By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
Cayden Merrifield, a dynamic scorer and playmaker who was the top sophomore in Lackawanna League Division 1 last season, returns to lead the West Scranton boys basketball team.
The 11 players recognized when NEPABasketball.com named the Division 1 all-stars last season included seniors in the top six spots and nine total.
Merrifield was one of two underclassmen and the only sophomore on the second team. He averaged more than 15 points per game, leading the team in scoring while running the offense.
“Cayden’s been a starter since his freshman year,” West Scranton coach Jack Lyons said. “Cayden and (Nick) Forsette are multi-talented athletes. They’re both three-sport guys.”
Forsette, who can play inside or outside, and Brandon Barnes, the only true post player, join Merrifield as the juniors among the four returning starters.
“We’re playing with five guards or really four guards and Brandon,” Lyons said.
Senior Lewin Fernandez is the other experienced starter. Junior guard Lendall Wright is expected to fill the fifth spot.
The Invaders went 2-11 in the Lackawanna League and 6-17 overall last season.
“We’re so small and, in this division, that could be the kiss of death,” Lyons said, “but our kids will fight hard.”
Brennan Burnside, a junior forward, could be a factor when he returns from a health issue that could keep him out for the first few weeks.
Freshman Brett Miller and senior Danny Keeler are others who could see significant playing time.
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LACKAWANNA LEAGUE DIVISION 1 BOYS BASKETBALL: http://www.nepabasketball.com/2019-20/Articles/Previews/10ThingsLackawanna1Boys