3! 2! 1! Meet the top 12 basketball players from Siskiyou County

Mount Shasta High School junior forward Kellen Riccomini, center Hayden Jeffries and senior Kolton Yager (top left); Weed freshman Jaxon King and junior D.J. Horton (top right); Dunsmuir sophomore guard Michael Kellar and Happy Camp senior guard Carnell Bailey (middle),n Yreka senior small forward Slade Crawford, senior center Nathan Kephart and sophomore guard Isaac Tannaci (bottom left) and Etna senior guards Trey Bennett and Daniel Case (bottom right) make up the top 12 boys basketball players to watch in Siskiyou County.
Ethan Hanson
Redding Record Searchlight

Siskiyou County is loaded with talented boys basketball players from the region.

The talent pool stretches from the northwest corner of Happy Camp to Yreka, Mount Shasta, Etna, Weed and Dunsmuir. Before meeting the players, here's a brief look at how teams from around the county finished last year.

Yreka (16-14, 7-3 NAL)

  • Advanced to the CIF Northern Section Division IV final against U-Prep.
  • Advanced to the CIF State Division V second round playoffs against Cloverdale.

Weed (20-4, 9-1 Shasta Cascade)

  • Won the CIF Northern Section Division VI title against Redding Christian.
  • Advanced to the CIF NorCal Division VI Regional championship against St. Bernard's.

Mount Shasta (15-13, 6-4 Shasta Cascade)

  • Advanced to the CIF Northern Section Division V semifinals against Durham.
  • Played in the CIF State Division V first round against Stuart Hall of San Francisco.

Etna (6-19, 2-8 Shasta Cascade)

  • Played in the CIF Northern Section Division VI first round playoffs against Redding Christian.

Dunsmuir (9-9, Evergreen League)

  • Played in the CIF Northern Section Division VII first round playoffs against Dorris.

Happy Camp (2-8, 5-7 Evergreen League)

  • Missed the playoffs.

Now it's time to unveil the top 12 boys basketball players to watch from Siskiyou County. The players are listed based on how their teams finished in the 2021-22 season.

Nathan Kephart

Yreka senior forward Nathan Kephart holds a basketball in his hands after practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Yreka

Position: Power forward

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: N/A

Height: 6-foot-5

Scouting report: Kephart is an improved shooter. His footwork and length allows him to defend both guards and post players. Kephart has worked in the weight room during the offseason and is a better finisher at the basket through contact. He has solid court awareness and can find cutters with his passing from the high and low post.

Slade Crawford

Yreka small forward Slade Crawford holds a ball at his right hip after practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Yreka

Position: Small forward and shooting guard

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: N/A

Height: 6-foot-1

Scouting report: Crawford can create his own shot off the dribble. He is another player who committed to improving his game and body during the offseason. Crawford can attack the rim successfully while he is being contested by opposing defenders in the paint. He can use his hips and angles to create his own shots.

Isaac Tannaci 

Yreka sophomore Isaac Tannaci holds a ball in his hands after practice on Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Yreka

Position: Point guard

Class: Sophomore

2021-22 stats: N/A

Height: 6-foot-2

Scouting report: Tannaci has improved decision-making as a point guard. He has adopted an aggressive defensive mindset. His improved side-to-side footwork will allow Yreka to cause turnovers and get out on the fast break.

D.J. Horton

Weed junior guard D.J. Horton is one of the top 10 players to watch in Siskiyou County during the 2022-2023 season.

School: Weed

Position: Shooting guard and small forward

Class: Junior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 19.6 points per game.

Height: 6-foot-3

Scouting report: Horton is Weed's top returning scorer from last season. His leaping ability and touch around the basket make Horton one of the purest inside scorers in Siskiyou County. He is a solid ball handler and finishes at the rim. His length and controlled aggression allows him to successfully defend against guards and forwards.

Jaxon King

Weed High School freshman guard Jaxon King spins a ball on his right hand before practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Weed

Position: Small forward and shooting guard

Class: Freshman

2021-22 stats: N/A

Height: 6-foot-5

Scouting report: King is a once-in-a-generation talent in the North State. If his long reach and leaping ability isn't impressive enough, coach Robert West is touting King's maturity level for being 14 years old. King has great form on his shot. He runs and plays hard on defense and offense.

Kellen Riccomini

Mount Shasta junior forward Kellen Riccomini holds a ball in his hands after practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Mount Shasta

Position: Small forward

Class: Junior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 16.5 points per game

Height: 6-foot-3

Scouting report: Riccomini is an effective leader. He scores from mid-range and can shoot from 3-point range. He does a good job of getting inside position as a rebounder.

Kolton Yager

Mount Shasta senior Kolton Yager holds a ball in his hands after practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Mount Shasta

Position: Point guard

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 11.1 points per game

Height: 6-feet tall

Scouting report: Yager has improved his decision-making as a point guard. Yager has become a decisive passer from his team's offense. He scores from close range and can also shoot from the 3-point range.

Hayden Jeffries

Mount Shasta 6-foot-10 senior Hayden Jeffries holds a ball in his hands after practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Mount Shasta

Position: Center

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: N/A

Height: 6-foot-10

Scouting report: Jeffries didn't play last season due to fitness issues. Jeffries over the summer got three inches taller and lost 60 pounds. His height and length will improve Mount Shasta's rebounding. Jeffries' greatest offensive weapon surprisingly isn't in the paint. Jeffries can square up and knock down jump shots from the elbow. His ability to hit jumpers will allow for increased freedom of movement for cutters on the Bears' offense.

Trey Bennett

Etna senior guard Trey Bennett holds a ball on his right hip during practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Etna

Position: Point Guard

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 13.1 points per game, 3.8 assists and 11.1 rebounds per game. Shot 33% from the field.

Height: 6-foot-3

Scouting report: Bennett plays with high energy, which allows him to defend and score on the fast break. Bennett rebounds at a solid level after averaging 11.1 boards last year. He's an improved jump shooter.

Daniel Case

Etna senior guard Trey Bennett holds a ball at his hip during practice on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

School: Etna

Position: Shooting guard

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 11.9 points per game shot 38% from the field and averaged 3.9 rebounds per game.

Height: 6-foot-1

Scouting report: Case is an improved shooter and has a quicker release on his jump shot. Case is quicker and provides Etna with a solid on ball defender.

Carnell Bailey

Happy Camp High School senior point guard Carnell Bailey holds a basketball in his hands on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.

School: Happy Camp

Position: Shooting guard

Class: Senior

2021-22 stats: Averaged 20 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and shot 52% from the field.

Height: 6-feet tall

Scouting report: Bailey is one of Happy Camp's top athletes. Bailey excelled last year in the five games that he played, including scoring 30 points against Dunsmuir.

Michael Kellar

Dunsmuir sophomore point guard Michael Kellar dribbles the ball up the court during a home game.

School: Dunsmuir

Position: Point guard

Class: Sophomore

2021-22 stats: Averaged 13.1 points per game.

Height: 6-foot-1

Scouting report: Kellar was Dunsmuir's second leading scorer last season as a freshman. Kellar hopes to lead Dunsmuir's basketball program to its first winning season since 2012.

Ethan Hanson started working for the Redding Record Searchlight after four years with the Los Angeles Daily News as a freelancer. His coverage includes working the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament in South Bend, Indiana, and writing about the St. Louis Rams' move to Los Angeles with the Ventura County Star. He began his career as a play-by-play broadcaster for LA Pierce College from 2011-2017. Follow him on Twitter at @EthanAHanson_RS.