Junior Tanner Giles rising above the competition. Photo by Josh Coleman.

Junior Tanner Giles rising above the competition. Photo by Josh Coleman.

The Chaparral Wolverines boys basketball team went 21-5 overall and 9-1 in league this year, and they were top 10 in state most of the year. Averaging 68.3 points per game, far above the national average is just a testament to how the season went for them this year. This Wolverines team has scorers everywhere on the floor and most of them are Sophomores and Juniors, with a ton of talented Freshman under them. Unfortunately, this Chaparral team lost to Grandview in the Elite Eight 59-53, ending their season shorter than the team and the fans would’ve liked. There are a ton of positives for the Wolverines though, they will be returning their entire starting lineup and they will still have plenty of bench production for them next season. Junior Ronnie Degray will be returning for his senior season looking to finally break through the elite eight and get into the final four and even better yet be crowned champions at the end of the season. Degray averaged 21 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories, saying Degray had his prints all over the Wolverines season is an understatement. Degray looked like a men amongst boys when he was out there playing, he seemed to be putting defenders in posters from the start of the season, to the very end of the season. He was the energy on the Wolverines, and he could pick up the slack if it called for it. Sophomore sharpshooter Kobe Sanders will be returning, and Sanders tied a Chaparral record seven three-pointers in multiple games this year, while also hitting six threes in another game as well. Sanders sees the floor very well, he can find the lanes to get to the basket, he sinks into the soft spots of the defense for wide open threes, or he can hurt you with his passing. Sanders averaged 11.7 points per game and 3.7 assists per game. He can be very sneaky in game casually firing a no look pass for an open layup or blowing by a defender for a drive and kick to the corner for an open three-pointer, while also having great ball handling skills, Sanders can take his man off the bounce and create so many opportunities for himself and his teammates. Opposite of Sanders, the Wolverines have Junior Tanner Giles, who averaged 7.6 points per game and 3.9 assists per game. Giles has the same ability as Sanders but Giles plays don’t always go in the stat sheet. Giles was the captain of this Wolverines team, and Giles was a leader on the court and off the court. He is always looking for the open man and he can break any defender with his unbelievable ball handling skills. Giles will drive the lane, have the opposing team's center thinking he gonna get himself a block, and Giles just stops and puts up a floater that most of the time will go in. Giles has an uncanny ability to know where everybody is on the floor and he understands the angles, but most importantly Giles plays fast, but patient and doesn’t force something that isn’t there. Most importantly the Wolverines play great defense, averaging 9.2 steals per game and 3 blocks per game. They understand help defense very well, and they know their personnel and exploit matchups on offense and defense. This Chaparral team is the real deal, most of their players will be going all in for their senior season, and I would put this dark horse Wolverines team a favorite for winning it all next year in the 2018-2019 season.   

Story by Josh Coleman

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