Key Players

Even Mclean - One of the most elite defenders in the entire Big Nine. The six foot forward will be leaned on more this year to produce big point totals.

Cory Kunjara - High energy senior point guard. Charismatic playing style that can makes defenders look silly. He’s going to put out workhorse minutes this year.

Michael Byers - At 6-5, he’ll be counted on to put up big rebounding totals on a nightly basis. In a league with not a lot of big guys, he stands out.

Overview

Moses Lake has quietly put together five straight winning seasons under the guidance of head coach John Hohman.

What’s been missing is that signature season where they make a deep playoff run, and beating a powerhouse like a Issaquah or Federal Way.

The Big Nine is as evenly balanced as it’s been over the past few years. With no bonafide division one recruit giving a team a leg up, it’s going to come down to team basketball.

There are five seniors returning with varsity experience. While none of them were named to the all league team last year, their camaraderie should generate just as much production.

The Chiefs will lose their top two scorers in Zach Phillips and Gio Walker. There’s no clear cut guy to replace their production, so everyone’s going to need to chip in.

Cory Kunjara is an early candidate to be a top flight point guard in the Big Nine. He rarely makes mistakes, and knows how to stretch defenses with the three ball.

Senior forward Even Mclean may best be known for his defensive prowess, but his offensive skill set should not go overlooked.

He’s a slasher type that attacks the basket, but is also smooth enough to hit corner threes.

In the front court, Michael Byers is as good of a big guy as you’re going to find in the league. He prides himself on doing the dirty work. That should take pressure of his teammates.

Joining them in featured roles will be junior’s Dax Lindgren and Kyle Karstetter.

Karstetter has huge potential to be a breakout candidate. The 6-7 210 power forward is a menace in the low post, and should wear down defenses over the course of a contest.

Lindgren will be an excellent complement to Kunjara and Mclean. He does a little bit of everything, from generating steals to scoring bursts.

A newcomer to the varsity level with breakout potential is junior Logan Sperline. He’s a quarterback on the Chiefs football team, and brings a hard nosed mentality.

Something that should help this team is how tight knit they are. Moses Lake is an isolated area, so a lot of this team has known each other since first or second grade.

The ability to know each other’s tendencies is going to be more valuable than just feeding one all-star every game.

Projection:

This years Moses Lakes Chiefs are bursting with potential. There’s a lot of hungry players lining this roster eager to prove themselves. They’ll be tested early with two road trips to Spokane and a home dates with Idaho based Lewiston and Post Falls. Guys like Carstetter and Byers should fare well cleaning up underneath the glass; the question is who’s going to put up the big point totals. Giving the experience of the backcourt, at least a couple standouts should emerge. This team should be on everyone’s radar as a Big Nine contender.

Key Games:

@ Chiawana 12/1

Davis 1/18

@ Wenatchee 2/8

For more Eastside team previews, follow me on Twitter! @micah_chen