|Roles expand for Yellow Jackets' boys|
|Written by By THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer|
|Saturday, 23 November 2013 17:01|
PERRYSBURG - An experienced group of letter winners will define Perrysburg's 2013-14 season.
A group that includes three returning starters in Nick Moschetti, Nate Patterson and Matt Kaczinski will be forced to become a more important factor in the upcoming season with the graduation of last year's second-leading scorer, Shane Edwards.
"The big thing is last year with Shane (Edwards) and Nick (Moschetti), everybody else was sort of complementary players. And every one of those guys just has to take on a bigger role this year," said Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce.
Edwards averaged 16.9 points per game least year, while Moschetti scored a team-high 17.3 points per game.
Other than the returning three starters, the other returning letter winners are guards Quinn Thomas, Matt Mesker and Nick Vrzal. All six return from a Perrysburg squad that was 15-9 last year and finished second in the Northern Lakes League at 9-5.
"We have experience and that's probably more than we've had in a number of years. We have to take advantage of that experience," Boyce said.
"Whether it's Matt Kaczinski going from a very steady rebounder and defender who was only counted on for a few shots per game or Quinn Thomas to step in and be, not just our point guard, but to be a threat," Boyce added. "Or even Matt Mesker, who had major playing time last year, but was really able to just concentrate on defense, to be able to step up and take a bigger role as well."
And Boyce feels confident that each player will rise to the occasion.
With a more dynamic team offensively this year, Perrysburg undoubtedly should compete for an NLL title.
Last year opponents could key in on certain parts of Perrysburg's offense. But this year, with the 'Jackets' ability to score from anywhere, they will have a considerably more balanced attack, assuming last year's role players step up.
"In (Moschetti), we've got a pretty good player. One huge key will be to find some balance around him, both inside and outside," Boyce said.
"Offensively, we're going to be a better 3-point shooting team," Boyce added. "We've got a number of guys coming back who will step up and provide more balance from the outside than just Nick."
Perrysburg's height and athleticism in the post will also help to provide balance.
Patterson, at 6-foot-4, scored 9.1 points and hauled in five rebounds per game last year, while Kaczinski, 6-5, had 5.5 rebounds per game.
"There are some years you go out there and you know you're putting one or two weak links out there. And that's going to make you a little easier to guard," Boyce said. "This year we just have enough weapons that we're going to be a little harder to guard. That's a good feeling for every one of our guys, knowing there's not pressure on any one of them."
Also in the mix in the post are Zach Schrock, a 6-6 junior, and Kenny Zimmerman, a smaller, high-effort player.
Boyce also feels that with the rotation of the guards at the top of the Perrysburg zone defense, it will make scoring difficult for the opposition.
"We may not get as many steals as we had last year, but we think we can reduce our opponent's field goal percentage as well," he said.
"Those four guys will play the top two spots in our defense," Boyce said of Thomas, Mesker, Trevor Hafner and Vrzal. "They're tough, athletic, competitive kids. We've got a chance to be really disciplined out there and that will make the job of the back guys better. And overall that makes the whole defense better."
Perrysburg's original season-opener was scheduled for Nov. 30 against Toledo St. Francis, but with Perrysburg's extended football season, the basketball team's first two games were rescheduled.
The 'Jackets now open Dec. 7 against Rossford. The game will be played at Perrysburg Junior High as part of a celebration of 50 years of competition between the two schools.
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