Cheyenne Mountain Men's Basketball: Indians In The News

Saturday, March 1
Boys' basketball: Nehme fouls out, but Indians seal return trip to quarterfinals
When Ghassan Nehme fouled out with 3:30 to play and Cheyenne Mountain clinging to a four-point lead, the players on the Longmont bench leaped in excitement. The Trojans thought the game was in hand. They didn't count on the Indians controlling the ball and playing solid defense. After never reaching the quarterfinals in school history, No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain is headed back for the second consecutive season after holding off No. 3 Longmont 52-44 on Saturday at Cheyenne Mountain. The Indians (20-5) will play Thompson Valley on Saturday at the Denver Coliseum. Nehme got hot in the second half, scoring 17 of his game-high 30 points. But with 4:05 left in the game, he committed his fourth foul. Indians coach J'on St. Clair opted to keep Nehme in the game. Thirty-five seconds later, Nehme walked to the bench with his fifth foul. While the Trojans (19-6) were celebrating, Nehme wasn't concerned. "Actually, I wasn't worried at all," said the Montana State signee. "We do this all the time in practice. Those four (on the floor) against me and the bottom five of the group. I just know we always have that killer instinct to go in there and finish strong. I trusted in them. At that point you just got to be a cheerleader and hope for the best." Blake O'Grady made his first free throw, but missed the second, and before he and the rest of his Trojans could get back on defense, Christian Nehme was scoring a basket to put the Indians back up by five, 44-39. The Indians committed turnovers on their next two possessions and Justinian Jessup capitalized, hitting a 3 to cut the gap to 44-42. Jessup finished with a team-high 23 points for Longmont. But Cheyenne Mountain never turned the ball over again, and the Trojans got no closer. Cheyenne Mountain sunk 8 of 12 free throws in the last 1:42 and forced a pair of turnovers to get back to the state quarterfinals. Afterward, St. Clair watched as his players took turns cutting down the nets. "We had some guys who stepped up and did some great things today," St. Clair said.


Friday, February 21
Boys' basketball 4A playoff brackets

4A First Round – PPAC Teams

#5 Air Academy beat #12 Coronado 88-38

#8 Falcon beat #9 Pueblo West 48-46

#8 Lewis Palmer beat #9 Montrose 67-45

#8 Palmer Ridge beat #9 Mitchell 56-44 4A

Second Round Schedule – PPAC Teams

#4 Durango vs #5 Air Academy

#1 D’Evelyn vs #8 Falcon

#3 Denver West vs #6 Frederick

#2 Sand Creek vs #7 Steamboat Springs

#1 Thompson Valley vs #8 Lewis Palmer

#2 Cheyenne Mountain vs #7 Silver Creek

#1 Pueblo South vs #8 Palmer Ridge



Sunday, February 23
Six PPAC: Cheyenne Mountain, Sand Creek highlight league's impressive showing
Gazette 2-23-14
In just two seasons, the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference has established itself as one of the most competitive leagues for boys' basketball. On Sunday, that became quite evident when the Colorado High School Activities Association released its 48-team field for the 4A playoffs. Not only did Cheyenne Mountain and Sand Creek secure No. 2 seeds and home sites for this weekend's second-round and round-of-16 games, but four other league teams earned postseason berths and home games when the first-round commences Wednesday. "It speaks to the league's reputation around the state," Cheyenne Mountain athletic director Kris Roberts said. "I thought it was a really good seeding for the PPAC, especially getting two No. 2 seeds. I thought with us and Sand Creek beating each other, it might drop one of us to No. 3. It's sure nice not to travel." Last year, Cheyenne Mountain upset host Pueblo East at the State Fair Events Center to advance to the 4A quarterfinals for the first time in school history. Meanwhile, Sand Creek clinched home-court advantage for the second year in a row, hoping to use that to again reach the quarterfinals. In each 12-team region, the top four schools are awarded first-round byes, and the highest seed plays host to the second round and round of 16. Valor Christian (19-4) and D'Evelyn (18-5), who met in last year's 4A semifinal in Boulder, earned top seeds, as did Thompson Valley (22-1) and Pueblo South (21-2). Meanwhile, the 5A Metro League didn't fare as well in the boys' bracket. Only league champion Doherty (16-7) earned a first-round bye and a second-round home game. The other five league teams - Rampart (17-6), Liberty (13-10), Fountain-Fort Carson (10-13), Pine Creek (8-15) and Palmer (6-17) - earned double-digit seeds and will hit the road as prohibitive underdogs for first-round matchups Wednesday. In addition to Cheyenne Mountain (18-5) and Sand Creek (18-5), the other No. 2 seeds in 4A went to Pueblo East (18-5) and Denver South (15-8). On Wednesday, 4A defending state champion Lewis-Palmer (13-11) plays host to Montrose, while Falcon (11-12) meets Pueblo West (9-13). The other two contests involving PPAC teams are throwbacks to the former 16-team Metro League when Coronado (9-14) travels to Air Academy (17-6) and Mitchell (12-11) plays at Palmer Ridge (12-10). Sierra (10-13) and Canon City (9-14) will hit the road Wednesday, traveling to Steamboat Springs and Elizabeth, respectively. Speaking of hitting the road, Mesa Ridge (13-9), which won its first Metro League title last week, earned a No. 4 seed and first-round bye, but will play Friday in Loveland at the Thompson Valley-hosted group of games.


