Basketball discovers depth in younger team

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Basketball discovers depth in younger team

Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark

JIMMY BUCKETS: Jumping high against a GBN basketball player on Dec. 5, junior Jimmy Martinelli (#33) gains possession of the ball for the Titans. Martinelli went on to score the basket that tied the game, and seconds later, senior Chase Daniel scored the game winning three point shot (63-60).

Carolyn Kuhn, Staff Writer

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After losing nine seniors from last year’s roster, the Titan men’s basketball team is looking to find success with a smaller and less experienced team, according to senior captain Sean McDonagh.

According to senior captain George Mavrakis, this year’s team has only four seniors and only one returning junior.

“We’re going to be a lot younger than a lot of other teams and a little bit smaller,” Mavrakis said. “We don’t have as many big guys as a lot of other teams do, but that just means we’re going to have to play harder, be a little scrappier and just want it a little bit more.”

This year’s team is significantly smaller than last year’s team, containing only 12 players, compared to last year’s roster of 16, according to Mavrakis. Senior Chase Daniel says that practices are more intense because there is less waiting around for drills, and the team is always running and moving.

“Lately we’ve been working [during practice] on defense, filling the gaps and also moving the ball and getting everyone touches,” Daniel said. “[Also, we’ve been working on] getting in the lane, and just basically fundamentals of the game so that we can build on that throughout the season.”

According to Daniel, captains McDonagh, Jimmy Martinelli and Mavrakis lead in drills and motivate the team. Mavrakis said a big part of the practices is leadership, and he encourages the team to devote as much as they can to getting better. According to head coach Ben Widner, all of the captains show different forms of leadership.

McDonagh says another aspect of practices is working on building team chemistry. According to Daniel, last year there were cliques involved on the team, and a goal for this year is to come together as one team. The team will also look to find success from some underclassmen, according to McDonagh.

“There are some players on our team that are younger and will be expected to score points and stuff,” McDonagh said. “Other than that, I think everyone just needs to play their role and know their role.”

According to McDonagh, in their first tournament they went 2-2, losing to Saint Ignatius and Lake Forest, but defeating Prosser and Von Steuben.

“I’d say we’re playing decently well together so far, but we still kinda need to work on taking care of the ball and stuff,” McDonagh said. “We’re still kinda just getting used to the system.”

According to McDonagh, a big game for the boys was against Glenbrook North on Dec. 5. Mavrakis said that key moments were when Martinelli hit the three piont shot to tie the game, and when Daniel hit the game winning shot.

“It felt great,” Martinelli said. “I was so excited to give our team a chance to win.”

According to Daniel, in the game-winning play, he wasn’t suppose to make the final shot.

“The ball was over-thrown directly towards me, and I caught it and just hoped it went in,” Daniel said. “After I hit [the shot], I was in shock. I didn’t think that just happened.”

Mavrakis says that all the hard work they put in paid off, and the game came together the way they expected.

“We were all pumped, and we [said] ‘hey’, you know, ‘we’re better than this team, so let’s go out there and just keep playing the way we are playing,’” Mavrakis said. “We had a feeling that this [was] gonna be our game.”