Plum boys seek balance
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This isn't a television series, but Plum boys basketball fans will find out what happens when a supporting cast is asked to take top billing at the start of a new season.
“We're trying to replace a significant amount of scoring from last year,” coach Ron Richards said. “It's kind of a process from new roles compared to last season.”
Plum's toughest task is replacing one of the WPIAL's most prolific scorers in Nolan Cressler, who already is averaging nearly 20 minutes per game as a freshman at Cornell.
Cressler averaged 25.6 points last season and broke Plum's career scoring mark.
“Nolan was never somebody who took a lot of shots,” Richards said. “He averaged 27 a game, but he never took more than 20 shots in a game.”
Despite losing Cressler, Plum remains experienced after a 16-8 season in which the Mustangs reached the Class AAAA quarterfinals.
Richards will rely on seniors Griffin Myers and Matt Dombroski and juniors Nick Stotler and Austin Dedert to be his core group.
“We have four guys that have a lot of varsity experience,” Richards said. “They've all played and played in a few playoff games. It's a matter of a different role.”
In Section 2-AAAA play, which may feature some of the most diverse offensive game-planning in the WPIAL due to a wide range of inside-outside attacks, Plum will need to look the part.
Richards thinks his personnel will be up to the challenge.
“I think we'll be balanced this year,” he said. “We will play more inside out. We don't have a guy who will go out and score 25 points a night for us.”
Stotler is the most natural candidate, Richards believes, who can make the biggest impact on the scoreboard.
“He has the body and is kind of good in traffic,” Richards said. “Scoring comes natural for him. I think he'll make a significant jump (in production).”
Dedert, a 6-foot-6 center, will undoubtedly get his touches, but his increased size should make the most difference.
“He's close to 200 pounds now, but I don't think he's done growing,” Richards said. “(Other centers) had their way with him as a skinny sophomore.”
Myers is expected to be a well-rounded type of player for the Mustangs.
“Griffin is more of a consistent type of guy,” Richards said. “He was a bit of a stationary shooter, but we're trying to get him to move a little more.”
Dave Yohe 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.
- Snow, freezing rain, bitter cold coming to Western Pa.
- Jerome Bettis to be enshrined in hall of fame
- Tennessee quarterback Peterman considers transfer to Pitt
- Suggestions are aplenty on what Penguins need to break through
- Familiar Downtown Pittsburgh presence lost arm, leg to train
- Westmoreland museum spotlights artist John Kane’s late-in-life fame
- Voters opt for ‘Don’t Know’ in 2016 presidential race, poll finds
- As banking goes mobile, branch closures rip through local economy
- Iraqi libraries ransacked
- Gulls fleeing frozen Great Lakes fill skies over Pittsburgh’s Point
- Springdale trestle bridge deemed structurally sound