Boys basketball preview: Freeport looking to play fast and aggressive
Saturday, November 28, 2020 | 9:14 PM
Wayne Greiser and the Freeport boys basketball team are looking to change their ways this season.
Even though the Yellowjackets lost eight seniors to graduation, they still could go 10 deep and have a starting five that could interchange at any position.
With depth and athleticism on their side, the Yellowjackets are looking to put pressure on teams and run more than they have in the past while creating chaos on defense.
“We are going to be inexperienced, and even the guys that are coming back are going to be put in different positions, so it’s going to be kind of interesting to see how everyone responds to the changes,” Greiser said. “We’re going to change our style of play a little bit from last year and try to go a little more up-tempo and be a little more aggressive on the defensive end.”
Leading that charge are going to be returning starters Vinnie Clark and Christian Waronsky. Clark averaged 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season, and Waronsky averaged 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Sophomores Ben Lane and Parker Lucas also could play big roles for the Yellowjackets.
While the second-year coach, who also served as an assistant at Freeport for four years, may lean on several guys for offensive production, he feels like their depth and energy will allow them to be strong on the defensive end.
“We think we’ll be able to work a little better defensively, creating turnovers and causing a little bit of chaos,” Greiser said. “We think we are going to have guys that are pretty similar. Offensively, we have five guys that can play any position.”
“Defensively, we think we can get up and be a little more aggressive in the full-court nature and just trying to cause turnovers and easy buckets. If things go well, we are hoping to go 10 deep and continuously apply pressure.”
In a year when the Yellowjackets were hurt by graduation, the coronavirus played an even bigger role.
Normally, coaches can see younger players transition into leadership roles throughout the offseason when the team is able to practice, play in tournaments and attend camps together. But, just like most teams around the country, the Yellowjackets weren’t afforded that opportunity. So, Greiser is looking forward to seeing how players like Clark and Waronsky step into those leadership roles.
“We’re just looking for leaders, and right now we’re just doing Zoom meetings, so it’s hard to do that even,” Greiser said. “Working with the leadership roles is a big key and what I think is missing. In the offseason you work, and you see those guys naturally take over leadership roles, but they didn’t get that opportunity.”
Freeport School District postponed winter sports until Dec. 8, when the original start date was Nov. 20.
With just two seniors, the Yellowjackets will be young and inexperienced. But with a new style of play and players looking to prove themselves on the varsity level, the Yellowjackets could be in for a treat.
The Yellowjackets will play in Section 1-4A again but will face some new opponents. Burrell, Deer Lakes, Derry, Keystone Oaks and North Catholic joined Section 1-4A with Knoch and Freeport.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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