The starting five from last season remains intact. Captains Colin Lozito and Dal Nesbitt make up the guard positions while captain Cade Nesbitt is joined at forward by senior Eli Park, and junior Sam Molner rounds out the group at center. All three captains believe that while this team lacks a size advantage over many others, they can achieve great success by making the right adjustments.
“We have big expectations,” said Lozito, the Wildcats second-all-time leader in assists. “We’re a fast team so getting out on fast breaks, capitalizing on our easy buckets, and moving the ball quick will be pinnacle. We’re also hoping to up our field goal and free throw percentages this year. Last year they weren’t all that great, and we’re hoping to fix that.”
“We have our mission,” said last year’s leading scorer Dal Nesbitt. “We’re looking to get a home playoff game, hopefully a top-five seeding, and then make it to the Aud. Hopefully we overtake some opponents that beat us last year, especially inner division ones.”
While the ‘Cats lost two players in Hunter Therrien and Jason Moore last year, they added two freshmen in Skylar Boyd and TJ Felisko, both of whom coach Chris Brown expects to come off the bench as role players. Sophomore Justin Hicks will provide depth at guard along with Keegan Reed. Playing forward, and helping to achieve some size advantage will be Jeremy Hunt and Dylan Johnson, while DJ Lazelle, the tallest on the team, will come in at center.
“In the past 12 seasons, these four years of players on this team are the only ones who have not made it to the Aud, so we want to change that,” said Cade Nesbitt.
Brown has been coaching this team’s seniors for four years, and he believes a mix of their leadership and the young talent behind them can create a winning combination. “After watching the first two scrimmages, we’re better at pushing the ball on the fast break then we have been in years past,” said Brown. “Our strength is our quickness at all positions, even our big guys are quick on their feet.”
Defensively, Brown says his players will need to rely on their strength to rebound, and act quickly to advance the ball.
Brown also said he would like to see his boys host a playoff game this year, continue their success over Marble Valley League opponents, and repeat their victory in the Green Mountain Tournament. Every player on this year’s Wildcats basketball team was on the soccer team that won a state championship on November 2, Brown is hoping that their success on the grass can transfer to the hardwood.
Twin Valley begins their season at home on Saturday against Rivendell Academy at 3:30 pm. The boys’ soccer team will raise their championship banner before the game.