BROCKWAY — With a core of eight returners and a little more size it shouldn’t be too difficult for the Brockway High School boys’ basketball team to hope for another trip to the PIAA playoffs this season.
The Rovers (8-15) saved some of their best basketball for the postseason, picking up two wins and taking third place in the District 9 Class AA playoffs, before ending their season with a loss to Bishop Guilfoyle in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs.
Brockway returns eight players from that team including two of its top three scorers from a year ago in seniors Alec Freemer and Jon Wood.
Freemer was the leading scorer on the team with 366 points (15.9 ppg) while Wood finished third with 238 points (10.3 ppg). Zane Puhala was second with 272 points (12.4 ppg).
“We’ve got a good mix,” Brockway head coach Rick Clark said. “Jonny and Alec have been around and played a lot of basketball. They’ve seen a lot over the last couple years and we’re looking to them to lead things.”
While Brockway will return roughly half of its scoring with that duo, several others will have to step up and increase their contributions this year.
That will fall to the five other returners including junior Marcus Copelli (4.0 ppg), sophomore Noah Adams, who missed some time with an injury, juniors Lewis Painter and Aiden Bullers and seniors Chad Bennett and Elijah Snell who all saw time on the floor last year.
“Overall, we have a little more size, from top-to-bottom, than we did last year,” Clark said. “Marcus has some time in that post area while Lewis came in at the end of last year and really showed that he could do the job, too. We also have a couple of sophomores and some seniors that can work there as well.”
The Rovers could also be helped along if they’re able to move the ball around and create offense from different points of attack rather than allowing teams to simply stop the offense from a single point.
“We’ve got multiple guys that can handle the ball and that’s always a good thing,” Clark said. “That relieves a lot of pressure and helps to get some things moving in different ways offensively.”
Brockway will get the opportunity to answer a few of its questions when it opens the season against Warren in the opening round of the Brookville Tip-Off Tournament Friday.
Seniors: Chad Bennett, Alec Freemer, Elijah Snell, Steven Wolff, Jon Wood, Brock Cramer. Juniors: Chase Azzato, Aiden Bullers, Marcus Copelli, Elijah Gibson, Lewis Painter. Sophomores: Noah Adams, Marcus Bennett, Dylen Cooper, Derek Gelnette, Joe Hertel, Jared Marchiori, Austin Schmader, Landon Schmader, Michah Williamson.