Boys Basketball: Metea Valley ready for upcoming season
Updated: November 16, 2011 7:46PM
It may be just entering year two as a varsity basketball program but don’t tell that to Metea Valley.
The Mustangs finished their inaugural year at 15-13 but upset former East Aurora standout Ryan Boatright and the Tomcats in January before managing to pull off road upsets of District 204 rivals Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley to close out the regular season.
“I think our expectations were, in the way we talked to the guys, that we were going to have a successful year,” Metea Valley coach Bob Vozza said. “Internally, within our staff, I think we were surprised how successful and how quick it happened. But as we saw the level with where we were at and the level of other teams, I always felt like we could play with those teams. I didn’t know whether we could get over that hump and get those wins.
“Playing those teams that we had twice (in the Upstate Eight Valley), I felt we were close (in the) first game and we just took that big step and that learning curve where we were able to compete and then get over that hump and get those wins at the end of the year. I think it’s a testament to our guys at how quickly they grew up last year.”
That learning curve will continue as Metea Valley begins the 2011-12 campaign with its first-ever senior class. By virtue of that, it returns everyone who saw varsity action a year ago.
Paced by senior guard Kenny Obendorf’s scoring a team-high 14.9 points, the Mustangs return five players who averaged at least eight points a game in 2010-11.
Seniors LaShawn Cargo, Ryan Solomon and Raysean Parker all averaged a tick under nine points a game, so finding scoring on the perimeter shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s the lack of a defined post presence heading into the season that is the biggest concern.
Juniors Sean Davis and Shiv Desai both saw action inside a year ago at the varsity level and another junior, 6-foot-9 Hayden Barnard, will make his varsity debut this season as Metea Valley will hope to get some post production to complement Obendorf, Cargo, Solomon and Parker.
If that happens, a 20-win season certainly is possible and perhaps even an Upstate Eight Valley title might be possible.
“I think it’s attainable. I think we need to fight that stigma that it’s just gonna happen because of we were successful as juniors and continue to work with our guys and have them get better every day rather than rely on what happened last year,” Vozza said. “We’re taking the right steps. It’s just a matter of staying healthy and keeping my guys hungry and going after those goals that we set for them.”