Wednesday, January 22
Tuesday's prep roundup:

Highlights from Tuesday's high school sports scene around the Pikes Peak region       

By Justin Shaw



Cheyenne Mountain 73, Falcon 58

At Cheyenne Mountain: Ghassan Nehme continued his torrid scoring pace, leading all scorers with 31 points, including going 15-for-16 from the free-throw line. Nehme also contributed eight assists, five rebounds and five steals.

Ryan Ruppert scored 15 points for the 4A No. 3 Indians (9-3, 4-2 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference), and Nathan Resty added 11.

Falcon (9-5, 2-3) fell behind 34-25 at the half and never recovered.


Wednesday, January 22
This week's Peak Performer: Ghassan Nehme, Cheyenne Mountain boys' basketball
Gazette 1-20-14
By Justin Shaw Cheyenne Mountain basketball coach J'on St. Clair wanted his senior star Ghassan Nehme to have the ball in his hands more - and who could blame him? Nehme is the third-best scorer in the state, regardless of classification, averaging 26.1 points per game. So when St. Clair moved Nehme from shooting guard to point guard, it was just fine with the 6-foot-3 scoring machine. "I was very excited because that's my natural position and that's what I'll be playing at Montana State," said Nehme, who will play college ball in Bozeman, Mont., next season. "I feel more comfortable at the point and it allows me to take pressure off my teammates. My teammates trust me enough to be the quarterback and make the right decisions at all times." The plan is working extremely well for Nehme and the 8-3 Indians. Over three games last week, he scored 97 points and led his team to two big wins, including a 54-53 win at Doherty in which Nehme hit the game-winner with five seconds left. "I've never coached a kid who can put up the kind of points he can," said St. Clair, who has coached several very good teams in the past. "He's one of the best offensive players I've ever coached or coached against, and that includes Reggie Jackson. As far as overall skill, he could be one of the best to come out of the Springs in a long time and I think he'll be very successful at Montana State." Comparing Nehme to Jackson, who starred at Palmer before heading to Boston College and eventually the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, is high praise. But Nehme showed just how explosive he can be when he scored a career-high 43 points in a 77-56 win over Lewis-Palmer. He also put up 32 points and seven rebounds in a 70-68 loss to Sand Creek before putting the dagger in Doherty. "To be honest, it's the biggest shot I've taken in my high school career, and it was awesome to be able to win at Doherty because it's a hard place to play," Nehme said. "It was a fun game and I got a win over some of my buddies I play club ball with." St. Clair says that when he saw Nehme pull up for the winning jumper, he thought it would go in "about 70 percent of the time." He knows how important Nehme is to the team, and says he may be as important to the Indians as any player on any team. "Just like Sand Creek is going to go as far as Dylan Clark takes them, it's the same way with Ghassan and us," St. Clair said. "He can go off for 40 at any time and he can also create shots for his teammates. I think the best thing we could've done is move him to point guard. In the long run, it's going to make us better because he has very good vision and knows how to organize the other players and get them in the right spots." Nehme has big expectations for his last playoff run as an Indian. He's fueled by the fact that his little brother Christian - who won a state title in soccer earlier this school year - has a championship ring. Christian has moved to shooting guard for Cheyenne Mountain, and likes to show off his ring to his brother. "Playing with my brother on varsity was always a dream and I want to win the first basketball state championship for Cheyenne Mountain," Nehme said. "It's motivational that he has a ring on his finger every day. We always talk junk and everyone gives it to me that my brother has a ring and I don't."


