Hampton boy's basketball returns core of talented players
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There are few teams that can compare to the Hampton boys basketball team. A deep playoff run and an appearance in the WPIAL championship seem to be consistent with this team.
The 2013-14 season will have the same expectations as Hampton returns Colin and Ryan Luther to the front court for their senior seasons, and the tandem of guards in Joey Lafko and David Huber, both juniors, is equally as battle tested. Veteran forward Jack Obringer will round out a starting five that should be as exciting a group there is in Class AAAA basketball.
Despite the impressive talents of his starters (and reserves for that matter), Hampton coach Joe Lafko refuses to look at anything past the next practice.
“This is an exciting time,” Lafko said. “Every team is 0-0, and our motivation is a little different. We still have high expectations, and we have had as good an offseason as ever seen.”
In addition to the obvious excitement with the returning players, Lafko said he was able to work in more players to increase depth and fans can expect to see more up-tempo pressing and more ball movement using the entire court.
The reason to tweak a successful system is that Lafko and his squad know everyone will bring their best for a team that advanced to the WPIAL finals in each of the past two seasons. To add to the suspense, Hampton, North Allegheny, Seneca Valley and defending WPIAL champion New Castle not only were the final four last season, but these teams reside in the same section, thus will each play one another twice with added intensity.
“This team (the 2013-14 Talbots) has not proven anything,” Lafko said. “We have to look at each opponent and go out and execute. We are battle tested with WPIAL and PIAA playoff game experience.”
A lot will be made of the starting five, especially with Ryan Luther committing to Pitt next season, but there is talented depth on this team.
Senior guard Hayden Seserko had a good offseason according to Lafko, and 6-foot-3 forward Chandler McKinney will help in the front court as well.
A trio of guards will help off the bench as Pat Murray, Jack Morrison and Nate Hyre add quality depth at an already strong position.
Although the team is experienced, Lafko noted that there will be errors that the team will have to overcome, and that adjustments in game and at the half of games also will be important factors in the success of the team.
“This season brings high expectations,” Lafko said. “We always set goals of a section, WPIAL and PIAA championship, and we will compete against the best teams. The team has to take it upon itself to be motivated and achieve, and the motivation and work ethic of our seniors has been exceptional.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Knoch basketball team gets reinforcements
- Knoch girls seek dividends of experience
- With star Satira gone, Serra Catholic boys basketball to rely on team effort
- Kiski Area boys a team in transition after graduation of top scorer
- Serra girls expecting repeat success
- Steel Valley boys put focus back on basketball
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Fox Chapel boys look to define roles
- Chartiers Valley boys basketball preparing for WPIAL title defense
- Latrobe boys look to defend Section 1-AAAA title with experienced lineup