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Coventry boys basketball team looking to get off to strong start

11/29/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Last season, the Coventry High School boys basketball team finished with a 4-17 record.

After a 0-9 start to the season, Coventry won four of its final 12 games. Head coach Lynn Wess said his team is looking to build on the improvement shown at the end of the season.

“We are definitely looking to improve with some nice young talent coming up,” he stated. “We want a significant improvement in competitiveness and wins this year. We think having a winning record is a reasonable goal this year, and we’re going to try to achieve that.”

The Comets lost six players from last year’s team to graduation. Wess said there are three seniors this year who are looking to step up and fill the leadership gap for the squad.

The seniors are: 5-foot-8 guard George Jacobs; 5-foot-10 guard John Morrison; and 6-foot-3 post player Nick Cerepak.

“We’re looking for a lot of leadership from those three,” Wess said. “George has been playing since his sophomore year, so he has quite a bit of experience. He started just about every game last year and was like our third guard his sophomore year. Nick started a number of games last year in the post, so he has some varsity experience. And John mostly played junior varsity last year, but he had a good summer and he’s really coming on. He’s going to be a big help for us.”

Wess said juniors Jim Holmgren, Jessie Oravecz, Luke Bogdonovich and Zach Smith are being counted on to play key roles for the team.

“Jim is a 5-foot-9 guard. He had an excellent offseason and we’re looking for good things from him. He can shoot it from distance,” the coach stated. “Jessie gives us defensive presence and rebounding. He started just about every game last year as a sophomore. I think he was our leading rebounder last year, so we’re hoping he can continue that while upping his scoring a bit. Luke is a very athletic interior player. We’re looking for good things from him off the bench. And Zach is a good shooter and rebounder. He is a 6-foot junior wing player.”

In addition to the upperclassmen, Wess said, the team has had “an influx of a lot of young talent.” Some of those players, with comments on each by the coach, are:

• Wil Morisak, 5-foot-8 guard: “He has great speed and quickness at the point guard position. He can create a lot of havoc defensively and should be exciting to watch.”

• Bryce Hargrove, 6-foot-4 post player: “We’ll be looking for him to improve as the season goes on. He has a lot of potential.”

• Matt Deshane, 6-foot-1 guard: “Matt is versatile at either guard position. He can shoot the three-ball.”

Coventry will open its season tonight, Nov. 30, at home against Southeast High School, followed by a trip to Waterloo High School the next night. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

“We play Friday and Saturday, so we go back to back right off the bat,” Wess said. “We’ll find out this weekend who we are right away. I’d love to have a fast start right out of the gate. I’d like to see us get some confidence early.”

This is Wess’ 27th season as a varsity coach (with 290 total wins in his varsity career). His staff is comprised of Rich Crewes, assistant; Steve Martin, junior varsity coach; Mike Genet, assistant; and Jason Wallace, voluntary assistant.

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