(Nov. 28, 2014) Worcester Prep boys’ basketball Coach Keith Geiger said the hustle and effort was there from his players during last Friday’s scrimmage against Central Christian in Berlin, which is all he could ask for.
“I thought we played defense well and got after it. Our transition was good,” Geiger said. “We had some easy lay-ups off rebounds and good defense.”
Geiger did think the offense looked a little unsure at times.
“We had a lot of turnovers and missed a fair amount of easy lay-ups and shots in the paint,” he said. “But the team is very young and these things will get better as the season progresses and the kids get confidence and practice.”
The third-year coach said the scrimmage was a good learning experience for the Mallards and himself.
Five players on Geiger’s roster are veteran. Leading the squad will be captains Wyatt Richins, a junior forward, and senior center/forward Erik Zorn.
“Being one of only two seniors on the team, I feel like I can lead both on and off the court,” said Zorn, a three-year player. “I think we’re a lot better than anticipated. Four of our five starters we lost, and senior leadership…With some practice, I think we should really come together by the end of the year.”
Zorn said he is excited for his final season as a Mallard.
“I think the team will be really close this year so it should be a lot of fun,” he said.
Just a few weeks into the season, Richins said the Mallards are working well together.
“We’ve been meshing for a really young team. Everyone’s playing really well together and seem to be feeding off each other’s positive energy,” said Richins, a three-year varsity player. “Even though we are young, we’re really talented. We want to be competitive in the league and compete for a title.”
“As captains, Wyatt Richins and Erik Zorn are both trustworthy, mature and knowledgeable about our system. They will have to help everyone become acclimated to the different plays,” Geiger said. “It needs to be a team effort on offense and defense. We can’t rely on one person this year.”
Also returning are sophomore guards Owen Nally and Tate Shockley.
“They’ve both improved so much from their freshman year,” Geiger said.
Junior forward Charlie Pritchard is back to compete as well.
‘[We have] only one returning senior, and two returning juniors, so we have a young, inexperienced team,” Geiger said. “I think we can use that to our advantage by keeping everything very simple, playing tough man-to-man defense and concentrating on the transition as much as possible.”
Last season the Mallards went 13-3. They lost 49-41 to Salisbury School in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game.
The team graduated Ryan Nally and Matt Reilly, who scored about 65 percent of the points last year. They were also two of the best defenders, Geiger said.
“So, as a team, we are going to have to make up for them on both ends of the court,” he said.
Two welcomed additions to the squad are freshmen Tucker Brown, a guard, and forward Sam Cantello. Both will contribute right away, Geiger said.
“They are comfortable playing with bigger guys, they both understand basketball and they are ready to go,” he said.
Worcester won the ESIAC championship two years ago and Geiger said he doesn’t see any reason why the Mallards can’t take home the title this season.
“I think we have the potential to win it all. It’s just a matter of confidence,” Geiger said.
WP BOYS’ BASKETBALL:
Dec. 3: Gunston, (A) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: Chincoteague, (H) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: Holly Grove, (H) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 12: Greenwood, (A) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 15: St. Thomas More, (H)
Dec. 17: DCHS, (H) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 29-30: Governors Challenge (A)
Jan. 7: Salisbury Christian, (H)
Jan. 12: Chincoteague, (A) 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: Salisbury School, (A)
Jan. 16: Gunston, (H) 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: DCHS, (A) 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: Salisbury Christian, (A) 7 p.m.
Feb. 11: Salisbury School, (H)
Feb. 13: Holly Grove, (A) 7 p.m.
Feb. 18: ESIAC Playoffs, TBA
Feb. 20: ESIAC Finals, TBA