Graduation and transfers took away much of Valley West attack.

By Tom Robinson,

WILKES-BARRE – Wyoming Valley West had three underclassmen starting on the boys basketball team last season, but returns just one.

Junior guard Justus Simpson is back from a team that struggled to a 3-14 record in the Wyoming Valley Conference and 5-18 overall.

The Spartans must replace the WVC’s most dynamic scorer following the graduation of Draig Ruff.

Mason Mendygral transfered to Holy Redeemer where he is starting on a contending team after being Wyoming Valley West’s second-leading scorer as a freshman. Sammy Solomon moved to Wyoming Area where the Division I prospect is concentrating on football.

Roland Hamad, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, is a scoring threat inside and outside.

Tyler Gillespie, a junior center who is the team’s tallest player at 6-foot-3, will have no such options.

“He’s considered our big guy,” coach Rich Jones said. “We don’t let him outside the paint.”

Sophomore point guard Saquan Porter and junior guard Joseph Lombardo join them.

Senior Danny Gibbons and junior Tom Federici, who is new to the team from the school’s successful baseball program, are getting the other playing time in the three-guard lineup.

Wyoming Valley West is 0-4 going into the Dec. 20 opening of the WVC schedule.