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Green boys basketball team aiming for Suburban League title

1/2/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Through the first six games of the season, the Green High School boys basketball team was out to a 4-2 start and a 3-1 mark in the Suburban League.

“That’s about where I thought we’d be,” said head coach Mark Kinsley. “We lost two games by three points each, so that was a little disappointing. I definitely feel we can play better than we played in those games.”

On the whole, though, Kinsley said his team is showing continuous improvement.

“I think we’re starting to get more consistent and guys are starting to fit into their roles,” he said. “We lost three starters to graduation, and we needed new guys to fit into those roles, and we’re starting to sort that out.”

Even with the three graduations, Kinsley said, this year’s team still has a good amount of experience.

“We have three guys in their third year of playing varsity, and we have a two-year varsity player coming back who played a lot of varsity last year,” he stated. “So we have some experience there, and we also have a couple of other guys who played limited roles on varsity last year. Overall, we have a lot of experience back.”

The team’s returning starters are senior point guard Nick Reale and junior guard Austin Marciniak.

“Nick brings great leadership to us, and he does a great job handling the ball. He’s a very good defender, and he’s starting to score some for us this year. He just brings a real toughness to our team,” Kinsley said. “Austin’s an outstanding three-point shooter, and he has expanded his game this year to be able to score off the dribble. He’s also one of our top defenders.”

According to the coach, having both backcourt starters return is “huge” for this year’s squad.

“You win with good guard play, and we feel that we have that,” he said. “They’ve been through some big games the last couple of years, and they’ve played meaningful minutes. So when we’re in close games, they know what to expect and what we’re going to run. It’s been nice having that experience out there.”

The team’s leading scorer this season is senior post player Carson Corle.

“This is Carson’s third year playing varsity and his first year to start, and he has really expanded his game this season,” Kinsley said. “He’s doing an outstanding job scoring for us in the post, and his rebounding is improving. He’s also been a real good leader for us.”

The other two starters for Green this year are junior guard Kenton Keeslar and junior post player John Davies.

“This is Kenton’s second year playing varsity, and he provides another outside threat and also ball-handling,” the coach said. “And John is doing a great job inside for us. He’s our best rebounder and he’s starting to score for us now. He’s really come on in the past few weeks and played well.”

The other seniors on this year’s team are guard Dan Pollock and post players Casey Perch, Landon Holl and Griffen Pine.

“We’ve rotated some of them as starters and some off the bench,” the coach said. “They bring outstanding leadership to us each day, whether it’s their work ethic in practice or their contributions in the games. It’s a really good group of seniors we have this year — on and off the floor.”

As the season moves along, Kinsley said he is looking for his team to work on improving its consistency.

“We need to get more consistent offensively. We need to make sure we get a good shot every time down the floor and do a better job of sharing the ball,” he said. “We also need to work on rebounding the ball. We don’t have that one guy who is going to go out and get 12 rebounds. It’s got to be rebounding by committee.”

According to Kinsley, Green should be in the mix to win the Suburban League title.

“We think we have an opportunity to compete for a league title this year,” he said. “Currently, we’re tied for first place and we have 10 league games to go. If we can shore up rebounding the ball and get more consistent on offense, we like our chances. We’re excited for the last two months of the season.”

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