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Experienced Charleroi clawing for 5-AA title

| Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Matt Indorante will be counted on to lead the Charleroi Cougars this season.

When was the last time the Charleroi boy's basketball team started five seniors?

“It's been a long time, I know that much,” Cougars coach Bill Wiltz said. “That's what we're looking at this season, though. We have a lot of experience coming back which is a very good thing.”

Leading the team this year will be Matt Indorante, a hot shooting guard that will move into a new role.

“Matt has stepped right into that leadership role just like we needed him to,” Wiltz said. “He's more vocal, he knows all the offenses, and he gets people to where they need to be.”

This season, Indorante will step into a new role.

“He's going to be our point guard this season,” Wiltz said. “His ball-handling has really improved. He's worked so hard at developing his game over the summer. We've done a lot to help him and he's flourished. His leaping ability and vertical has improved, he's able to create his shot off the dribble ... he's versatile enough to do it.”

Joining Indorante in the starting lineup will be Evan Anderson, Dakota Moorer, Ryan Konek, and Brandon Bowman.

“Bowman really fits into his role,” Wiltz said of the football standout. “He's improved every year. He can create his shot and he uses his body so well. He has a shot that guys in the mid-6-foot range can't block because of how big he is in the shoulders.”

Wiltz issued a warning though for his seniors that have cracked the starting lineup.

“They need to peek over their shoulders to see what's coming behind them, though,” Wiltz said with a chuckle. “It's been a long time since we've had this much experience and depth. We can honestly go about 10 deep on the bench.

“As a coach, I can't be afraid to make a necessary adjustment or make a change in the lineup.”

An x-factor for the Cougars could be the development of 6-7 sophomore John Arnold.

“Great size. We're just bringing him along slowly so he can learn the system. He will contribute, though,” Wiltz said.

Also looking for minutes will be another sophomore, Brock Shannon, and juniors Greg Arnold and Josh Sidary.

Wiltz said his team is athletic enough to be able to run the floor and will look to play some pressure, man-to-man defense.

“We didn't know if we'd be able to do man defense, but the guys are being real aggressive in practice and have looked pretty good,” Wiltz added.

The longtime coach feels his team is ready to bring home a Section 5-AA title but expects the usual suspects to be near the top.

“I think it we'll need to compete well with Brownsville and California,” Wiltz said of the 5-AA competition.

Also on the Cougars' section slate will be Beth-Center, Frazier, Bentworth, Jefferson-Morgan, and West Greene.

Charleroi will get their season started Friday when they host Ringgold at 8 p.m. following the girls' tournament doubleheader.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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