Javontae got stronger from last year and has become a vocal leader this season. They both set the bar high for themselves and their teammates."

Colton's new head coach is confident that the team's built-in chemistry will be one of the keys success in the upcoming year.

"I have a very athletic group of seniors who like to be around each other and show up to practice each day ready to do whatever is asked of them," Chapman said.

The team picked up a win over Portland Christian in its season opener. In that win, Maes had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and senior Wyatt Earls had 11 points. The team trailed heading into the fourth and final quarter, but outscored the Royals 10-6 in the final frame to secure the W 45-43.

Colton will continue its preseason run against former league foe Jefferson on Friday, Nov. 30.

First Game: Nov. 28 @ Portland Christian, Win 45-43

Stats vs. Portland Christian

1st Q 11-18 (11-18)

2nd Q 23-27 (12-9)

3rd Q 35-37 (12-10)

4th Q 45-43 (10-6)

Individual totals

Javontae Maes: 12pts, 11reb

Wyatt Earls: 11pts, 5reb

James Parker: 9pts, 4reb, 4asst

Jaeden Bramblett: 5pts, 5reb

TJ Tiano: 4pts, 2reb

Chance Ritchie: 2pts, 5reb, 2blk

Miles Payne: 2pts, 2reb

Donny Maes: 1 reb

Zack Boots

Team totals

Assists: 8

Steals: 6

Turnovers: 9

Blocks: 4

Rebounds: 35

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