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Gresham junior guard Esyah Pippa White will look to repeat as Player of the Year and lead the conference

PMG FILE PHOTO - Gresham junior guard Esyah Pippa White averaged 22 PTS, 7 AST and 6 REB last season. As the 2021-22 high school basketball season tips off across the state, there are plenty of talented boys to keep an eye on from the Mt. Hood Conference.

So we decided to ask those who know them best, their coaches, which players will make the biggest impact on the court this season in boys basketball. From the reigning Player of the Conference to the state-leader in field goal percentage, here are the players to watch this season:

Esyah Pippa White, Gresham, junior

The reigning Mt. Hood Conference Player of the Year returns with college scouts circling to lead a young Gophers team on attack. One of 11 underclassmen on his squad, the superstar scorer averaged 22 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds last season, and is looking to add to his game. Expect White to improve his defense and shooting percentages as he makes a run for an All-State nod.

Nathan Jones, Barlow, senior

When it comes to efficiency on the basketball court, no one is better than Jones, literally. The Bruin big led the state in field goal percentage last season shooting 72%, utilizing his skill and strength to shake off defenders for clean looks at the rim. He averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds, and was named to the 20-21 Honorable Mention All-League.

Parker Poetsch, Centennial, junior

Poetsch returns as a tantalizing young scorer for the Eagles, averaging 15.1 points, 4 assists and 3.1 rebounds last year as an underclassmen. Those marks were good enough to earn Honorable Mention All-League — an accolade he plans to build upon this year.

Jovany Guzman, Reynolds, senior

A leader in the huddle and team captain, Guzman will look to pace a Raiders team seeking to play spoiler in the Mt. Hood Conference. Last year the three-year starter averaged 14.2 points and received an Honorable Mention All-League nod.

Joey Wagner, Sandy, senior

One of the most versatile players in the conference makes his return to the court after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. Wagner embodies the modern trend of position-less basketball, playing minutes across the frontcourt. He is the Pioneers best scorer.

Connor Hills, Barlow, senior

A true point guard in every sense, Hills is an adept scorer and passer the Bruins rely on to manage the game and bring the ball up the court on every possession. Last season he averaged 14 points and 5 assists en route to First-Team All-League honors.

Scotty Riddle, Gresham, junior

A versatile playmaker on both ends of the floor, and the second half of the Gophers formidable starting backcourt. Riddle is a pass-first guard, wanting to get others involved, though he isn't afraid to take the shot when open. Expect him to make an impact defensively, locking up the opposing team's star.

Edward Dixon, Reynolds, senior

An aggressive rebounder and shot blocker, Dixon will get in the way of his opponents, making every point and board be earned. He anchors his team defensively and is a capable scorer around the basket when needed.

Jalen Ross, Centennial, senior

Ross is one of the true paint forces in the Mt. Hood Conference, and the towering Eagles veteran will look to dominate downlow for his team on both sides of the court. Last season he averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Marcos Ramirez, Sandy, sophomore

A floor leader for the Pioneers, and one of the great young players in the conference after playing varsity last season as a freshman. Ramirez will look to solidify his role as a playmaker.

Josiah Collins, David Douglas, senior

Collins was second-team all Mt. Hood last season thanks to his physicality as a defender and playmaking ability. Collins will be the leader for a David Douglas team looking to finish in the top third of the league and be a playoff team.

Jamaree Collins, David Douglas, senior

Helping out Josiah Collins will be Jamaree, who presents the Scots with a solid inside-out threat. Jamaree can make defenders pay who let him shoot, then take them to the rim once they start to come out.

Luke Johnson, Central Catholic, senior

The preseason No. 4 team in Class 6A is the Rams, and they'll be led by 6-foot-8 senior Luke Johnson, a first-teamer on the All Mt. Hood Conference team last season.

Aidan Slater, Central Catholic, senior

Slater, a Mt. Hood honorable mention last season, will provide the yin to Johnson's yang. The Rams' senior guard returns a top five 3-point percentage and hopes to give the Rams a lethal offense in all phases.


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