QV boys benfit from underclassmen contributions
In Quaker Valley's first five games of the season, reserve guard Micah Glenn didn't make a ton of noise on the offensive end of the court.
He changed that in emphatic fashion in game No. 6.
Glenn scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Quakers (4-2) to a 51-42 win over nonsection opponent Bishop Canevin last Friday. The senior shot 7 of 13 overall and 4 of 10 from 3-point range as Quaker Valley snapped a two-game losing streak.
“He came in and played extremely well,” coach Mike Mastroianni said. “He's had a couple good games, and in both games, he's been our spark (and) sort of got us ignited. But he played a great game all around. He did a lot of good things.”
Contributions from newer players — Glenn is in his first year on the team and scored 11 points before Friday night — are becoming a trend for Quaker Valley's boys basketball team this season. With just one returning starter from 2011-12, the Quakers were looking for production from new faces this year, and they're getting it.
Though that returning starter — senior Burke Moser — is Quaker Valley's only player averaging double figures in points through six games, players such as juniors Qadir Taylor and John Bernard and sophomore Chris Conlan are providing secondary scoring. Other key contributors include junior Winter Fondi, senior Jack McGarry and sophomore Tyler Garbee.
“We're dealing with a lot of new players meshing together,” Mastroianni said. “The strength of our program through the years, I tell our guys, has been our continuity. … That's the one area we're obviously a bit behind, but to have some success without having that is a pretty good sign.”
Through six games, Mastroianni is still figuring out some of the players' roles.
That typical early season process was hampered when senior Nelson Westwood, one of the more experienced returners, suffered a head injury in the second game of the season. Earlier, he missed a week after injuring his foot during preseason practice.
Westwood rejoined the team Friday and tallied six points, five rebounds and four assists in his first game action since Dec. 8.
“I was fortunate the first three years of high school to avoid the injury bug,” Westwood said. “That was nice where I'd never missed a game and wasn't missing any practices. And even this season, even though I've been out with injuries, it hasn't been a major injury and I've been able to rehab and get back. It feels really good to get back on the court. … I think just being able to come back will help add to the continuity.”
In Westwood's absence, Moser provided the bulk of leadership. The senior leads the team in scoring (15 points per game), rebounding (9.3) and assists (2.3).
“He really carries the load in so many areas (and) takes the pressure off a lot of the other players,” Mastroianni said. “His level of experience helps, and he's fighting through double teams — sometimes triple teams — every night, out there working and plugging. It'll be nice for us when these other guys catch up and we have more established roles.”
Mastroianni is starting to see that happen. Though the team still is struggling with its shooting — particularly on free throws (53 percent) and 3-pointers (24 percent) — the coach believes the team will get better in that area. He was also pleased with the defensive effort against Bishop Canevin.
The Quakers started off 0-2 in section play with losses to Carlynton Dec. 14 and Sto-Rox Dec. 18. Still, Mastroianni was encouraged by what he saw in the 57-54 loss to Sto-Rox, one of the top teams in Class A.
“I thought we competed rather well,” he said. “And again, we were playing without Nelson, who's very important in terms of experience and playing in big games. To compete to the end with them without having someone that important is a really good sign.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.