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Manchester boys basketball team building chemistry

12/19/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

NEW FRANKLIN — Manchester High School boys basketball head coach Gene Schindewolf called the team “a work in progress.”

“We’re starting to get there,” he said. “We’re still getting to know each other and building some team chemistry.”

The key reason the team is still getting to know each other through the first three games of the season is due to the extended run made by the Manchester football team, which lost 49-22 to Bishop Hartley High School in the Division V state semifinals. Out of the 14 players on the Manchester varsity boys basketball team, Schindewolf said, there are seven players who also play on the football team.

With half of the team missing, the coach said his team was forced to make some schedule changes.

“We moved our first three games — against Waterloo, North and Tuslaw — and that will double up a lot of stuff as the season goes on,” he said. “We’re trying to squeeze in three games a week or five games in seven days. That changes things for us, but those are adjustments we will have to make.”

Through its first three games, the team was out to a 1-2 record, including a win in the home opener over Fairless High School. However, Schindewolf said he wouldn’t use the football team’s postseason run as an excuse for his team’s losses to Northwestern High School and Western Reserve Academy.

“I have never made excuses, and I never will make excuses,” he said. “It’s still early yet, but I’m always looking for a good year. I think we have the personnel to get that done as soon as we get to know each other and get in shape.”

Schindewolf said there are four seniors in this year’s starting lineup. Those seniors (with quotes about each by the head coach) are:

  • Kanyon Collins: “He’s our biggest kid at 6-foot-3. He can shoot the ball. Even though he’s a tall kid, he’s a pretty good three-point shooter.”
  • Matt Sipos: “Matt shares the point guard position. He has good handles. He sees the floor well and passes well.”
  • Austin Klein: “He’s one who had a slow start off of football. He didn’t really practice a whole lot before our Northwestern game. Austin is just an overall good player, but he just needs to get into shape. I think he’s frustrated a little bit right now just because he has a knee injury from football. But he hit a three-pointer at the buzzer against Fairless for us to win by two.”
  • Chandler Stahl: “Chandler played as a freshman, but he hasn’t played the last couple of years. He brings a physical presence, and he’s got pretty good skills around the basket. He’s pretty athletic.”

The team’s other starter is junior guard Pavin Parks.

“I think he’s athletic and sees the floor well,” the coach said. “He can handle it. Right now, he hasn’t gotten enough shots up, but I think he’s going to be a pretty good shooter before it’s over.”

Other key players on this year’s team, Schindewolf said, include junior Logan Speer, senior Aaron Hoxworth and junior Mason Hayes.

“Logan has been logging quite a few minutes for us. He’s done a real nice job at the post. He’s not real big, but he’s pretty aggressive,” the coach said. “Aaron has also been playing a lot of minutes, and he would actually be like our sixth starter. He plays really, really hard, and he does all of the little things. Mason is 6-foot-1, and he brings a physical presence. He’s not afraid to bang people.”

According to Schindewolf, Manchester’s biggest strength is its depth.

“With not being in great shape, we’re playing a lot of people, and that’s going to help down the road,” he said. “We’re hoping to get junior Logan Harvey back this week. He’s been practicing a little more, and he’s going to help us in the post. But overall, we’re just trying to get in shape. Some of our defensive lapses are about not being in shape.”

Last year, Manchester finished 17-8 and made it to the district finals. Schindewolf said he feels like this year’s team has the ability for that same kind of success.

“We’re always looking to win the league championship and see what we can do in the tournament,” he said. “I think on paper, we’ve got that capability. It’s just a matter of getting to that point. Like I said, we’re a work in progress.”

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