Monday, January 20
This week's prep rankings (Jan. 20-26)
This week's Gazette Preps high school sports rankings BOY'S BASKETBALL Team Record Last Week 4A 1. Sand Creek 10-1 No. 1 2. Air Academy 10-3 No. 2 3. Cheyenne Mountain 8-3 No. 3 The AP boys' and girls' basketball rankings Class 4A School Rec Pts Last Wk 1. Thompson Valley (7) 11-1 115 T1 2. Valor Christian (5) 13-3 113 T1 3. Sand Creek 10-1 93 3 4. Pueblo South 11-2 86 4 5. Pueblo East 11-3 69 5 6. D’Evelyn 9-2 63 6 7. Air Academy 10-3 31 9 8. Longmont 10-2 28 8 9. Thomas Jefferson 9-4 22 10 10. Golden 10-3 14 NR Others receiving votes—Pueblo Central 8, Cheyenne Mountain 5, Denver South 5, Frederick 3, Palisade 3, Glenwood Springs 2.


Saturday, January 18
Boys' basketball: Cheyenne Mountain tops Doherty on Nehme's last-second shot

by Brent W. New

Cheyenne Mountain had every reason to quit, down as many as 10 points in the first half and as many as eight points in the fourth quarter. This wasn't a league game and the Indians were running on fumes in their second game in less than 20 hours.

And if that wasn't enough of a reason, their leading scorer, Ghassan Nehme, wasn't hitting on all cylinders like he had the night before.

Going into the fourth quarter, however, coach J'on St. Clair told his players to keep fighting and good things will come.

They listened, closing the game on an 18-9 run as Nehme scored six of his 22 points in the final five minutes, including his game-winner with five seconds remaining, as Cheyenne Mountain (8-3) shocked hosting Doherty (7-6) 54-53 Saturday afternoon.

"I'm so proud of our team. They took it on the chin a couple of times but were resilient," said St. Clair, whose team trailed 44-36 early into the fourth quarter. "I think these guys showed a lot of character."

Nehme, who scored a career-high 43 points in the 77-56 win over Lewis-Palmer on Friday night, led the charge down the stretch against Doherty.

Minutes into the fourth, the Montana-State commit set up a wide-open Cody McCurry below the hoop to cut the deficit to two, and then took the following possession to the rim on his own to tie the game at 44 with 4:58 remaining.

The Indians led by as many as three from there, but the Spartans kept pace with three 3-pointers in the final 3:30, and finally retook the lead on a Tynan Velasquez 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go.

Unfortunately for most of the fans inside Doherty's gym though, Nehme got the ball last. With one eye on the clock, he took his time down the court, walked it across the 3-point line and hit a 17-foot jumper to give Cheyenne Mountain its second consecutive win after losing its prior two.

"This is what I live for. This is why I put in all the hours of work and why I practice this situation a million times," said Nehme, who leads Class 4A in scoring, averaging 26 points. "It was just on a bigger stage today. But the individual stuff doesn't matter. It's all about this team and getting a 'W.'"

Shane Fox, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, missed a half-court shot at the buzzer for the Spartans, who had not played since Monday.

"It's a difficult pill to swallow for sure," Doherty coach James Lane said. "It was a great high school basketball game though, and it just came down to the last team with the ball."



Wednesday, January 15
Tuesday's prep roundup:

Highlights from Tuesday's high school sports scene around the Pikes Peak region.


Sand Creek 70, Cheyenne Mountain 68

At Sand Creek: It was the second time this season Dylan Clark secured the win for 4A No. 1 Sand Creek at the foul line with less than two seconds remaining. But with the two free throws in the bucket, Sand Creek (9-1) held off visitor 4A No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain (6-3) and remained undefeated at home.

