Southmoreland boys basketball hopes depth translates to wins

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Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 4:52 PM


Depth on paper and depth on the court are different things.

Southmoreland has the roster makeup of a team that will keep the substitutes moving in and out of games with rapidity.

Expect to hear the buzzer a lot when the Scotties play if the depth comes to pass.

Several key players are back from a 12-10 playoff team, but the bench could stretch to keep a fresh five on the floor.

“We have experience coming back and we have the potential to be pretty deep — maybe the deepest we’ve been since I have been here,” coach Frank Muccino said. “But I need our guys to show me that. We have some things to figure out yet.”

Senior Riley Comorti, who averaged about 17 points last season, will be the offensive centerpiece, but he will have help from junior guard Zach Cernuto. The pair made for one of the top passing combos in WPIAL football this season: Cernuto at quarterback and Comforti out wide.

“Riley is an all-section player,” Muccino said. “I look for him to be much more aggressive and take on a greater role. Zach is our glue. He does everything, and he does it well.”

Senior 6-foot-3 forward Brandon Peterson, another target for Cernuto in football, gives the Scotties a paint presence.

“He played a ton of minutes so we expect a lot from him,” Muccino said.

The coach said there are “four or five others” likely to make the rotation. Among the candidates are sophomore guard Isaac Trout, senior guard Bryce Bates and junior guard Mason Basinger.

“Isaac started at the end of last year and showed how good of a defender he is,” Muccino said. “Bates has put in the time (in the offseason).”

Senior Patrick Nagy, and sophomores Anthony Stewart and Andrew Huft also are vying for minutes.

“Our goal is to get our guys to play well defensively,” Muccino said. “We need to focusing on what teams do.”

Last year, the Scotties scored 55.8 points but allowed 55.5.

When Southmoreland does win, don’t expect it to be pretty.

“We want to find matchups we like and attack them,” Muccino said, referring mostly to Comforti and when he has the ball in his hands.

“If that means slowing it down and holding teams to 45 points, that’s fine. We might muck it up. As long as we can score 46. We need to take what’s there and be aggressive.”

Additional contributors could be underclassmen in sophomore

Noah Halsted and freshmen Kelvin Lin, Kaleb Tkacs and Joey Stebin.

“All of our freshmen are raw,” Muccino said. “But they have a chance to play.”

Southmoreland lost to Seton La Salle in the first round of the WPIAL tournament, 54-34.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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