Paul Tanglis is back for his fifth season as head coach of the North Andover High boys basketball team this winter.

Last season, the Scarlet Knights lost to Malden Catholic in the first round of the Division 2 North state tournament to Malden Catholic, 72-20, to end the year at 15-6.

Five seniors from that team graduated, but seven players were back on the parquet floor when training camp opened on Nov. 27. Leading this new edition is the captaincy duo of Chim Ogwuru and Jake McElroy, both fresh off the football field.

Ogwuru is a Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star senior guard. McElroy is a junior guard who was an All-Conference player last year, averaging 14 points per game.

Colin Lee and Sean Kenneally are also back as seniors, while center Garrett Murphy and guard Darren Watson are back as juniors. Sophomore guard Kyle Moore is the lone member of his class returning to the roster.

The Scarlet Knights also have football standout Gabe DeSouza, a transfer player who played at Everett High last year. He is a junior and will play guard.

"Things went well last week," said Tanglis, a math teacher at North Andover Middle School, about the opening week of practice. "We are dealing with a few injuries suffered during the fall season."

This week, the Scarlet Knights had their first scrimmages as they took on Middlesex League teams Burlington and Lexington. Next Tuesday night, they will play another Middlesex League squad, Woburn, in their final preseason game.

Tanglis feels that Chelmsford will be the toughest team in the MVC Small Division as the Knights try to win the league title for the season year in a row this season.

"They return a lot of their players from last year," said Tanglis, about the Lions.

North Andover will play a 20-game regular season again. Fifteen of those games will be against MVC teams (two against each Small Division team and one against each Large team).

They will also play in the Methuen Christmas Tournament, and then play in a tournament in Melrose during the February vacation week for their non-league games.

The Knights open the season on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Methuen. That game will start at 7 p.m.