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For the week of Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2001

  Sports

Defense first, is the Cutthroat motto

Community School boys open campaign


Having coached The Community School’s boys’ basketball program for all 18 years of its existence, Mike Wade knows a thing or two about guiding young men and putting together the pieces of puzzles.

The puzzle Wade faced last winter was a pleasant one—excellent height, strong rebounding and shooting and solid senior leadership. The result was an 8-13 record, the second-best mark for a varsity team in Cutthroat history.

Nine seniors including 6-6 tower Carson Sofro (18.5 ppg) graduated from last year’s Cutthroat squad that scratched and clawed to the school’s best-ever defensive mark, 53.8 ppg.

The migration left 19th-year coach Wade facing a familiar puzzle. The Community School is short on height and experience, but long on ballplayers who want to go out and surprise somebody in the tough Northside Conference battles.

Defense, again, is a priority as the Cutthroats kick off their 16-game regular-season slate.

"I’m concerned we don’t have anyone who is a clear scorer," he said. "The players we put on the floor will have to play defense so we have a chance to slow down the other team and keep the score down."

Wade said, "We’re short on height and experience and that will hurt us this year. But overall I think we’ll have better ball-handling and we’re definitely faster. With better speed, we’ll focus on defense more."

Out of 19 players practicing with the program, only three have ever played any varsity minutes. They are senior Zac Koffler and juniors Drew Detwiler and Ethan Weston.

Wade plans to keep nine on the varsity—three seniors, three juniors and three sophomores. The most experienced are fourth-year player Zac Koffler and third-year Weston.

Koffler, the team captain, is a 6-3 post who scored 47 points last season and liked hitting the glass. "Zac was a force on the boards," Wade said.

Weston, a 6-0 forward, averaged 3.0 ppg and exhibited a nice shooting touch around the hoop. Detwiler, a 5-9 guard, is the only returning starter from last winter’s team. "Drew was a defensive star," said Wade.

The two other seniors have limited basketball background but they’re good athletes with great credentials in other sports, according to Wade.

Josh Stanek is a 6-0 wing/guard who performed well for the JV last season and set the school scoring record for the Cutthroat soccer team this past fall. Ryan Drew, a 5-10 guard, is a state high school singles champion in tennis.

Vying for the other varsity spots are five players who played important roles on last season’s 15-7 JV team that extended unbeaten Carey to the last second in the Northside JV title game won by Carey 58-55.

"We had a good JV season and won all the close games until the last one against Carey," said Wade. "Some of those players will move up to varsity. That will help us."

Varsity spots are going to 6-0 junior wing Bret Watson and 5-10 sophomore guard John Hayes. Fighting for the two other berths are three sophs—6-2 post Jimmy Fairchild, 6-1 forward Adrian Charbonnet and 5-10 guard Luc McCann.

Offensively, the Cutthroats probably won’t come close to last season’s 49.7 ppg average. They’ll have to work a lot harder for their points.

Wade said, "We’ll make an effort to run a solid offense to generate good looks and good shots. Hopefully the motion offense will serve us well."

After coaching both the varsity and JV last year, Wade is glad to have a new assistant and junior varsity coach.

He is Jason Lynch, 29, a new eighth-grade teacher and USC graduate who previously coached middle school basketball at a boys’ boarding school.

Rounding out the junior varsity are four sophomores, Jon Goldberg, Logan Koffler, Ben Dreyfuss and Finn Brown, and five freshmen, A.J. Beesley, Andrew Durtschi, Benjamin Larroquette, Hunter Smith and Connor Wade.

 


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