Cheyenne Mountain's Ghassan Nehme rocked a 32-point game, including four buckets drilled from beyond the arc. He also had seven rebounds and two steals. Ryan Ruppert, who scored 12 points, had three steals, and Reece Eddy, seven points, led the team in rebounds with nine and had two blocks. Nathan Resty also put up 12 points.

Sand Creek stats were not reported.



Tuesday, January 14
This week's prep rankings (Jan. 13-19)
This week's Gazette Preps high school sports rankings. 
By Kevin Carmody and Scott Kaniewski


Team Record Last Week


1. Rampart 10-2 No. 1

2. Pine Creek 7-5 NR

T3. Liberty 5-4 No. 3

T3. Doherty 6-5 No. 2


1. Sand Creek 8-1 No. 2

2. Air Academy 9-2 No. 3

3. Cheyenne Mountain 5-2 No. 1

Breakdown: Last year, Pine Creek didn't get hot until starting 0-2 in league play. On Saturday, the Eagles will open the 5A Metro League season at Palmer riding a five-game winning streak. While Pine Creek is off until Saturday, the other five league squads play nonleague foes, highlighted by Liberty at Mountain Vista (10-1) on Tuesday. . While Sand Creek hosts Air Academy on Friday, neither can look ahead. Both have tall tests on Tuesday, when the Scorpions play Cheyenne Mountain while Air Academy travels to Palmer Ridge, which is flying high after beating Lewis-Palmer for the first time ever on Friday. And Cheyenne Mountain scored only 39 points in Friday's loss at Air Academy, so the Indians certainly will be looking to rebound.



Friday, January 10
No ordinary Kadets victory
Gazette 1-10-14
They don't just storm the court after every win at Air Academy. Beating rival Cheyenne Mountain warrants that kind of celebration. "This is way bigger than just a league game," said Air Academy junior David Louthan, whose 15 points led a balanced scoring attack in a 54-39 victory. "This is a huge rivalry. We lost to them twice last year, and winning here means we're a pretty quality team. All the guys played fantastic." Bobby Davis added 12 points and John Sims had 10 for Air Academy (9-2 overall, 2-0 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference), which had lost three of the four games since the rivalry was renewed during the 2011-12 season. Louthan helped ice the game for the Kadets, hitting five of six free throws in the fourth quarter during a late 9-0 run after the Indians (6-2, 2-1) had drawn to within 43-37 with 2:46 left in the game. Cheyenne Mountain then went cold, making just one more shot the rest of the way. "I give all the credit to Air Academy," Indians coach J'on St. Clair said. "They made us shoot a lot from the outside, and we missed a lot of shots. They did a good job controlling the tempo." Air Academy's zone defense frustrated Cheyenne Mountain into three single-digit-scoring quarters and 26 turnovers. Yet, after an 11-0 run late in the first half, the Indians trailed only 23-22 heading into halftime. After the Indians tied the game at 23 on a free throw by Ryan Ruppert with 6:57 left in the third quarter, Louthan got the momentum back for Air Academy with a layup, which was later followed by a Devon Tang 3-pointer from the left corner. Cheyenne Mountain never got closer than four points the rest of the game. Christian Nehme led the Indians with 14 points, while older brother Ghassan added 12. "This is definitely a confidence booster for us," Air Academy coach Barry Clark said. "We didn't slip up in the fourth quarter. It was a close game and we started to move the game out in the fourth quarter. That was a great high school experience and a great win against one of the best teams in our league."


Friday, December 20
Boys' basketball: Nehme brothers lead the way as Cheyenne Mountain beats Palmer Ridge

by Justin Shaw

Monument - The Palmer Ridge boys' basketball team must've been pretty happy to see the Nehme family head back to Colorado Springs - and with good reason.

Senior Ghassan Nehme, and his brother, Christian - a junior - combined for 43 points in Cheyenne Mountain's 67-56 win Thursday at Palmer Ridge.

"At our old house we had a court and we've been playing together forever," said Christian, who had seven of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. "We're in different age groups, so growing up we've always been the guy wanting the ball in our hands, and now we're sharing it."

