Entire boys starting lineup returns at Valley View

Valley View returns the entire starting lineup from a District 2 Class 4A boys basketball finalist that produced the program’s first state tournament victory in 21 years.

The experience does not end there.

The Cougars also have back their top sub, who filled in starting spots when needed, and may get back a player who made an impact two years ago.

“We are hoping to build off the success that we experienced at the end of last season,” Valley View coach Mike Kurpis said.

Marc Kudrich, a first-team NEPABasketball.com Lackawanna League Division 1 all-star, is back for his third season as a starter. The 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward led the team in scoring with 15 points per game last season.

Senior guard Bobby Craig is also back for his third season as a starter.

The rest of the starters back from a 17-9 team are junior forward Dylan Howanitz, senior guard Chase Combs and junior guard/forward Dixon Black.

Howanitz was an honorable mention on NEPABasketball.com’s division all-star selections.

Jaden Duplessis, a senior guard, also has starting experience.

Zack Kovalchik, a 6-3 sophomore guard, also saw some playing time last season along with junior guards Nick Tomassoni and Connor Kelley.

Janassah Boone was a significant part of the rotation two years ago as a freshman before wrestling last winter. The quarterback on the state quarterfinalist football team has had discussions with Kurpis about returning to the sport now that football is over.

The Cougars have been unable to finish higher than a third-place tie in six seasons as a Division 1 member where defending state Class 5A champion Abington Heights and Scranton Prep, the team that beat Valley View in the district Class 4A final, have battled for supremacy during that time.

“Our division, as always, is leaded with talent with two teams having Division I commits,” Kurpis said of Abington Heights and Binghamton-bound George Tinsley and Scranton Prep and Lafayette commit Leo O’Boyle.

Valley View’s successful 2017-18 season included a title in the Peter Turonis Holiday Tournament and a first-round state victory over Mifflinburg. The Cougars were eliminated from state play by Berks Catholic.