Added quickness gives Raiders shot at improving BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW Atholton

December 04, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Last season was the worst of times for the Atholton boys basketball program. The team went 2-20 and forfeited two games for using an ineligible player.

It was only the second time in 12 years under coach Jim Albert that the Raiders failed to make the playoffs.

This season is filled with uncertainty. All five starters from last season graduated, and among the five returning players none saw appreciable playing time.

On the plus side, several players up from last season's junior varsity team bring the quickness Atholton has lacked for several seasons.

Four, and maybe all five, of the returning players should start, including 6-foot-5 center Tony Kilgore, 6-3 forward Tom Gough, 6-0 forward Richard Blakenship, 6-0 guard David Boyer and 5-10 guard Greg Russo. All five are seniors, but none is especially quick.

The players expected to add quickness include: junior 6-0 forward Tony Stewart, junior guard Ken Grant (5-9), junior guard Matt Treese (5-10), sophomore guard Brian Benden (5-9) and sophomore forward D. J. Chiles (6-2).

Stewart, a good shooter, is recovering from a broken wrist suffered playing football.

L Benden is a good ball-handler, and Chiles is a good shooter.

The Raiders have three other players. Dan Garrison is a 5-11 shooting guard. John Miller is a 6-3 junior center. And Jason Albert, the coach's son, is a 5-11 junior guard who transferred from Centennial.

Albert must decide how best to use the talent he has. He could go with a half-court team composed of the five returnees and substitute a smaller, but quicker, team when he wants to change the tempo.

Or he could incorporate some of his taller players with some of the younger, quicker players to achieve a balanced attack.

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