When Palmer Ridge cut what was once a 14-point lead to six with five minutes left, Ghassan Nehme hit a 3-pointer and then converted two free throws to push the lead to 54-43.

It was then little brother's turn, as Christian would score seven straight for the Indians (5-1, 1-0 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) to put the game out of reach.

"We played well, but we have to thank our teammates, too, because they were out there setting screens and getting rebounds," said Ghassan, who led all scorers with 26 points. "It was a total team effort, and our teammates do the scrappy things that help us win."

Cheyenne Mountain coach J'on St. Clair had high praise for his dynamic backcourt.

"In my opinion, they're the best guard combination in the state, and you can't stop both of them at the same time," St. Clair said. "If someone would've told me that we'd be 5-1 at this point in the season after the adversity we've faced, I'd say you're crazy."

The Indians have been without two starters - Reece Eddy and Nathan Resty - for most of the season, and hope to get them back after the winter break.

"Once we get those two guys back we'll be very dominant," Ghassan said. "This shows that we're going to have a deep team, and I'm very excited about that."

Palmer Ridge (5-2, 0-1) played well in the first half and found itself tied at 30 at halftime. Cheyenne Mountain, however, would take over in the third quarter, outscoring the Bears 17-5 to take a 12-point lead.

Junior Matt Cameron was terrific for Palmer Ridge, leading the team with 22 points and seven rebounds.

No other Bears player scored more than eight points.

"We just didn't play our best in the third quarter and we struggled on defense," Cameron said. "They're a good team, and I give them credit, but we didn't play our best tonight."

Despite a 31-20 rebounding edge, Palmer Ridge killed itself with turnovers. The Bears committed 18 turnovers to just seven for Cheyenne Mountain.

Palmer Ridge coach Nick Mayer says finding more scoring options is key.

"We have to learn to be more balanced, because teams are going to focus on Matt, and Cheyenne Mountain did a good job of that," Mayer said. "We need someone to step up because we're in the toughest league in the state again this year, and every night is going to be a battle." 


Wednesday, December 18
Preps roundup: Close games the theme for boys basketball

Highlights from Tuesday's high school sports scene around the Pikes Peak region.

Boys' basketball

Cheyenne Mountain 66, Pine Creek 65

At Cheyenne Mountain: Despite Grant Morin and Joey Black scoring 13 points each, Pine Creek (2-3) fell by one point to Cheyenne Mountain (4-1) in nonconference play.

The Indians’ Ghassan Nehme scored 29 points including four drops from outside. This was his third game of the season scoring 19 or better. Ryan Ruppert notched 19 and dropped two from beyond the arc. Nehme brought down eight rebounds and blocked two shots. Ruppert nabbed seven and had three steals.

For the Eagles, Derek Keirns had eight rebounds. Morin had seven rebounds and two steals. Black had two blocked shots.


Monday, December 16
Arapahoe, Grand Junction join 5A boys basketball ranking

The 4A poll added Air Academy at No. 10 this week. That ranking also saw Thompson Valley jump from fifth to second following wins over three 5A teams. Thomas Jefferson is third.

Complete rankings for all classes are below.

Class 4A
1 Valor Christian (16) 6-0 177 1 4-0
2 Thompson Valley (2) 6-0 135 5 3-0
3 Thomas Jefferson 3-0 129 3 3-0
4 Longmont 5-0 109 6 3-0
5 Pueblo East 5-2 99 4 3-1
6 Sand Creek 3-0 85 7 1-0
7 Golden 6-1 55 10 3-1
8 D’Evelyn 4-2 46 9 2-1
9 Cheyenne Mountain 3-1 45 2 2-1
10 Air Academy 6-1 40 - 4-1
Others receiving votes:
Falcon 35, Greeley Central 11, Lewis-Palmer 8, Mountain View 7, Frederick 6, Mesa Ridge 2, Palmer Ridge 2, Glenwood Springs 1, Ponderosa 1, Pueblo South 1.
Dropped out
Denver South (8).



Monday, December 16
This week's prep rankings (Dec. 16-22)

A weekly ranking of the prep teams in the Pikes Peak region.

