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2019-20 District 9 Boys’ Basketball Preview

2019-20 boys’ basketball previews:

(Photo of ECC’s Regis Wortman, who was a third-team All-District 9 selection a year ago. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)

A-C VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 6-16, 1-9 KSAC South (6th place)/none.
Head Coach: Tony McGarvey (1st full season; took over midway through last year)
Top Returning Players: Levi Orton (20.3 ppg), Eddie Stevanus (13.8 ppg), Russell Carr (missed last season with an injury; Averaged 10.7 ppg two seasons ago), Eli Penny (4.3 ppg), Cole Dehart (3.1 ppg), Austin Cratty (1.9 ppg)
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: With the new coaching staff, getting the kids to buy into and believe the new philosophy and mind set. Play a lockdown defense that causes teams to not be able to get into their offense.
Note: A-C Valley will play in the KSAC North this season

AUSTIN
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-12, 9-7 NTL (5th place)/Lost in District 9 D9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Rich Glover
Top Returning Players: Jackson Glover (10.2 ppg), Parker Glover (3.3 ppg), Joseph Glover (1.4 ppg in 19 games)
Key Newcomers: Aydan Nicka, Skylar Crawford
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Building team chemistry will be critical as five seniors graduated last year, we will also be graduating five more this year. Pressure on defense, speed, and patience on offense.

BRADFORD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-13 overall, 3-7 D9 League (T-4th place)/Lost in D9 Class 4A title game
Head Coach: Brian Hobbs
Top Returning Players: Tyler Gigliotti (2nd-team All-District 9 selection; 18.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg; Enters senior season with 983 career points), Steven Knowlton (8.2 ppg), Caleb Nuzzo (3.1 ppg), Evan Schmidt (2.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Cam Austin, Jerid Wilmoth
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keys for this season will be rebounding, pace, and experience from our upperclassmen. With the loss of Donny Pattison 6’3 and Blake Bryant 6’6, we will be at a slight height disadvantage in most games. We will need to rely on our athleticism and ability to read the ball off the rim to even the board game. Our team will lean heavily on quickness to create turnovers and score in transition. We have some seniors this year that have been playing varsity basketball since they were freshmen. Our hope is their leadership and experience will create a consistent and competitive team all season.

BROCKWAY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 8-15 overall, 3-7 AML South (3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Rick Clark
Top Returning Players: Alec Freemer (15.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Jon Wood (10.3 ppg, 3.8 apg, 2.3 rpg), Marcus Copelli (4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Noah Adams (3.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Jared Marchiori, Austin Schmader, Marcus Bennett, Derek Gelnette
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Jon Wood, Alec Freemer, Marcus Copelli and Noah Adams our 4 most experience returners need to lead our team. Copelli, Adams and other returning letterman Lewis Painter, Elijah Snell, Aiden Bullers, and Chad Bennett will need to look to expand their roles. A couple of keys will be how quickly our newcomers learn and gel with our veterans; we have a little more size than last year and our ability to rebound to control tempo will be a big key this season.

BROOKVILLE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 16-9 overall, 7-3 D9 League (2nd place)/Won District 9 Class 3A title; Won District 5-9 Class 3A subregional title; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 3A playoffs
Head Coach: Dalton Park
Top Returning Players: Aaron Park (3rd-team All-District 9 selection; 11.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 apg’ Enters senior season with 780 career points), Jace Miner (7.2 ppg), Jack Krug (6.8 ppg), Robert Keth (6.5 ppg), Logan Byerly (6.1 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Danny Lauer, Griffin Ruhlman, Hunter Geer, Ian Pete
Coach’s Keys to the Season: All of our players have individual rolls that are equal in value, which rolls into the keys for the season. Last year, things took off in the right direction when the players really started playing together offensively and defensively. We need to be confident in each other’s abilities and we need to share the ball.

