Wreckers hope to get to 'that next level'
bob ford/times news Weatherly boys basketball team members are, front row, from left, Jeremy Hollrigl, Cory Rowan, Christian Ormiston, Corey Furmanchin and James Belletiere. Middle row, from left Michael Baade, Colton Weichman, Brendan Rowan, Keith Barno, Nathan Pfeiffer, Brett Stallone and Stephen Valkos. Back row, from left, Coach Pat Sharkey, Coach Ian Hearne, Charlie Wallish, George Wallish, Dominic Palerno, Samson Walton, Kyle Harris, Joey Haganey, head coach Ron Cann and Coach Steve Fiore.
In each of Ron Cann's first two seasons as Weatherly's boys basketball coach, his teams have missed qualifying for the District 11 playoffs by a single game.
This year, Cann is hoping some key returnees and a positive outlook can help get the Wreckers into the postseason and get that monkey off of his back.
"We're getting there with our system," Cann said. "It's a slow process, but the kids play their hardest and we're trying to get them there. Each year we've been close. All we needed was just one more game.
"These kids have a never-give-up attitude and hopefully we can get them into district play this year."
Gone from las year's team are three key players that will definitely be missed in Steve Baede, Jacob Miller and Justin Nemschick. A strong group of athletic talent returns, however.
Keith Barna, a senior guard, is Cann's go-to-guy.
"He'll be the leader," Cann said. "He's a two-year starter and he's going to be the jack of all trades, as he can fill in at any of the guard positions."
Another senior guard who will be a key performer for the Wreckers is Nate Peiffer.
"He's a nice shooter and hustles on every play," Cann said. "He's a very athletic player."
Senior Brendan Rowan is new to the starting line up this year. Rowan, who was the first player off the bench a year ago, is another perimeter player.
Cann sees the versatility of his backcourt ensemble as a problem for opposing teams' defenses.
"We can switch those players up and that could give defenses trouble," he said.
As for the Wreckers' inside forces, Cann looks to two juniors to fill the starting roles. Kyle Harris will be starting at center while George Wallish will play forward. Both players are under 6-feet tall.
"We'll be counting on Kyle and George inside, but because of our lack of size everyone on the floor for us is going to need to hit the boards and box out for us to get some wins," said Cann.
Christian Ormstrid, a junior, will be the first guard off the bench while Colton Weichman, another junior, will be backing up the inside players.
Teams on the Weatherly schedule can expect to see a three-guard offense that runs the floor to the best of its ability. They should feature a multitude of defenses, fast break when they have the chance and offer up numerous presses.
"We'd like to utilize our three guards for some strong penetration moves. We should also have a solid amount of quality ballhandling to be able to run an efficient offense," Cann said.
With several new players in the starting lineup, Cann hopes that maturation and adjustments can be made quickly and efficiently enough to wreak some havoc for opponents.
"We're going to need that maturation to happen early because it's one step quicker on the varsity level and they need to be ready."
If that happens, the Wreckers have a chance to wipe out the frustration of the last two seasons.
"Our main goal is to get to districts. That's the number one priority," Cann said. "We've been one game away the past two seasons. This year, we hope to get through to that next level."