When it comes to Benton Harbor’s boys basketball program, the expectations are always sky-high.
Led by Mr. Basketball candidate Carlos “Scooby” Johnson, the Tigers are aiming for their second state championship in three seasons under head coach Corey Sterling.
Johnson – a three-time Division 2 all-state honoree – averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds as a junior last season. Senior Quindarius Davis returns to run the point for the Tigers.
“Carlos is an all-around player who can play all five positions on the floor,” Sterling said. “He’s a Mr. Basketball candidate for a reason. (Quindarius) is a floor general who can drive and shoot well. He’s probably the key to everything for us. When those guys are dialed in we’ll be tough to stop.”
Junior shooting guard Kentrell Pullian will provide the Tigers with perimeter scoring while senior wing William Suggs excels at attacking the basket.
“I’m expecting big things from them,” Sterling said. “Suggs is our X-factor. “He’s our best slasher but he’s also a streaky shooter. Kentrell is our best shooter and can shoot lights out. “
Joe Johnson moved up to varsity late last season and showed promise.
Sterling expects the 6-6 starting senior to lock down the post this season as a full-time starter.
“He’s a monster on the boards,” Sterling said. “He’s very much like Dennis Rodman in the sense that he tries to grab everything. He has accepted his role on the team.”
Freshman guard Grant Gondrezick and sophomore guard Trucel Singleton are two talented newcomers that Sterling expects will make an impact.
“Grant comes from a basketball family,” Sterling said. “He’s a heady player with a high basketball IQ who will play major minutes. (Trucel) is very quick and will make an impact with his on-ball defense.”
While the Tigers’ talent and depth are enviable, the team will need time to jell with so many new pieces being added this season. Sterling hopes to iron out the kinks early in the season to make a playoff push.
“Our biggest weakness is our chemistry,” Sterling said. “We just have to get everyone used to each other. We try to get better every game. Before the playoffs begin, we want to be firing all cylinders. It would be nice to make another run to the Breslin.”
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