CAMERON COUNTY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 16-7, 13-3 NTL (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Mark Guido
Top Returning Players: Dino Brown (10.1 ppg), Caden Beldin (13.4 ppg), Matt Swartz (4.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Dylan Guisto
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We lost a lot of height with our graduating class last year so we really have to hit the boards hard. We want to play to our strengths which will be speed and quickness. In order to get out in transition we have to rebound well.

CLARION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-12, 6-4 KSAC North (3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Scott Fox (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Cal German (19.0 ppg), Nick Frederick (13.0 ppg), Josh Craig (5.2 ppg), Hunter Craddock (2.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Skylar Rhoades (back after taking last year off)
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Being more diverse on offense. Aggressive on defense. Using size and athleticism to be aggressive on the boards. Pressure defense and being able to turn defense into offense to hopefully get easy shot attempts.
Note: Clarion will play in the KSAC South this season

CLARION-LIMESTONE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 25-3, 9-1 KSAC North (1st place; Won KSAC Title Game))/Lost in District 9 Class 1A semifinals; Won District 9 Class 1A consolation game to finish third; Lost in PIAA Class 1A second round
Head Coach: Joe Ferguson
Top Returning Players: Hayden Callen (2nd-team All-District 9 selection; 16.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.9 bpg, 2.8 spg, 2.0 apg; Enters junior season with 656 career points), Deion Deas (3rd-team All-District 9 selection; 19.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.4 spg; Enters senior season with 1,066 career points), Curvin Goheen (7.8 ppg).
Key Newcomers: Hayden Siegel, Bryant Smith, Bryson Huwar
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Incorporating in the younger and more inexperienced players so the pressure is not totally on Harry (Callen) and Deion. I have to keep the team motivated every night no matter who we’re playing. It’s easy to slip into a cruise control
mentality as the season goes along whether winning or losing, and that is my responsibility to have the team prepared night in and night out.

CLEARFIELD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 13-11, 6-8 Mountain League (6th place)/Won District 9 Class 4A title; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 4A playoffs
Head Coach: Nate Glunt
Top Returning Players: Cade Walker (1st-team All-District 9 selection; 18.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 spg), Karson Rumsky (3rd-team All-District 9 selection; 15.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 1.0 apg), Andrew Lopez (7.2 ppg), Matt Pallo (3.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Luke Winters, Harrison Peacock
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We want to play as a team both offensively and defensively. We need to take good shots, limit our turnovers, communicate and rebound.

COUDERSPORT
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 24-2, 16-0 NTL (1st place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A championship game; Lost in second round of PIAA Class 2A playoffs
Head Coach: Scott Easton (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Hayden Keck (3rd-team All-District 9 selection; 15.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.5 spg, 3.1 spg, 41 made 3-pointers), Dillon Keglovits (8.0 ppg), Kolby VanWhy (7.3 ppg), Travis Gleason (7.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Daniel Frame
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Everyone will need to step up and contribute more offensively. We will need to play fast and score in transition.
Note: Must replace District 9 Player of the Year Owen Chambers (30.7 ppg), who finished his career as District 9’s all-time leading scorer with 2,269 career points

CRANBERRY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 4-17 overall, 3-7 KSAC North (T-4th place)/None
Head Coach: Pat Irwin
Top Returning Players: Matt McQuaide (14.0 ppg in 8 games before season was cut short by an injury), JT Stahlman (13.8 ppg), Cam Russell (5.4 ppg), Preston Forrest (5.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Ryan Groner
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to establish an identity in ourselves defensively. We need to trust in each other offensively and buy into the offense.
Note: Cranberry will play in the KSAC South this season

CURWENSVILLE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 5-17, 2-8 AML South (4th place)/none.
Head Coach: Matt Wassill
Top Returning Players: Ty Terry (9.6 ppg), Adam Miller (1.2 ppg), Trevor Lansberry (2.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Danny McGarry
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our season success will hinge on how well we play off the boards. We are undersized so we need to play physical and fundamental in boxing out every time. We will also need our guards to make the game easier for the players around them by making plays and good decisions with the ball.

