Boys Basketball: Plainfield North looks to bounce backPlainfield North's Trevor Stumpe and the rest of the Tigers hope things are looking up after last season's 6-20 campaign. | Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media
One in an occasional series on Joliet-area athletes and teams
gearing up for the 2012-13
high school season.
Updated: August 9, 2012 6:10AM
This is a summer for Plainfield North to learn to both forget and remember.
The Tigers need to forget last season’s 6-20 record, which was the worst in the program’s six-year history. This came just three years after the Tigers enjoyed a 26-5 season, including a stunning upset victory over powerhouse Waukegan in a televised game at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
Wiping the memories of 2011-12 is the first step.
“At the beginning of the summer we were still hung up on last season,” sophomore Trevor Stumpe said. “But we’ve made strides over the summer and we’re starting to play like a team.”
The Tigers also need to remember the new offense that North coach Nick DiForti is phasing in.
From 2003 to ’06, DiForti was a member of the Marist coaching staff under Gene Nolan and saw how effective the Princeton offense was used there. So DiForti tried it in June with this year’s group and was impressed with the way his kids gravitated to an offense that involves a lot of motion and back-door cuts.
“Some call it a complicated offense but I call it a sophisticated offense,” DiForti said. “There are a million and a half options on it. We’re not even close. We wanted to put in the core base of the Princeton offense and the kids grasped it. I was really surprised.
“We kept asking ourselves if we should add more. So we kept going with it. If you can run it, I think it’s pretty to watch.”
The Tigers recently competed in the 32-team Morris Shootout. They went 2-1 in pool play to advance to the championship bracket where they went 1-2, reaching the consolation semifinals before being ousted by rival Plainfield South.
Out of 15 players on the Tigers’ roster at the Morris event, there were five seniors, two juniors and eight sophomores.
Senior guard Marcus Fair has been on the varsity the past two seasons and could enjoy a breakout season in 2012-13. DiForti said he’s looking at senior Andy Schindel to be a vocal leader. Stumpe and Jake Nowak saw big minutes as freshmen and should start to show what they can do this year, and there are other second-year players who, if they don’t contribute to the varsity this year, should be heard from in the following two seasons.
“Trevor has elevated his game to a level that we knew he could play,” DiForti said. “If he keeps progressing at that rate, he’s going to be a special player for us, that’s for sure. The sophomores we have had played so much basketball this summer, it’s amazing. They play varsity tournaments and then go to a sophomore league and play at a higher level. This is a solid group.”