Greensburg Central boys gain size, speed for Section 3-AA
The Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball team lost a lot of experienced players from last year's PIAA quarterfinalist team.
The Centurians (2-0) finished the 2011-12 season with an 11-1 mark in Section 4-AA and an overall mark at 21-7.
Fourth-year coach Greg Bisignani, however, didn't have to go too far to find some replacements. Turns out, the two players he added have been at school all along. Seniors Corey Marshall (6-foot-2) and Zach Guiser (6-1) — neither of whom played the past several seasons — decided to come out for the team after illustrious careers on the gridiron.
While neither will begin the season in the starting five, their addition instantly gave the Centurions extra speed and bulk — and a much deeper, sturdier rotation.
“They wanted to do it,” Bisignani said. “They were both so focused on football but now will be a part of our team and have a lot of fun. They are two very athletic, strong kids. Both have a lot of leadership in them, and they are very good influences. I feel they immediately will add a lot to our program.”
The Centurions will need all the help they can get, according to Bisignani, if they want to try and keep pace with Jeannette in Section 3-AA — a team he projects as being one of the best in the WPIAL, regardless of classification.
GCC will be led by a balanced attack. Two returning starters — senior guard Zach Herman (6-0) and junior guard Brian Graytok (6-1) — both figure to carry the scoring load. The Centurions also will feature 6-7 junior forward Collin Bisignani.
The other starters are senior guard/forward Ty Swan and junior point guard Christian Hyland. Sophomore guard Romano Sebastiani (6-2) also will see a lot of minutes.
“We are going to be a different team this year in a lot of ways,” Bisignani said. “Our overall experience is a little down compared to past years. We aren't quite as deep. Hopefully we'll continue to improve as the season goes along. This is a very athletic bunch, and I know that is going to help.”
While the bulk of the scoring should come from the guards, the emergence of Collin Bisignani and Marshall inside will force opponents to stay honest.
“They give us a real strong inside presence,” Bisignani said. “When you have a player (Bisignani) of that size underneath, it gives you a lot of options, and other teams have to account for the inside game.”
While Coach Bisignani has been impressed with the hard work and effort his team has put forth, he knows the road ahead will have some major challenges.
“Everybody knows Jeannette is just a well-coached, super-athletic, loaded team,” he said. “Shady Side Academy always has athletes and now Serra Catholic has moved up to our section and they are a great program. We've improved a lot in the last two weeks. Now it's time to get started.”
GCC started the season with wins against Grove City, 62-48, and Hollidaysburg, 67-58, in the Indiana Tournament this past weekend.
Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.