North Tahoe basketball preview | Boys have heart to overcome their challenges |

North Tahoe basketball preview | Boys have heart to overcome their challenges

Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily TribuneSenior forward Ricardo Rangel and the North Tahoe boysand#8217; basketball team will look to improve with an almost entirely new group of players from last season. They are off to a 3-5 start so far.

Subtract five basketball players from a team of 10, and you have what first-year Lakers coach Dan Rosenfield calls and#8220;a challenge.and#8221;

and#8220;Weand#8217;ve got some issues to deal with,and#8221; said Rosenfield, who took over the North Tahoe boysand#8217; basketball program after Mike Williams stepped down. and#8220;(Five) players are currently academically ineligible, and thatand#8217;s going to be a challenge.and#8221;

And it wonand#8217;t be the only one for North Tahoe, which lost seven seniors from last yearand#8217;s team.

The Lakers returned exactly zero players until senior post Brendon Arnold came out this week (he needs 10 practices before he can play), while their only true point guard is still recovering from an injured foot and has yet to see any action. The shorthanded North Tahoe squad still needs to pluck a few players off the JV roster to provide some semblance of depth.

Safe to say, experience is not the Lakersand#8217; strength. Yet Rosenfield isnand#8217;t deterred. The 66-year-old coach who recently moved to the North Shore said he has enjoyed working with the team, which has shown a great deal of heart while posting a 3-5 record in the early going.

and#8220;We all look forward to our next game. Weand#8217;re not hiding from anybody. Weand#8217;re going to go out and play as hard as we can,and#8221; Rosenfield said. and#8220;I would not trade this group of kids for a more experienced group. I have a bunch of good kids.and#8221;

North Tahoeand#8217;s starting five has varied in the opening month of the season and remains and#8220;up for grabs,and#8221; said Rosenfield, particularly after the recent spate of ineligibilities, one of which claimed a player who was just learning the point guard position.

Luckily for Rosenfield, 6-foot-1 freshman Mitchell Myers can play any position on the floor, and play them all well, the coach said. Heand#8217;ll be called up from JV and expected to contribute right away after playing in just one varsity game this season.

and#8220;Thereand#8217;s not a coach around who wouldnand#8217;t like to have Mitchell,and#8221; said Rosenfield, adding that Myers, whoand#8217;s not afraid to crash the boards, was playing center on JV. and#8220;Heand#8217;s going to be very, very important to us. Heand#8217;s a natural athlete, he sees the floor and heand#8217;s an intelligent player. His upside is huge.and#8221;

Senior big men Ricardo Rangel and Raul Alonzo and#8212; at 6-1, 230 pounds and 6-2, 265 pounds and#8212; have provided toughness and tenacity in the post early in the season, while senior guard Eduardo Rodriguez and junior forward Colin Spencer have flashed athleticism as they continue to fine-tune their games, Rosenfield said. Based on his junior season, Arnold, a force at 6-3 and 225 pounds, should help North Tahoe greatly with his size and ability.

So far through eight games, North Tahoe has excelled on the defensive end as its offense has sputtered at times, Rosenfield said. The coach hopes to see the Lakers cut down on their turnovers and shoot a better percentage from the field as the season progresses.

and#8220;Our defense really has not been bad. Itand#8217;s our offense thatand#8217;s been inefficient,and#8221; Rosenfield said. and#8220;The good thing about these kids is they never give up. The problem is weand#8217;ve only had seven pairs of legs, so itand#8217;s tough to get back in a game or stay in a game. But they really are willing to work hard on defense. These guys are smart enough to realize that what they do on the defensive end counts, and they take pride in it.

and#8220;And I think weand#8217;ll get more effective on offense. The guys are still learning.and#8221;

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