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Cheswick Christian boys team will rely on experience

Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Senior and top returning scorer Tyler Knupp goes to the hoop against freshman Andy Skledar during a recent practice at Cheswick Christian Academy.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Senior and top returning scorer Tyler Knupp goes to the hoop against freshman Andy Skledar during a recent practice at Cheswick Christian Academy.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Senior Andrew Maust, Coach Todd Rosio and freshman Antione Malloy go over plays during practice at Cheswick Christian Academy in Cheswick on Monday November 19, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Senior Andrew Maust, Coach Todd Rosio and freshman Antione Malloy go over plays during practice at Cheswick Christian Academy in Cheswick on Monday November 19, 2012.

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By D.j. Vasil
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
 

Depth and experience have been issues in the past for Cheswick Christian Academy boys basketball coach Todd Rosio. But this year, those things could make all the difference as the Chargers look to improve on a 15-13 mark, 11-5 in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference.

Cheswick finished second in the East division and made it to the playoffs but fell short in the semifinals.

“We're such a small school. We struggle sometimes with depth,” Rosio said. “There aren't that many boys in the school, so there aren't that many boys on the team. But we have some strength in numbers this year, so it could be a different year.”

The team returns all five starters from last year and features a roster that will have five seniors in guards Tyler Knupp , Andrew Maust, Ben Johnson, Ian Farley and center Bobby Wilson.

Leading the way will be Knupp, Maust, Johnson, Wilson and sophomore Antione Malloy. Knupp, a 6-foot all-conference guard, was the leading scorer and rebounder last season, averaging 14.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

He also averaged 3.5 assists.

Malloy (5-7), the lone sophomore, led the Chargers in steals as a freshman with 85.

“I think having everybody back gives us an opportunity to have a successful year,” Rosio said. “Last year, we didn't have any seniors. Even though they want to win, there is a different sense of urgency when you have seniors.”

Coming off the bench will be junior guard/forwards Ian Swartz and JaJuan Malloy.

Reaching the semifinals was an accomplishment last season, but winning the division is the goal according to Rosio.

“I think everybody will be disappointed if we don't win our division,” Rosio said. “If you get in the playoffs, anything can happen. It's one game at a time. I think the seniors have their sights on winning as much as they can.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelancer writer.

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