ShareThis Page

Geibel boys basketball starting over with new coach, new lineup

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 1:36 a.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Kyle Toth will be counted on to be a big part of this season's Geibel boys basketball team.

The Geibel boys basketball team has plenty of new faces heading into the upcoming season.

The Gators are under the direction of first-year coach Bill Hughes. This is the first head-coaching position for Hughes, who has 11 years of coaching experience in the Belle Vernon and Charleroi school districts.

For Hughes, the challenge will be building the Gators, who are coming of a 3-16 season, from the ground up.

“It's as much about me getting to know them as it is them getting to know me,” Hughes said. “I want to build around their strengths.”

The first strength Hughes has identified is the work ethic of the team.

“We're young, and we're hard-working,” Hughes said.

Hughes will be tasked with finding a completely new starting lineup, thanks to the loss of graduates Aaron Agostoni, Tyler Schweiss, Ryan Robson, Martin Berish and Jake Ciaccia.

The Gators will compete in Section 3-A and will begin the season by hosting West Greene in the Geibel Tip-off Tournament on Dec. 6.

Hughes, who has replaced Ed Kroupa, likes the challenge of building the program from scratch.

“I love the fact that the team is so young, and they want to learn,” Hughes said.

Sophomore Kyle Toth saw action on the varsity team last year, and his ability to play guard and forward should be an asset. Senior guard Tucker Bocan and junior guard James Ewing will play a lot of minutes, as will sophomore center Bailey Miller. Juniors Matt Mammarella and Brent Plisko and senior Brandon Kushnar will see time at forward positions. Ewing, Mammarella, Plisko and Toth are returning lettermen.

No matter who is in the starting lineup, everyone will have to be multi-dimensional.

“I want position flexibility,” Hughes said. “I want the big guys to be able to dribble, and I want the guards to be able to hit the boards.”

Hughes pointed out that many of the players have played together before and have had success in the past.

“They were successful last year at JV, and they have played together,” Hughes said. “These guys are tight, and I like having that family atmosphere. We're a family for the next two and a half months.”

At the end of those two and a half months, Hughes hopes, the team will have accomplished its goals.

“The goal is to make the playoffs,” Hughes said. “A few people have said it will be a rough season, but I'm not coming in with that mindset. We want to improve, and the playoffs are absolutely the goal.”

The players seem to like that the bar is set high.

“Our expectations are higher than they were last year,” Toth said. “We have a strong defense and good heart, and our intensity is high. We're in the process of building, and it's exciting.”

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.