Curwensville boys boast bigger roster|
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
CURWENSVILLE - There wasn't much to be excited about for the Curwensville boys basketball team last season. The team finished 4-17 and only had nine players at the end of the year. Most of those players were sophomores, and there were no seniors on the squad.
Now juniors, the group comes into the 2012-13 season with a year of experience under its belts, including five lettermen returning for second-year head coach Shane Pentz. The Golden Tide also doubled their numbers from last year with 18 players on the roster.
"Practice has been good so far," said Pentz. "Given our numbers this year, practices are much more competitive. We can do a lot more with the kids. We're not so worried about tiring anybody out in practice anymore. That's been a big benefit."
"Having letterwinners returning helps tremendously. They know all the drills we do in practice. They know the gameplan we want. They know how hard we want everybody to run. They've been bringing those younger guys along. It's been good to see so far."
One of the biggest returnees the Tide sports is junior Tanner Elensky. Elensky was a Progressland second-team selection, averaging 10 points per game and scoring 24 points in a close loss to Kane last season.
Elensky's classmate, Brett Gardner, was tabbed as an honorable mention pick a year ago and was also a reliable scorer for the team, averaging 9.3 points per game.
Kyle Johns also returns to the squad, along with fellow juniors Austin Jacobson and Alex Olson as the team's returning lettermen. All five are expected to be in the starting lineup to begin the season.
"We expect them to be our leaders," said Pentz. "We had a meeting before the season and those guys were named captains and we expect them to act accordingly."
"They are a bunch of better players than what they were last year. Everyone seems to have progressed. The team that we were last year, we want to use as a springboard for this year because we finished strong. That's what we're looking to start this year."
Once again, Curwensville will compete in the Moshannon Valley League and the Allegheny Mountain League. The Tide struggled in the AML, but managed to earn three of their four wins against MVL competition last season.
Although the team is keeping its goals between the players and the coaches this year, Pentz said they are determined to reach the marks they've set for themselves this year.
"They set some goals that I think are definitely reachable, and we're doing what we can to get there," said Pentz.
"I expect our team to be much more competitive this year. Last year was a learning experience given how young we were. We're really looking for bigger and better things this year."
Curwensville opens its season on Monday on the road against rival Clearfield. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Adam Benamati, Marcus Stephenson.
Justin Brooks, *Tanner Elensky, *Brett Gardner, *Austin Jacobson, *Kyle Johns, Nate Kurtz, Nick London, *Alex Olson, Josh Shaffer, Jason Thorp.
Harrison Bloom, Foster Cannon, Dylan Davis, Alex Hill, Jonathan Miller, Trey Rauckhorst.
10-at Clearfield; 11-at Brockway; 14-Ridgway; 17-at West Branch; 18-Harmony; 21-Kane.
2-Glendale; 4-at DuBois Central Catholic; 8-Johnsonburg; 9-at Glendale; 15-Elk County Catholic; 16-at Moshannon Valley; 22-at Ridgway; 25-Brockway; 28-DuBois Central Catholic; 30-at Harmony.
1-at Brookville; 5-Sheffield; 6-Moshannon Valley; 8-at Kane; 11-Clearfield; 13-West Branch.
All varsity games start at 7:30 p.m.