Knoch boys will rely on biggest strength: Depth

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022 | 5:56 PM


There was no need for Knoch boys basketball coach Alan Bauman to apply any extra pressure.

What the Knights needed were honest expectations for the season ahead. Not returning many starters from last season’s team will mean a lot of fresh faces in new roles.

“We’ve been talking a lot about development and being competitive,” Bauman said. “If we play with enthusiasm and energy before anything else, we think we’ll be able to accomplish good things.”

The Knights, who will open the season Dec. 2 against Avonworth at the Butler Tip-Off Tournament, lost leading scorer Ryan Lang to graduation. He led the team by putting up 23 points per game and now is playing at Allegheny College.

What Knoch may have this season is strength in numbers.

“Our depth is our biggest strength,” Bauman said. “We believe that we can go nine to 11 players deep.”

Knoch struggled to a 6-16 mark last season and finished 2-10 in section play. Now, with realignment, the Knights were placed in Section 1-4A along with Freeport, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Highlands and Indiana.

Adding the Golden Rams, who reached the WPIAL semifinals and state playoffs last season in Class 5A, only will make this season tougher. Hampton also made the state playoffs in Class 5A last season before being moved down for this enrollment cycle.

What the Knights will need is to lean on up and coming players. Knoch will bring back James Snyder and Gasparo Porco, who started games last season. Lleyton King also returns. He missed last season with a torn ACL.

Zarian Finucan and Kaden Spencer also will be called on to be big contributors. What Bauman needs to work on with his team is integrating everyone into the lineup.

“I think we need to show kids that this is the way you need to play,” Bauman said. “If we can get everyone to buy in, I think we can be successful.”

Knoch is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

While the Knights aren’t yet talking about section championships or playoff berths, they are ready to find a path to challenging for those spots.

“We want to compete night-in and night-out,” Bauman said. “Good things will happen as the season goes on if we can do that.”

At a glance

Coach: Alan Bauman

Last season’s record: 6-16 overall, (2-10 Section 1-4A)

Returning starters: James Snyder (Junior, guard), Gasparo Porco (Junior, guard)

Top newcomers: Zarian Finucan (Junior, guard), Lleyton King (senior, guard)

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