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Quaker Valley boys JV team mimics varsity squad, finishes season 18-2

Members of the Quaker Valley boys varsity and junior varsity basketball program.

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By Kevin Ritchart
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Their games start 90 minutes apart.

That's pretty much the only difference between the junior varsity boys basketball team at Quaker Valley High School and its varsity counterpart. And that's exactly the way the coaching staff wants it.

“We approach the JV game the same way we do the varsity,” varsity head coach Mike Mastroianni said. “The biggest thing with JV is getting the kids comfortable at an early age with the positions we need them to play and the responsibilities that go with it.”

The junior varsity version of the Quakers finished the regular season with a record of 18-2, and the two losses didn't come easy for the opposition.

Both of Quaker Valley's defeats came in overtime — one by four points to Avonworth during the regular season and the other by a single point to host Central Valley at an end-of-season tournament.

After an undefeated 2012-13 campaign, the Quakers are 34-2 in JV competition in the past two seasons.

Like their varsity brethren, the JV Quakers showcased a balanced scoring attack as they filled up the wins column again this season. Six players averaged between seven and 12 points per game.

“I couldn't tell you who our leading scorer was this season,” said JV head coach and varsity assistant Matt Welch. “Just like the varsity games, it was a different guy (leading the team in scoring) every night.”

While the JV team served its purpose as a proving ground for younger players who hope to take on a bigger role with the varsity team in the future, it also was a way for veteran players — like junior guard Clay Noyes — to refine their skills.

“We used him a lot,” Welch said. “He was an older guy on JV, but he played some on varsity as well.

“He worked a lot on his defense, and that helps us become a better team.”

The JV team had a trio of freshmen — Amos Luptak, Wolfie Moser and Zach Skolnekovich — who started games this season.

“They've played a lot of basketball this year,” Welch said of his freshmen. “It's important to get competitive games for them. Amos got a lot of varsity playing time this year.”

Quaker Valley discontinued its ninth-grade team, so players jump right from the junior high program to the JV/varsity level.

Sophomores Mitchell Luton and Colin Hill also were key members of the JV team this season.

“We're hoping all of them can hop into the varsity lineup next year,” Welch said.

Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.

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