This week’s Gazette Preps high school sports rankings (Dec. 16-22)

Team Record Last Week
1. Rampart 4-1 No. 1
2. Doherty 3-2 No. 2
3. Liberty 3-2 NR
1. Lewis-Palmer 4-1 No. 2
2. Cheyenne Mountain 3-1 No. 1

3. Sand Creek 3-0 No. 3 



Monday, December 9
This week's prep rankings

The Gazette's inaugural high school winter sports rankings.

BOYS' BASKETBALL Team Record Last Week


1. Rampart 2-0 NR

2. Doherty 2-0 NR

3. Fountain-Fort Carson 2-1 NR


1. Cheyenne Mountain 1-0 NR

2. Lewis-Palmer 3-1 NR

3. Sand Creek 2-0 NR


Monday, December 9 Boys Basketball Polls

Rangeview, Fossil Ridge move up in 5A boys basketball ranking


1 Valor Christian (11) 2-0 119 1 2-0

2 Cheyenne Mountain (1) 1-0 96

3 1-0 3 Thomas Jefferson 0-0 78 5 0-0

4 Pueblo East 2-1 76 2 2-1

5 Thompson Valley 3-0 58 8 3-0

6 Longmont 2-0 57 7 2-0

7 Sand Creek 2-0 51 9 2-0

8 Denver South 1-2 44 4 1-2

9 D’Evelyn 2-1 28 6 2-1

10 Golden 3-0 25 - 3-0

Others receiving votes: Falcon 16, Ponderosa 7, Air Academy 3, Mesa Ridge 3, Lewis-Palmer 2, Greeley Central 1, Palmer Ridge 1, Pueblo West 1. Dropped out Lewis-Palmer (10).


Tuesday, December 3
Boys basketball preview capsules

A team-by-team look at area boys basketball. by KEVIN CARMODY



Air Academy

Coach: Barry Clark, 6th season

Last year: 10-13

Key players: G Bobby Davis, sr.; G John Sims, sr.; G Paul Fertig, sr.; G David Loughan, jr.

Outlook: Ten letter-winners, including last season's top four scorers, return to the Kadets as they hope to crack into the top level of the ultra-competitive Pikes Peak Athletic Conference. Davis (10.1 points) led the team with 30 3-pointers. Louthan, besides scoring 9.2 points, also grabbed 6.1 rebounds. Fertig (6.8 points) also led Air Academy in blocks and steals.

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: J'on St. Clair, 3rd season

Last year: 19-7, lost in quarterfinals of playoffs

Key players: G Ghassan Nehme, sr.; C Reece Eddy, sr.; F Nathan Resty, jr.; G Christian Nehme, jr.

Outlook: Fresh off advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, the Indians are thinking bigger this season behind the return of four starters. Leading the bunch is Ghassan Nehme, a Montana State signee who averaged 19 points last season despite missing several games down the stretch with a cracked kneecap. His younger brother, Christian, just last month helped lead the Indians to a 4A state soccer title. Eddy will be counted on to pick up the physical presence lost after the graduation of Donivan Harville

Discovery Canyon

Coach: George German, 1st season

Last year: 17-8, lost in second round of playoffs

Key players: F Nate Todtenhagen, sr.; G Peter Call, sr.; F Alec Wirtjes, sr.

Outlook: After knocking on the door, the Thunder finally recorded their first playoff victory in March. This season, new coach German, an Air Force graduate who once served as the men's assistant basketball coach, will take the controls of a young team. Transfer Marc Reininger, 6-8, is a sophomore with huge upside, according to German.


Coach: Greg Cox, 3rd season

Last year: 14-11, lost in second round of playoffs

Key players: G Chances Matlock, sr.; G Shaun LiVecchi, jr.; F Cody Curtis, sr.

Outlook: Matlock is one of the region's top scorers at 13 points, while LiVecchi had a solid sophomore season at 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds.


Coach: Bill Benton, 1st season

Last year: 25-3, won state championship

Key players: G Chase Stone, sr.; G Jonathan Scott, so.; G/F J.T. Shepherd, jr.

Outlook: The two-time defending 4A champs return a team with only one returning starter and a new coach in former assistant Benton. Still, expectations are high that the beat will go on, even with a team featuring eight sophomores and four juniors. Two of the sophomores follow previous L-P graduates in Jonathan Scott (Josh and Jordan) and Kyle Owens (Tyler).

