Boys Basketball: Larry Motuzis’ shooting a bright spot for Hinsdale SouthNew Hinsdale South boys basketball coach Tanner Mitchell
Updated: July 6, 2012 1:52PM
New Hinsdale South boys basketball coach Tanner Mitchell has given junior Larry Motuzis the green light to shoot three-pointers. And Motuzis is using it.
The junior made the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute June 28 in Hinsdale South’s summer league game against Downers Grove South at Riverside-Brookfield. The Hornets lost their final two games in the summer league, suffering a two-point defeat to West Suburban Gold rival Downers South and then losing to St. Rita 52-51 on an overtime buzzer-beater in the finale.
Mitchell has given his team off this week and with several remaining contact days available, the Hornets will have light workouts, conditioning and weight lifting starting July 9.
With many players on AAU teams this month competing in travel tournaments, it is difficult to compete against other shorthanded high school teams so there are no more shootouts left to the summer.
So far, Mitchell said he has liked what he has seen.
“We have been in almost every game. It has gone down to the wire,” said Mitchell, a former lower-level coach at Lemont. “Our kids never say die.”
Motuzis gave the Hornets a 50-49 lead against St. Rita with 16 seconds remaining on a three-pointer. His parents, Giedrius and Rasa, try to attend nearly every game. His mother, Rasa, cheers from the sideline and even pleads for Larry to “follow his shot” when he doesn’t rebound.
“My mom got me into basketball,” Larry said.
Larry Motuzis’ birth name is actually Laurynas. He was born in Palanga, Lithuania, and moved to the United States in the third grade. His parents speak in their native Lithuanian while watching games.
“I fell in love with basketball,” Larry said.
His sister, Giedre Motuzyte, is an incoming freshman basketball player at Hinsdale South.
The Hornets played short-handed in their final day at R-B.
One of Hinsdale South’s top returning players, senior guard Jerry Stoltz, missed the narrow losses to DGS and St. Rita. Hinsdale South lost three times to St. Rita, during summer league play. Stoltz was the starting shortstop for the Hornets’ conference champion baseball team.
Both the football and basketball teams suffered a loss when receiver-forward Justin Ward sprained his shoulder earlier in the week and will likely miss six weeks during the summer. For the R-B finale, Mitchell brought in incoming freshman Barrett Benson, the younger brother of recent graduate and former star Brock Benson. At 6-foot-7, Barrett is slightly shorter than his older brother.
“It has gone smooth. We had a great start. It has been unbelievable,” Mitchell said. “Our turnout at the camps was about 120 for our youth camp and about 60 at our high school camp.”