Copley boys basketball team facing high expectations this season
COPLEY — Copley High School boys basketball head coach Mark Dente said this year’s team, with five seniors and five juniors, is aiming for the Suburban League title.
Last season, Copley finished with a 13-7 overall record. The team ended in third place in the Suburban League with a 9-5 league mark.
Dente said winning a league title this season is “extremely realistic.”
“Just from talking to the other coaches, they seem to think we’re in the mix with Highland and Nordonia and Green,” he said. “Nordonia is the team to beat until someone does it, but we’re definitely one of the teams that can win it.”
Copley lost three seniors to graduation following the 2011 season, and the team returns two starters this season: center Kenny Paramore and guard Jayln Tyler.
“Kenny Paramore was all-league last year. He averaged 18.5 points and nine rebounds a game. He’s a 6-foot-2 center, so he’s undersized for the center position, but he plays much bigger than his height,” Dente said. “Jayln put in a tremendous amount of hard work this summer and fall to improve his all-around game. I’m expecting him to be the leader of the team this season.”
Including Paramore and Tyler, this year’s team features a total of six seniors. The others are Aregeros Turner, Troy Brown, Deaire Andrew and LJ Campbell.
“Many of them played together in middle school, then went on to other high schools, but they have all come back together to try to win a Suburban League championship in their senior year,” Dente stated.
The coach said he is expecting a big season from Turner, who also is a running back on the football team and has verbally committed to attend the University of Cincinnati.
“He’s going to be playing guard for me,” Dente stated. “He was out last year with a broken leg, so he’s a huge addition for me.”
Another key senior is Andrew, who will be the team’s starting point guard.
“He came to us from Firestone,” Dente said. “He’s 6-foot-3 and he’s a huge addition for us. He’s had a great preseason and I’m expecting big things out of him.”
There are five juniors who will be on the varsity team: Todd Williams, Brandon Chillous, Desmond Hodoh, Larry Spear and William Andrew.
“They are extremely quick, versatile, athletic — when they come in, they really change the pace of the game,” the coach said. “It’s a huge advantage to have the depth this season that I have.”
According to Dente, Copley will play an up-tempo, full court pressing style of basketball to capitalize on the team’s athleticism and speed.
“We are definitely bigger than we were last year, but we’re not a huge team. We’re long and we’re athletic,” he said. “We’re trying to take advantage not only of our quickness and our speed, but also our length. We’re not a tall team, but we’re long.”
Copley’s season opener is scheduled for Nov. 30 at Twinsburg High School. The team’s home opener will be Dec. 4 vs. Barberton High School. Both games will start at 7:30 p.m.
“We had a successful summer, and so far scrimmages have gone well,” Dente said. “We need to carry that. We need to get off to a quick start. We did not get off to a quick start last season — we started 0-2 — and we cannot afford to do that again. Our schedule is extremely difficult to start with. Our first league game is actually at Nordonia, the defending league champions, on Dec. 7. That’s a pretty stiff first three games that we’re up against.”
Dente has been the team’s head coach for three seasons. His assistant coaches are Steve Doss, Scott Gabor and Doug Allen.
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