There will be a lot of new faces in the starting line-up for the Schuylkill Valley High School boys’ basketball team. The Panthers lost four of the five starters from last year’s team to graduation.
in fact, they lost four of the five highest scorers from last year’s team, so some of the others will have to pick up a lot of the lost scoring.
Their biggest loss will be Kyle Beissel, who averaged 18.8 points a game last year, and poured in over 850 points in the three years he was one the team. It will take more than one player to make up for his loss.
Evan Hargrave will be one of those players. The junior guard was fourth on the team last season with 186 total points scored (8.9 points a game). He has the scoring touch, but will need to take more shots this year help the Panther offense get going.
“We have a good mix of underclassmen and seniors on the team,” said head coach Taylor Grim. “The good news is that many of the players on this roster played varsity last year.”
That means that although four of the five starters are gone from last year, they Panthers do have some experience coming back. It’s just that those guys coming back will have a much bigger role to fill this year.
Two seniors returning to the team is Matt Cieniewicz and Mark Sensenig. Cieniewicz will be in the middle for the Panthers, after scoring 23 points last year in 14 games in limited playing time. Sensenig is returning at the guard position after very limited time on the floor last year.
Other players on the team this year will be: Austin Cerankoski (senior guard with three-point capabilities), Connor Sausser (junior guard who played in all 22 games last year, scoring 33 total points), Keegan Fouse (Jr. forward who was on the varsity team for just one game last year), Yvenson Aubourg (Jr. guard who played in just four varsity games last year), Andrew Brown (Jr. guard; Aaron Schlegel (sophomore guard) and Jacob Stahl (sophomore guard).
Although many of the players have varsity experience, most do not have very much. That means there will be a learning curve as the younger players get more accustomed to their increased responsibilities on the team.
“We’re going to be a small team that needs to defend and rebound well to have success,” said Grim.
The Panthers were a .500 team last year, and they will be hard pressed to improve on that this year. This will be what they call a “rebuilding year”.
They key will be if Grim can find a couple of “diamonds in the rough”. He needs to find someone who can score some points, and will need everyone to play well on the defensive side of the ball.
It will be a learning season, but who knows, it could still be a winning season.