Norwin boys basketball enters season with limited varsity experience

Friday, December 1, 2017 | 5:51 PM

After losing eight of their last nine games last season, the Norwin boys basketball players are welcoming a fresh start in 2017-18.

Overall, the Knights finished 8-14 last season and in seventh place in Section 3-6A with a 3-11 mark.

“We just want to improve every day and get really good and efficient at what we are trying to do,” coach Lynn Washowich said. “We want to play a very conducive team game and make sure everyone is in the right position and that the ball is moving and that we are moving where we need to.”

Washowich is entering his 16th season as the Knights head coach, but his team will not have the experience that he has.

Norwin returns two starters in senior Josh Ratesic and junior Gianni Rizzo. Junior Jake Williams is the only other player returning who has any varsity experience.

“Those three are the ones that have returning varsity experience,” Washowich said. “We have about eight other kids that could get in the game. We will play at least 10 or 11 in every game, but a lot of them have no varsity experience.”

With the aggressive, uptempo style of play Washowich wishes to run, he is going to need his depth to keep their legs fresh. Through the first three weeks of practice, he has been pleased with the newcomers who have picked up on what the team is trying to accomplish.

“It is nice to have the team and work on our game plan and work on the things we need to work on,” Washowich added. “We are working on getting the kids to understand our style of play.

“The thing about our system is that we have two kids at every position. We have a big focus on individuals doing what they need to do to make the team better. Everyone is accountable, and if they aren't, we have someone waiting to go in the game and do the job.”

Norwin will begin the season against Ringgold in the Mt. Pleasant tip-off tournament Dec. 8 for the second season in a row. The Knights defeated the Rams, 58-42, to open up the campaign a year ago.

The Knights will be playing four games in five days, which will help the players gain experience, but it doesn't give them a lot of time to work on anything they encounter during the games.

“There have been years where we didn't play in the tip-off tournaments, and we didn't start until the following week,” Washowich said. “The nice thing is that you get to play competitive games at that point. It is nice to not just practice all the time, and you get two games back-to-back where you can see what you are doing well and what you need to work on.

“On the downside, you don't have much time to work on what you aren't doing well. In our case, we play five games in eight days to start the season.”

Drew Karpen is a freelance writer.


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