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BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Huron League preview

Grosse Ile's seniors are ready to lead



Looking to build off last season’s 12-9 record, and third-place finish in the Huron League, Grosse Ile will hit the hardwood this winter with four seniors who should all make a big impact.

Leading the Red Devils, who are coached by Bryan Friel, will be senior point guard Danny McCarty, a 2012-13 News-Herald Dream Team selection who is now in his third year on varsity.

McCarty shot 45 percent from the field last season, 78 percent on free throws and averaged 15.1 points a game.

Returning senior Tommy Daly will be at forward this year and Friel says he is one of the hardest working players in the league and is very intelligent on the court.

Senior center Ramone Stewart will look to expand his game this season, as Friel said he’s working hard to become a contributor on offense, in addition to the tough rebounding and defense he showed last year.

Eric Smorch, a returning senior guard, is described by Friel as the best shooter on the Grosse Ile team.

Junior forward Tyler Moores will be looked to for a lot of points this year, as Friel said he is a “natural scorer.”

One obstacle for the Red Devils this year is the loss of junior guard Andrew Mitroka, who played well for the team as a sophomore. Mitroka, a standout quarterback on the football team, suffered an ACL injury on the gridiron this fall.

Other juniors on the Grosse Ile roster are guards Wyatt Garner and Derek Judd, forward Robert Pugh and center Danny Masserant. Sophomore guard Neil Smorch and freshman forward Justin Moores round out the team.

Overall, Friel said this year’s Red Devils have the right ingredients for success and have a good shot to improve upon last season.

“Attitude is everything and this group has the right attitude to win basketball games,” he said. “We are definitely a deeper team than last season when we finished in a third-place tie with New Boston Huron.”

The new season gets underway Tuesday for Grosse Ile with a nonleague home game against Gibraltar Carlson.



Huron

In terms of wins and losses, it was an up-and-down season for Huron in 2012-13 and the team ultimately finished 11-10 overall and 9-5 in the Huron League, tied for third with Grosse Ile.

This year, Chiefs’ Coach Joe Cieslak believes his team, which lost in the district semis last season, has a good chance to challenge for league and district titles.

“I think it’s going to be interesting, because I’m optimistic about this season,” Cieslak said. “I think we can be a surprise to some people. I think we’re going to be in the mix.”

Last year, league powerhouse Milan went unbeaten in league play took the title.

Back for the Chiefs this winter are two key seniors in guard Tyler Olson and forward Zachary Schlarb.

Both players will be counted on for more offensive production this year, Cieslak said, in addition to playing tough defense.

Another pair of seniors who will be leaned on this year are guard Justin Wolber and forward Cameron Cox.

For contributions off the bench, Cieslak will look to senior forward Eli Scott, who is a first-year transfer, as well as senior guard Deante’ Ball.

Junior guard Austin Bell has a shot to play quite a bit, as Cieslak said he likes the quickness and ball-handling skills he possesses.

With strong defense and rebounding capabilities, sophomore Anthony Meeks should be an asset to the team, as well.

Several other juniors are on the varsity roster this year, as well, with Grant Wood, Mark Cash and Justin Carey listed as serving forwards, while Christopher Schultz, Trent Olson, Chase McKitrick are set to play guard.

The second of two sophomores on the varsity squad this year is guard Adam Gregoire.

For the Chiefs, the 2013-14 campaign kicks off Thursday night with a nonleague contest at home against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.



Flat Rock

After a five-win effort a season ago, Flat Rock Coach Dave Bogataj is looking to get better results from this year’s version of the Rams.

“I hope to have a positive and competitive season,” he said. “I feel we are deep. I will play everyone on the roster. The pressure will be on the seniors to step up.”

A total of seven 12th graders will wear the green and gold, with Kevin Fritz, Cody Ratcliffe, Towfik Tayeb, Michael Mayberry, Rony Muheisen, Luke Tamsen and Matthew Vack all in their last year of basketball.

Juniors on the squad will be TeDarius Laidler, Cameron Ernest and Xavier Mozham-Kennedy. A pair of sophomores round things out with Tyler Karas and Alex Tizedes.

Things get started for the Rams Tuesday night with a nonleague game at Ida.



Riverview

To help bounce back from a seventh-place finish in last year’s Huron League standings, Riverview will go forth this season with a young squad that should have quality leadership at the top.

Helping to guide Coach Ryan Newland’s Pirates on the court will be senior forward Alex Dubois, along with junior forward Todd Kissel and junior guards Drew Kroll and Nolan Glime.

“Those are the four who will have to be leaders in order for us to be successful,” said Newland. “We are looking forward to the season. Our goal is to play hard and compete on every possession.”

Kroll served as quarterback on the football team this fall and Glime was his top receiver on a squad that reached the playoffs and finished 8-3.

Guard John Branch and center Andrew Southerland join Dubois as Riverview’s only other seniors this year.

The rest of the team includes junior guards Brad Skidmore, Tony Clark and Tyler Unsworth and junior forwards Austin Graham, Matthew Orr and Matthew Deacon.

To open the season, Riverview will welcome in Garden City Tuesday night for a nonleague battle.



















Last Updated: 12/6/2013 12:52:03 PM EST

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