Truckee boys basketball looks for success
Truckee High boys basketball coach Keith Crawford claims he has a quick and talented group of ballplayers this season. The challenge, he said, will be harnessing those skills into a recipe for success.
“The ingredients to be a winning team are there,” the third-year head coach said. “Now it’s a matter of who to go with. I’ve got some real fast guards, but some of my biggest kids can score, too. We have to figure out the best five to get the game going.”
Sure to be among the starting five are seniors Cole Froelich, a fiery spark plug of a point guard, and big man Cory Hoehn.
Hoehn, at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds ” with deft fundamentals and a soft shooting touch ” proved to be a force under the bucket last season. This year, however, “his role is going to change,” Crawford said.
As opposed to always posting up with his back to the basket, as he was called upon to do last year, Crawford said he plans to bring Hoehn out on the perimeter more. That’ll pull his defender out of the paint and allow Hoehn to drive to the basket or take a mid-range shot ” as well as keep the lane from clogging up with bodies.
“A lot of teams are going to assume that we’re going to get the ball down to Hoehn every time. But I’ve got a surprise this year,” Crawford said. “We’ve got more than one guy who can score.”
Beyond Hoehn, Crawford said he expects the bulk of those points to come from senior Drew Stewart and juniors Cody Wicks and Pat Galvin ” all of whom are guards, even though Wicks and Galvin are listed at 6-foot-3.
“I think we could easily put up 75 to 80 points per game,” Crawford said. “I’m giving guys more freedom this year, and they’re handling it well.”
Crawford also is pleased with his team’s attitude.
“The thing that stands out right now is the togetherness ” team unity,” he said.
“Unlike last year, we’ve got guys at practice talking to each other trying to help each other out on the floor.”
Hoehn agreed, citing unselfish play as one of the team’s strengths this season.
“I think this year we have more team discipline,” Hoehn said. “We have more chemistry and we’re more team oriented. People are more willing to give up the ball.”
Stewart sees the same strengths in this year’s group.
“I think we’ll be good this year. We mesh together well,” he said. “The biggest thing is we have to play well together and shoot well ” and play defense.”
The defensive part shouldn’t pose any problems, according to the coach. In fact, Crawford thinks he has possibly the best three defensive guards in the Northern 3A in Froelich, Kyle Rinella and Gavin Novotny.
“Our defense is looking good,” Galvin, a junior, said between free throws at practice on Monday. “It’s getting better every day. Hopefully we’ll be a defensive team. That’s what coach strives for.”
Truckee also has improved from last season with the additions of senior Bryan Cordell and lone sophomore call-up Ryan Roberts.
Cordell, who did not play basketball his junior year, was one of the team captains on the Truckee football team, and brings a lot to the court, his coach said.
“He’s a guy that gives 100 percent whenever he’s out there,” Crawford said of Cordell. “Just his presence out there, once he gets comfortable, he’ll be fine.”
And Roberts has been great thus far, according to his coach.
“Ryan Roberts is a diamond in the rough,” Crawford said. “He’s done very well in practice.”
Rounding out the 12-player roster is Chris Beck, a 5-foot-11 senior guard who should figure into the Wolverines’ potent scoring attack.
“With the guys we’ve got coming in this year, it’s just a matter of putting the right personnel on the floor that can get the job done in our system,” Crawford said. “I’m pretty sure everything will fall into place. These guys, they have that look this year of ‘let’s go out and get it done.'”
The Wolverines open their season Friday when they host Wooster in the old Truckee High gym at 7 p.m.