DUBOIS
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 15-8 overall, 4-6 D9 League (3rd place)/Lost in District 8-9-10 championship game
Head Coach: Dave Bennett
Top Returning Players: Chase Husted (1st-team All-District 9 selection; 15.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.8 spg), Lennon Lindholm (4.9 ppg), Nick Farrell (1.5 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Nick Felix, Brady Woodward, Jordin Sommers
Coach’s Keys to the Season: How quickly our young and inexperienced roster becomes ready to play and contributed at the varsity level … Defend and communicate at a high level … Control rebounding

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 12-12 overall, 6-4 AML South (2nd place; Lost in AML Semifinals)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Dom Varacallo
Top Returning Players: Jonathan Kurtz (7.7 ppg but is out with an injury), Parker Meholick (1.8 ppg), Harrison Starr (3.1 ppg)
Key Newcomers: The entire junior class
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to be a team that gets stops and limits opponents to one possession by rebounding effectively. Team chemistry will be a strength of this young group.

ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 27-2 overall, 10-0 AML South (1st place; Lost in AML Title game), 10-0 D9 League (1st place)/Won District 9 Class 1A title; Lost in second round of PIAA Class 1A playoffs
Head Coach: Aaron Straub
Top Returning Players: Regis Wortman (3rd-team All-District 9 selection; 12.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 spg, 1.8 apg), Carter Lindemuth (6.7 ppg), Will Uberti (5.5 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Isaac Wortman (returns as a senior after not playing his junior year), Mason McAllister, Charlie Breindel
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We are small, we must rebound … We are thin and have some kids coming off of injuries so we need to get and stay healthy … We will need to develop good chemistry between our three classes – sophomores, juniors and seniors.

FOREST AREA
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 1-21, 0-10 KSAC North (6th place)/none.
Head Coach: Dan Miller
Top Returning Players: Noah Burke (9.0 ppg), Franklin Meals (11.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Julian Gillenwater
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Play tighter and tougher defense. I also want us to have a consistency in all four quarters of our games.

GALETON (District 4 team playing in NTL)
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 17-9 overall, 10-6 NTL (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 4 Class 1A semifinals; Won District 4 Class 1A consolation game to finish third; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 1A playoffs
Head Coach: Kyle Lehman (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Ty Stover (5.2 ppg), Noah Shutt (5.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Joey Brumbach, Hunter Crowell
Coach’s Keys to the Season: The key to our season is progression, starting out at one level and raising our game throughout the year. We need to coach to play a game that best fits our personnel and help them succeed in every situation.

JOHNSONBURG
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 16-11, 8-2 AML North (2nd place; Lost in AML semifinals)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A semifinals; Lost in District 9 Class 1A consolation game to finish fourth; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 1A playoffs
Head Coach: Bill Shuey
Top Returning Players: Austin Green (2nd-team All-District 9 selection; 18.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.3 spg, 2.0 apg; Enters senior season with 840 career points), Gabe Watts (5.7 ppg), Gino Gregori (2.3 ppg), Garret Gregori (2.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Eric Christoff, Cam Stelene
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Discipline on defense and hopefully put more points on the board then last.

KANE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 6-15, 3-7 AML North (3rd place)/none.
Head Coach: Caleb Landmesser
Top Returning Players: Chad Greville (13.4 ppg; Enters senior season with 918 career points), Carson Whiteman (8.8 ppg), Zuke Smith (6.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Mason Zuzek, Matt DeLuca, Andy Jekielek
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to read the game. There are some great defensive teams throughout our schedule and our ability to adapt to what we see is crucial. This year we have several elite shooters both off the catch and the bounce and we have to execute and space well offensively to ensure we generate open looks, whether said looks are two feet or 22 feet from the basket.