Palmer Ridge

Coach: Nick Mayer, 6th season

Last year: 7-16

Key players: F Matt Cameron, jr.; F Edmund Cameron, sr.; C Nick Vitwar, sr.

Outlook: Seven letter-winners return to a Bears squad that lost 13 of 14 league games. But Mayer hopes the continuity and depth bring about a turnaround. Matt Cameron led Palmer Ridge in both scoring and rebounding with 13.8 points and 6.3 boards. Tim Hardy, Vitwar, Edmund Cameron and Matt Kostenbauer add depth and experience.

Sand Creek

Coach: Joe Rausch, 4th season

Last year: 23-3, lost in quarterfinals of playoffs

Key players: G Dylan Clark, sr.; G Micheal DeCarmo, sr.; F Langston Bell, sr.

Outlook: The Scorpions set a school record in wins and nearly recovered from a 16-point deficit against Valor Christian to advance to their first semifinal. Now without three of those starters, Sand Creek will rely on Clark - the school's first boys' basketball Division-I signee (Air Force) - and DeCarmo to lead the team. Lacking in the height department, the Scorpions could struggle if their outside game isn't clicking.

Vista Ridge

Coach: Joe Hites, 2nd season

Last year: 6-17

Key players: G Jerry Smith, sr.; Robert Fernandez, so.; Josh Coppock, so.; Malik Roberson, jr.

Outlook: The senior-laden Wolves never got off the ground last season, struggling with key injuries and never recovered in one of the state's toughest conferences. Smith hit a team-best 23 3-pointers. Fernandez started as a freshman last season and at 6-8, Coppock has a bright future, according to Hites. With Smith the lone senior, Hites is excited about the future.


Tuesday, December 3
Best of boys' hoops

We polled boys' hoops coaches for their opinions on a variety of basketball topics.

Here were some of their responses Best of the area We polled boys' hoops coaches for their opinions on a variety of basketball topics. Here were some of their responses.

Best backcourt: Cheyenne Mountain. Nehme brothers Ghassan, sr., and Christian, jr., will hook up routinely.

Best frontcourt: Doherty. Jason Anderson, 6-7, Eli Peterson, 6-6, Shane Fox, 6-3.

Best offensive player: Gus Nehme, Cheyenne Mountain. The senior signed with Montana State and averaged 18.8 ppg last season

Best point guard: Dylan Clark, Sand Creek. Air Force commit expected to score more.

Best home venue: Doherty. There's a reason so many coaches marked this venue as the best. Get out and catch a game there.


Thursday, November 14
Signing day: Dad's pushing helps Nehme ink with Montana State
Ghassan signing

With his letter of intent to play basketball at Montana State in front of him, Ghassan Nehme looked over at his proud dad sitting in the Cheyenne Mountain cafeteria, thought of all those memories the two shared on the court - and smiled. "I wouldn't be here or even close to this point without him," said an emotional Nehme. "This day is an accumulation of everything he went through to get the best out of me."

It wasn't a journey without its bumps though. Nehme, who joined four other Division-I signees from Cheyenne Mountain on Wednesday, remembers it all started with butting heads. For Nehme's whole life, his Lebanese-born father wanted his son to give it his best effort in every facet of life, including in the gym. While Ghassan Nehme Sr. saw his son's talent clearly was evident in basketball early on, he remembers pushing and pushing to get his son's commitment to the game to the same level. "He was so good so young that it was tough to always get him to work at his hardest," said Nehme Sr., 46, who played professionally in Italy. "I remember us clashing all the time. I was tough on him. I even had to kick him out of the gym a couple times. . It wasn't always the easiest." But days like Wednesday proved it was worth it.

Nehme, who averaged 18.8 points last season as a shooting guard in the Indians' run to the state quarterfinals, took another step in a life he has dramatically transformed on and off the court over the past two years. Since receiving interest from Northern Colorado after his freshman year, Nehme has become the leader of his high school team, worked with Lucian Pesoli to become a better player and transformed himself from a C-student to an A-student in hopes of grabbing the attention of more D-I schools. Meanwhile his father, who admits he was thankful to "just sit back and enjoy watching his son over the past couple of years instead of coaching him," watched the 6-foot-3 senior make it official with Montana State.

