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Led by stellar backcourt, Chaparral is primed for state

This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Colorado edition.

There’s a cliché in basketball — there’s only one ball. Teams with lots of talent (read: the Miami Heat) struggle with this from time to time. How are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all going to get the shots they’re used to?

The Heat figured it out (sort of) and went to the NBA Finals. Chaparral is hoping to do the same thing (well except getting to the NBA Finals, of course — the Wolverines are aiming for the CHSAA state final). Head coach Robert Johnson has arguably the best backcourt in the state, a young guard in development and a quality shooting guard. Last season, Chaparral made a nice run in the 5A state tournament before falling to top-seeded Arapahoe.

“We were junior-heavy,” Johnson says. “With this now a senior class, and with a couple younger talented kids, we are expecting to have the biggest season of this team’s short history. I believe we are capable of winning the state title.”

But first, Johnson needs to figure out how best to balance his two stars, seniors JOSH ADAMS and CORY CALVERT. Adams, a Wyoming recruit, averaged 16.1 points per game last season.

“He has the ability to take over any game,” Johnson says. “Defensively, he can guard 6-8 post players and 5-10 guards.”

Calvert is also a D-I college recruit; he’s committed to BYU.

“He sees the court as well as anyone I’ve seen,” Johnson says. “He sees passing angles and executes them well before anyone else sees them.”

Sophomore guard BRANDON MALONE is a young star on the rise for the Wolverines, and senior REECE ELLIOTT is a senior with a great outside shooting touch. If Johnson finds an inside presence, Chaparral will be extremely dangerous.

Christopher Parish is an associate editor with ESPNHS magazine. You can reach him on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.