It has taken the first two-plus weeks of the season, but Pymatuning Valley (4-1) is beginning to show glimpses of the defense Coach Ryan Shontz has talked about wanting to see. The result on Tuesday, plenty of fast break points in a 71-34 win over St. John (0-5). That included holding St. John to one point in the third quarter.
“I’m pretty selfish, so I was hoping it was going to be a lot better. But we’re heading in the right direction. Baby steps. The favorite part of my team – none of them need to score 30 to feel like they’ve won the game. They’re happy scoring nothing as long as we win the game. That’s across the board. My whole team is like that.”Shontz, on his team’s success early in the season
Lakers senior guard Zane Neczeporenko became the fourth player in as many games to lead the team in scoring, with 21 points. Fellow senior, 6’5″ forward Blake Krznaric turned in his second straight solid outing with an 18 point night. His 14 point outburst in the first quarter set the tone as they jumped to an early 29-16 lead.
Shontz says the primary struggle for his senior-laden team is learning to be the front-line and no longer mere role players. The last two seasons have seen the departure of some key athletes via graduation. Meaning this current squad has had to patiently wait for their turn to take control.
“We’re having a hard time filling those roles. We’re still learning to find out who we are as a team without those guys. We’re getting there, having some growing pains.
Tonight was a nice, comfortable win for us. We got to experiment and try some things out because (Kinsman) Badger coming up on Friday is going to be a war.”Shontz
The Heralds were led in scoring by Anthony Severino, with 12 points.