Boys basketball hopes to improve record with experienced roster


Returning varsity players watch coach Thomas Sloan describe a new defensive play (Sorice/LION).

Tommy Layden, Reporter

After several players’ injuries led to an unusually high number of losses, finalizing a below .500 record last year, boys basketball prepares to rebound from an unfortunate 2017-18 season.

“Unfortunately we had a few guys that were injured for a large part or all of the season,” head boys basketball coach Thomas Sloan said. “The guys that were healthy worked hard, but as injuries made the season tough as far as wins and loses go.”

The injuries gave juniors on the team last year the opportunity to gain experience from being a part of important games throughout the year. Along with several other second year varsity players, the four main returning starters are Tyrese Shines ‘19, Matt Sloyan ‘19, Josh Berry ‘19 and Nolan Niego ’19.

“All of the guys who started at some point are on the same page [with each other] and we communicate really well with Sloan in order to achieve our goals collectively,” Matt Sloyan ‘19.

This year the team is slightly on the younger side: it consists of eight seniors and nine juniors. All of the incoming juniors are completely new to the varsity team.

“The varsity level is different than freshman and sophomore years, [it is] more physical and fast paced.” “We will [have to] set the tone for the juniors to work hard at practice and adjust to the level of play,” Josh Berry ‘19 said.

In preparation of this year, Sloan decided to make small adjustments to create a offense similar to the standard free flowing offense that is widely used in the NBA.

“This year we are trying to use a smaller lineup that can play fast and shoot the ball,” Sloyan said.

A large of part of whether or not the team will be successful this season is based off of how they practice and how they use the type of players that are on this roster.

“We want to provide a fun and competitive atmosphere at practice, [where] we develop a culture of hard work and unselfishness and tailor our style of play to the strengths we have,” Sloan said.

In addition to new plays and offensive schemes, the team has been putting in the time this offseason to have a strong regular season.

“I have given up time with my family and friends to be in the gym and in the weight room,” Tyrese Shines ‘19 said.

Athletes at LT work hard to get both mentally and physically prepared for the regular season. In recent months several teams have even been good enough to extend their seasons and sometimes a big part of that is the in game atmosphere cultivated in part by LT’s fans.

“I love all the support, the Weirdos growing and building hype around the sport and it is cool to know that so many students at LT have our back,” Sloyan said.

As the team begins this season they are trying to build off of an already highly successful year in LT sports.

“Our goals this season are: beating HCHS, winning conference, and going as far as we can in the state tournament,” Mike Niedermeyer ‘20 said.

Although LT is returning from a season where they only won 11 games, the team is still planning to enter this season with a positive mindset, especially after winning their first game of the year on Nov. 19.

“I’m not concerned about anything we have a tight knit group that will get stuff done and I’m really confident about this year,” Shines said.