It was a strange, but memorable season for the Daniel Boone High school boys’ basketball team. During the 2012-13 basketball season, the Blazers had wins against Reading, Wilson and Exeter - all teams that finished ahead of them in the standings.
But two days before upsetting Reading, the Blazers lost to Governor Mifflin by 16 points. It was the only league win of the season for the Mustangs.
This year, the goal for the Blazers is to be more consistent. They want to play as well against the weaker teams in the league as against the stronger ones.
Boone begins its second season in Division 1, where they play the bigger and tougher teams twice. They need to play well and they will have the team to contend in a very tough division.
Daniel Boone will have seven returning seniors, so there will be plenty of experience on this team. They all remember how things went last year, and will guard against letting it happen again.
“We are playing a very difficult schedule this year, so we’ll be tested night in and night out,” said head coach Ian Gendreau. “We are expecting that this will prepare us for post-season play should we qualify for it.”
Right now, Gendreau isn’t thinking too much about the post-season. He wants to concentrate on getting his team to play well night-in and night-out.
“Normally at this point of the year we’re talking about how we want to go to the Sovereign Center or districts, and those are certainly goals in the back of our mind,” said Gendreau. “However, our problem last year was repeatedly getting up for opponents like Reading and Wilson, and then not showing up against the rest of our schedule. So this year we are keeping very immediate goals. The most important game of the year is our next one.
The Blazers return a lot of talent from last year’s team, including leading scorer Kenny Worthington. The senior guard led the team last year with 272 points (11.8 per game), and was an All-Division player.
“He slashes to the hoop very well and has really worked on his outside jump shot,” said Gendreau. “In addition, he is one of our better defenders and will have to match-up against some of the toughest players in the county this year.
Dan Downs is a senior center who led the team in rebounding last year. He’s a solid presence in the middle and has been working on his outside shot of the off-season in hopes of giving himself another dimension to his game. He averaged 7.4 points a game last year and hopes to improve on that.
Also coming back is senior forward Steve Sievers. He was a part-time starter last year who will see even more time this year. He led the team in three-point shooting percentage last year, and has decent size for a outside player.
Cedric Mann, another senior, is a 6’-5” center who will either provide the Blazers with depth at that position, or give them two big men on the court at the same time. He’s recovering from a nagging ankle injury from this summer but he’s expected to be 100 percent soon.
The team finished at 5-5 last year and did make the playoffs as a wild card team, but they believe they could have, and should have, done much better. This year they want to make up for that.
“We have to be able to raise our level every single night,” said Gendreau. “I believe our schedule last year was the most difficult we’ve played at Boone. Now we’ve beefed up our schedule even more by adding teams like Berks Catholic, Phoenixville and a Christmas tourney at Cedar Cliff. If we don’t show up every night, it’s going to be a long season. But if we do manage to qualify for the post-season, we will be a very dangerous team when we get there.”