Nehme, who had interest from other D-I schools like Colorado, Colorado State and Wyoming, said he will be groomed to play point guard for the Bobcats. "I will still play the shooting guard (for Cheyenne Mountain) this season as we go for a title," Nehme said. "But once I get to Montana, the coaches have told me I'll be groomed to play the point guard position.

First things first though." After the ceremony, son and father embraced and enjoyed the moment, which came on the backside of an incredible journey of love and perseverance. "I remember people would come up to me and say, 'You are pushing your son too hard," Nehme Sr. said. "I would say, 'Really? Of course I'm going to push my son the hardest I can so he can become the best he can be, and I'm going to be there for everything he needs along the way.' I couldn't be more proud of him. This is the best feeling a father can have."


Wednesday, September 18
Prep notebook: Nehme opts for Montana St.

By Kevin Carmody Published: September 18, 2013

Nehme opts for home-like feel of Montana State In the end, Ghassan Nehme picked his future home because it felt like his current home.

The senior Cheyenne Mountain guard recently committed to play basketball at Montana State after also considering Portland and Idaho State. "My decision mostly came down to what was most comfortable to me, what made me feel at home," said Nehme, who averaged 18.8 points last season in helping Cheyenne Mountain to the 4A state quarterfinals for the first time in school history. "I could see myself going there and having a good future there."

While Nehme can't officially sign with the Bozeman, Mont., school until Nov. 13, he is glad the process is finally behind him. "It came down to committing early to get the stress off," Nehme said. "This is a dream, but once it became a reality, it's very stressful. It's more than what I expected it to be."


Friday, September 13
Bobcats land commitment from guard

By GIDAL KAISER Chronicle Sports Writer The Bozeman Daily Chronicle


Ghassan Nehme, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., verbally committed Friday morning to sign a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for Montana State.


Nehme, who chose the Bobcats over Idaho State, tweeted “I am officially committed to Montana State University to play college basketball next year!! #VeryBlessed” around 10:30 a.m.


He was offered congratulations by two future teammates, Stephan Holm (“Welcome to the MSUHOOPFAM BRO!”) and Ryan Shannon (“welcome bro! Glad you chose to come here.”).


Nehme’s Cheyenne Mountain Indians went 19-7 in 2012-13 and lost to Lewis Palmer in the Class 4A quarterfinals. He averaged 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals. Nehme also shot 35 percent from 3-point range (44 of 124) and 79 percent from the free-throw line (88 for 111).


The senior garnered interest from Colorado, Northern Colorado and Wyoming, among other schools. Nehme’s father attended UNC and his uncle is Bill Garnett, a former Wyoming forward who played in the NBA for four seasons.


“I think it’s a great fit for Gus and Montana State,” Cheyenne Mountain head coach J’on St. Clair said. “They did a great job of recruiting him, were in constant contact and kept up with him.”


Nehme’s familiarity with the Bobcats goes beyond the visit he made during Aug. 29’s Gold Rush victory over Monmouth. Current Bobcats sophomore Terrell Brown, a transfer from Otero Junior College, is from Colorado Springs and played against Nehme in high school and summer tournaments. Assistant coach Shawn Dirden was head coach at Denver’s Cherokee Trail from 2008-11.


Because of NCAA rules, neither head coach Brad Huse or his staff can comment on Nehme until he signs. Nehme was unavailable for comment.


He missed four games last season with a dislocated knee but is ready for the upcoming season, St. Clair said. He added that Nehme will work on becoming a combination guard this winter, when he attempts to lead Cheyenne Mountain deep into the playoffs.


“Definitely what Gus really needs to work on is being able to guard different positions at the college level,” St. Clair said. “The physicality and the speed and quickness of the guards in Division I is something that he’s going to have to adjust to.”



Friday, September 13
Congratulations Ghassan!
Ghassan Nehme Gazette

Ghassan Nehme has made a decision to play his college basketball career at Montana State University!


Montana State University is a D1 program that plays in the Big Sky conference. Ghassan will officially sign his letter of Intent on Nov 13, 2013.


Congratulations to Ghassan and the Nehme family for all your hard work.