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It was a rough year for the Governor Mifflin High School boys’ basketball team in 2011-12. They were 1-10 in the Berks League and finished in last place in Division 1. They also lost 10 of their 11 non-league games which put them at 2-20 overall when the season ended.
The goal this year is to make that season a distant memory by winning a lot more games. However, they will have to do it with a lot of younger players. The 2012-13 Mustangs will be young and inexperienced, so they are going to have to mature quickly if they are going to have a winning season.
The good news is that they do have a pair of talented seniors in Trevon Wight and Tommy DePaul.
“They will need to lead and help the younger players adjust to playing varsity basketball,” said Mifflin Head Coach Tim Yanuskiewicz. “It’s just a matter of how quickly the youngsters mature and develop in order for our team to have success.”
One thing in their favor is the new division alignment in the Berks League. Last year’s four division league is down to three divisions this year. That’s good for Governor Mifflin because there will be a couple of smaller schools in the division.
Last year the Mustangs had Reading, Wilson and Exeter to contend with in the division. They still will have those three teams to deal with, but they also have Daniel Boone and Muhlenberg in Division 1 this year. Not that those teams are pushovers, both had winning records last year. But neither team is of the caliber of Reading or Wilson.
“This is a close knit group that is committed to basketball and enjoys playing the game,” said Coach Yanuskiewicz. “Our team will enjoy success as long as they stay committed and continue to bring maximum effort each practice.”
DePaul and Wight will definitely be the leaders of the team. DePaul, a 5’-9” guard with quickness and strength. “He’s a competitor with a high motor,” said Yanuskiewicz. “He plays on the ball defnese and will need to lead the younger, less experienced players by providing a steading influence and getting our team into its offensive/defensive sets.”
Wight is another 5’-9” guard who is a good defender and good communicator. “He made a huge commitment to the off-season to improve his strength, outside shooting and leadership,” said Yanuskiewicz. “He’ll need to get the younger players to communicate on the court and handle the ball without turning it over in order for our season to be a success.”
In the middle with be 6’-4” sophomore Reid Hoff. Obviously with that size he will be the main rebounder on the team, but he can score both inside and from the three-point range. He played varsity minutes as a freshman so he will bring some experience to the team. He improved his shooting in the offseason so he will be expected to get some points this year.
A trio of juniors will be counted on to contribute heavily this year.
Austin Peters, a 6-’1” guard is an excellent long range shooter.
Colin McKnight, a 5’-7’ guard, is a good ball handler and a good medium range shooter.
Jason Quigley, a 6’-2” center will be able to provide rebounds for the Mustangs and is a smart player who can play multiple positions.
As far as goals are concerned, nobody is expecting a division title for this team. They’re just not experienced enough to finish ahead of teams like Wilson and Reading. The goal of this team is simply to get better.
“Our goal is to see this team develop and improve daily,” said Yanuskiewicz. “We need to keep making progress, take steps forward each and every day.”
The coach pointed to three aspects of the game the team will have to work on - unselfish play, defense and rebounding.
For the most part, the team is lacks size so everybody will have to “hit the class and get their share of rebounds.”
According to Yanuskiewicz, it’s unselfish play that is most important. “At the end of each practice or game, each player must look in the mirror and ask, ‘Who on our team did I make better,’”