Derry boys getting defensive early on this season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Derry boys basketball team will have to replace its top three scorers from last year's squad and they plan to do so with improved defense.
Jeremy Hauser (13 points per game), Zack Wisneski (11 ppg) and Tyler Dickey (9 ppg) were all lost to graduation, but head coach Damon Rause thinks he's found the solution to replace the departed contributors.
“We're going to be a defensive, get in your face team instead of a run-and-gun and shoot-the-3 team that we were last year,” said Rause, who's in his third year at the helm. “Especially early in the season, our goal is to understand what we are doing defensively and from there, we offensively want to spread teams out and get to the hoops.”
The Trojans — who finished 11-11 overall and 3-9 in Section 3-AAA in 2011-12 — will not be starting from scratch this year. Rause returns a group of upperclassmen that saw significant time on the court and expects contributions from all of them.
“I traditionally play a lot of players,” he said. “Even though we lost three starters, I have six kids coming back, with four of them that played in every game.
“I have a lot of experience coming back. We're going to rely on that experience.”
Senior Alex Mylant — a 6-5, 300-pound forward — will provide a valuable presence in the paint, and senior Nick Clayton will offer an athletic post presence and with ability to play inside and out.
“We're going to rely on those guys to help us to play more of an inside-out game,” Rause said. “We're going to try to get to them early and try to get a post move and kick it out. Last year, we wanted to get to Hauser and Dickey for an outside-in approach.”
Senior point guard Andy Panizzi will split time handling the ball with senior Lucas Maloy. Panizzi — a three-year starter at the point — is expected to fill the role voided by Hauser and become the team's top scorer. Maloy plays an aggressive defensive and offensive style and Rause said his tenacity to get to the net will prove valuable. Junior Matt Vasinko — a 6-3, 180-pound guard — will play a slash role and keep teams on their heels with his long-range jump shot.
Rause is clear to point out that Derry will not consider this a rebuilding year. He hops the experience his group gained last year will be a stepping stone for what he hopes is the school's most successful season on the basketball front.
“We want to take the next step and get to that next level,” Rause said. “We think we can be better than 11-11 and compete in the section. We definitely want to keep the team moving forward and use last year as a step ladder.”
Derry opened the season by splitting a pair of games over the weekend at the Homer-Center Tournament. The Trojans (1-1) defeated Westmont Hilltop, 40-27, but fell to host Homer-Center, 68-60.
Brian Graham is a freelance writer.
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.
- South Fayette football team distributes Steelers tickets to Carlynton, Wilkinsburg
- Close loss in title game cannot diminish Clairton’s ‘great season’
- 2014 Valley News Dispatch football all-stars
- Clairton, Bishop Guilfoyle football teams match vaunted defenses
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger