SEASON PREVIEW: REYNOLDS
Some say you have to crawl before you can learn to walk, but the the 2000-01 edition of the Reynolds High Raiders basketball team will hit the hardwood runnin'.
Coach Don Andres, a proven winner during a quarter-century of coaching in northeast Ohio, endured a baptism of fire during his initial season in MCAC AA competition a year ago when his club ended 1-9 in the circuit and 3-21 overall.
However this season's Raiders' goals include "a winning season, (to) win the league and make the (District 10) playoffs,'' according to the club's media guide.
"The 2000-01 Runnin' Raiders had a good and hard-working offseason,'' according to Andres, "and the Raiders will again stress a motion offense, using a fast break, with a pressure, helping defense.''
Reynolds will feature a handful of seniors, all of whom lettered last season, including 5-foot-11 point guard Brandon Davis, a trio of 6-2 swingmen in Tim Anderton, Tim Neifort -- "last season's best defensive player'' -- and Matt Shellenbarger, as well as "last season's most improved player,'' burly 6-3 245-pound frontliner Dan Palyo.
A pair of juniors, 6-0 Tom McEntire and 5-10 Adam Maurer, should supply depth in the backcourt, as should Deacon Jones, a 5-9 athletic newcomer who has starred for Reynolds' football and track teams.
Another pair of 6-2 frontliners, Don Schmidt and Jim Combine, will be looked to lend support on the boards, as will 6-0 Steve Sepos. Colin Glover, a 5-9 "defensive specialist,'' heads a sophomore class that also includes 5-8 sharpshooter Matt Irvine, 6-2 swingman Dan Mahlon, 5-10 wing Curtis Ague, and versatile 6-1 Jason Shiner, who could see time in the post or out on the wing.
"Again, this team must take one game at a time, improve weekly, learn how to play ahead and (from) behind in game situations, and be focused,'' Andres said. "In order to have an impact in league play, the Raiders must play hard, be intense, and have the proper mental attitude (in order) to be a success. They must also avoid injuries, have team chemistry, and a positive mental outlook to reach their goals.''
During his scholastic tenure in the Buckeye State, Andres posted a 270-252 overall record which included nine league and four section titles. He will be aided this season by first assistant and junior varsity head coach Doug Foster, and freshman coach Michael Nicastro.
Davis recorded nine double-digit scoring games last season, including a high of 20 in the Raiders' 47-36 victory over Commodore Perry; Neifort posted 21 markers in a 67-38 setback to Keystone, and Anderton's high was a 14-point performance in a 50-42 loss to Commodore Perry. -- By Herald assistant sports editor Ed Farrell
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