2018-19 Team Preview: Selah Vikings
PG/SG Elijah Pepper - He’s currently recovering from knee surgery. Committed to UC Davis Basketball this past September. Plays with a non-stop motor and is sneaky big at 6-3 205 pounds. May be the best shooter in the Central Washington region.
SF/PF Noah Pepper - A 6-3 sophomore that plays physical. Going into his second year as a starting forward. Not quite the shooter as his older brother, but brings it just as much in all other categories. He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.
PG/SG Calvin Herting - Will be making the switch from shooting guard to full time point guard this season. Has acted more as a three point specialist in years past, but that’ll change this year. When Herting gets hot, he can single-handedly take over games.
The 18-19 Selah Vikings aren't exactly off to a smoking start. Anytime you’re missing your ‘franchise piece’ Elijah Pepper, it’ll definitely take some of the wind out of your sails.
Elijah Pepper is currently recovering from meniscus surgery. The surgery took place in October, and his timetable to return is mid to late January. Just in time for the playoffs.
Selah’s world would further get rocked in November, when projected forward Reid Rasmussen had season ending elbow surgery.
This is all coming off a tough end to their previous season. A team with title aspirations saw their season slip away in the quarterfinals; a 57-54 loss to WF West.
Head Coach Tim Garza took the head coaching job at Selah three years ago. A large reason for that was because of the talented nucleus Selah had in place. He knows his team well, and will work to their strengths all season.
Three starters and most of the bench return from last year’s team. The losses of Zak Donato and Keegan Morford certainly hurt, but there are enough pieces here to win the CWAC again.
Perhaps the biggest change to the lineup will be moving Herting to point guard. It’s a position that Pepper has manned the last three years.
As the most experienced player on the floor, Herting is going to be a workhorse during the regular season. Expect 20-25 points a night from him.
Complimenting him will be returning starter Noah Pepper. As a freshman last year, he was quick to establish himself as an important piece. His ability to set the tone on defense is almost irreplaceable.
With Rasmussen out for the year, the next man likely to step up is Will Middlebrooks. He primarily acted as the sixth man last year, but can definitely be an all league performer in his senior season.
Selah doesn’t have a true center on the roster, but the closest one they’ve got is 6-4 240 pound Skylar Rayburn. He’s a football stand-out, and he’ll have the job of defending the bigger low post guys.
If Selah is going to push for a championship, they’re going to need at least one new star to emerge. That guy may be 6-3 210 pound junior Malachi Kinlow.
He’s capable of hitting shots from all parts of the floor, and uses his frame well to defend well. Last year Kinlow was largely used as late-game filler, but this year he’ll have a chance to earn a starting spot.
Projection: They’re going to be challenged early; both internally and with their opponents. The Herting point guard experiment is wide open for results, especially because this will bump Pepper out to shooting guard. The season opens up with road games against Zillah and Toppenish, and those obviously won’t be easy. This is still the team to beat in the CWAC, and when at full health, they’re a top ten 2A team. If Selah’s going to win a state title, they’re going to have to play their best team basketball yet.
12/4 @ Zillah
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