KARNS CITY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 16-9 overall, 7-3 KSAC South (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A semifinals; Lost in District 9 Class 2A consolation game in overtime
Head Coach: Chris Bellis
Top Returning Players: Chase Beighley (14.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 3.0 spg), Nathan Waltman (14.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Ethan McElroy (7.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Luke Garing, Caiden Corbett, Micah Rupp
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Developing team chemistry. Since we have kids contributing from various age levels, it is important that we develop team chemistry early in the season. Since we have such an age range, our kids have not competed together as they moved up through the system.

KEYSTONE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 18-8, 8-2 KSAC South (1st place; Lost in KSAC title game); Lost in District 9 Class 2A semifinals; Won District 9 Class 2A consolation game in overtime to finish third; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 2A playoffs
Head Coach: Greg Heath
Top Returning Players: Troy Johnson (11.5 ppg), Isaak Jones 9.0 ppg), Andrew Lauer (7.5 ppg), Alex Rapp (2.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Colin Say, Marc Rearick, Jayden Blazosky
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Finding a way to effectively use our depth, which could be as much as 11 to 12 players. This gives us great flexibility and offers a variety of lineups and styles of play. Also, getting everyone to effectively play together and accept their roles.

MONITEAU
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 13-10, 6-4 KSAC South (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 3A title game
Head Coach: Mike Jewart
Top Returning Players: Ethan McDeavitt (12.6 ppg), Gage Neal (11.8 ppg), Nate Tack (2.9 ppg), Kyle Pry (1.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Mason Mershimer, Tanner Williams
Coach’s Keys to the Season: How well we gel as a team and learn to play with each other. Learning that trusting each other will be a large factor in our success. We are also not as big this year so we will need to find ways to rebound the basketball and match up with other teams bigger players.

NORTH CLARION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 21-3, 9-1 KSAC North (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A championship game; Lost in first round of PIAA Class 1A playoffs
Head Coach: Andy Bish
Top Returning Players: Matson Higgins (Scored 10 points in 3 games before season was cut short with an injury), Devon Walters (2.8 ppg), Jacob Bauer (1.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Drew Gatesman, Chance Schmader, Collin Schmader
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Having a fast start while gaining confidence, playing together as a team, especially on the defensive end, and boxing out on every possession.

NORTHERN POTTER
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 3-19, 2-14 NTL (8th place)/none.
Head Coach: Derek Erway
Top Returning Players: Erza Sprow (6.4 ppg), Carter Anderson (18.2 ppg), Tre Slawson (3.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Tanyon Brown, Michael Moore
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Getting Ezra going in the paint to help open up the shooters. Setting the pace of the game and control the boards.

OSWAYO VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 2-20 overall, 0-16 NTL (9th place)/None
Head Coach: Nick Goss
Top Returning Players: Gunner Bean (5.6 ppg), Noah Wichert (6.0 ppg), Honor Gross (4.6 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Cayden Black, Nathan Carpenter, Alex Phillips
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our key to the season is continuing to learn team basketball. We now have some varsity experience under our belt, so we will look to compete at a better level. Gunner Bean has done a great job with senior leadership, Noah Wichert looks to build upon his junior season. We also have a pair of young guards and need them to play older than they are. Newcomer Alex Phillips is a multi-tooled kid that can guard all five positions and help a basketball team in a lot of ways.

OTTO-ELDRED
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-10, 8-8 NTL (6th place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Dan Dalton
Top Returning Players: Cole Sebastian (10.3 ppg), Gavin Jimerson (7.0 ppg), Braden Maholic (7.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: T.J. VanScoter, Zaz Bell, Ethan Smith
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We are in need of a point guard and we have a big man position to fill. Defense is a big focal point, but hoping to score more with this group of kids.

PORT ALLEGANY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 6-16, 4-12 NTL (7th place)/none.
Head Coach: Kyle Babcock (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Howie Stuckey (19.5 ppg; Enters senior season with 1,186 career points), Jordan Card (14.2 ppg), Dominic Guerrerro (5.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Noah Archer, Blaine Moses, Drew Evens
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We are undersized, so out guards will need to step up and help in the post. Run the offense and stick to the game plan.

PUNXSUTAWNEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 10-12, 3-7 D9 League (T-4th place)/none.
Head Coach: Darrin Kriebel
Top Returning Players: Daren Byers (9.3 ppg), Micah Kriebel (5.9 ppg), Andrew Wehrle (2.4 ppg), Ethan Presloid (3.0 ppg), Andrew Young (1.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Nick Humble
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Play an up tempo style try to create turnovers and pressure teams.

REDBANK VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 13-10 overall, 6-4 KSAC South (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Emmanuel Marshall
Top Returning Players: Chris Marshall (D9Sports.com District 9 Rookie of the Year; 12.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 bpg, 23 3-pointers), Bryson Bain (6.7 ppg), Declan Fricko (5.9 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Owen Magagnotti, Anthony Baileys, Landon Pence, Ty Sherry, Kolton Kline
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We won’t have to change a thing from last year. We’ll still be able to run the floor, trap everywhere and still be able to play up-tempo basketball because our bigs run the floor well … We’re going to come into this year and gel at the right time. It’s about the second half of the season and if we can be .500 in the first half, then we’ll try to turn it up and turn it on, just like we did last year and be ready and gel at the right time.

RIDGWAY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 26-4, 8-2 AML South (1st place; Won AML title game)/Won District 9 Class 2A title; Lost in PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Tony Allegretto
Top Returning Players: Matt Dush (9.1 ppg), Zack Zameroski (7.5 ppg), Domenic Allegretto (1.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Drew Young, Alex Bon, Dan Park
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Senior leadership from Zack and Matt and find out where the secondary scoring is going to come from.

ST. MARYS
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 7-15 overall, 3-7 D9 League (T-4th place)/Lost in District 9 Class 4A semifinals
Head Coach: Shad Boschert
Top Returning Players: Cahil Parrish (11.3 ppg), Nick Catalone (7.5 ppg), Luke Lasko (7.3 ppg), Mitch Reiter (6.8 ppg), Bryce Walker (2.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Drake Caskey
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keys to our season will be discipline and consistency of effort. We need to find ways to win the close games, and be able to win on the road. We are no longer a young team, so we will be relying on our experience to provide an advantage this year.

SHEFFIELD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 1-21, 0-10 AML North (4th place)/none.
Head Coach: Mike Knapp
Top Returning Players: Tyler Hepinger (14.7 ppg), Jake Vinopal (8.2 ppg), Mitch McNeal (5.6 ppg), Tony Richard (7.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Lucas McNeal, Connor Johnson
Coach’s Keys to the Season: The growth of our young players and building team chemistry.

SMETHPORT
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-12, 10-6 NTL (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Jay Acker
Top Returning Players: Connor Alfieri (8.9 ppg), Layne Shall (2.1 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Noah Lent, Hunter Helsley, Richie McDowell, Kolby Wilber
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Improve on the success that we have had the last few years. We will use our quickness to put pressure on opponents and will try to use an uptempo style offense to utilize our speed.

UNION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 7-14, 2-8 KSAC South (5th place)/none.
Head Coach: Brent Saylor (1st year)
Top Returning Players: Karter Vogle (6.4 ppg), Caden Rainey (13.3 ppg), Truman Vereb (8.5 ppg), Luke Bowser (8.7 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Layton Stewart
Coach’s Keys to the Season: How quickly the team picks up the new system, bench play and a good start to the season.
Note: Union will play in the KSAC North this season

VENANGO CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 3-18 overall, 3-7 KSAC North (T-4th place)/None
Head Coach: Nico Du’prea
Top Returning Players: Andrew Burda (16.7 ppg), Brady Cicatella (3.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Paul Singh, Padraig McGrail
Coach’s Keys to the Season: To utilize everyone’s strengths and play hard defensively in every game.



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