After winning its first outright district championship in 25 years, the Abilene Cooper boys basketball team is poised for a repeat. The Cougars return three starters and six lettermen from a team that finished 16-6 overall and 7-2 as the District 4-5A champion.
“We will be right up there in the running for district champs,” said Cooper coach Bryan Conover. “We return a lot of good players with experience.”
Leading the way for the Cougars is Jalen Cherry, a 6’5” senior who is a returning first-team all-district player. He averaged 14.6 points per game and led the team in 3-point field goals. Conover believes Cherry will be in the running for district MVP.
Colin Reed, a 6’0” senior guard, and Jaelyn Rivera, a 6’4” junior forward, each earned second-team all-district honors last season. Rivera led the team with 7.4 rebounds per game.
“Colin will be a key contributor for us again this year,” Conover stated. “Jaelyn plays hard and contributes in many different areas. He is a great rebounder and does a good job of taking charges.”
The Cougars will also count on 5’7” senior guard Andrew Gonzales and 6’4” senior forward Tristen Rau.
“Andrew is a tough defense with a high basketball IQ,” Conover added. “Tristen will have a much bigger role this season. We are looking for him to step up and contribute on the glass and on offense.”
Gonzales averaged a team-high 4.3 assists per game.
Conover also expects to receive contributions from a pair of 6’0” sophomore guards – Jordan Willis and Kameron Gray.