Fall Fastbreak – McDowell

   November 14, 2012 1:00 am

 

McDowell Trojans
Boys
Coach (season, record): Kevin O’Connor (1st season at McDowell, 4th season overall, 21-45)
2011-12 overall record: 11-12
2011-12 region record (place): 2-4 (third)
2011-12 playoff results: Lost to Strong Vincent 63-36 in the District 10 Class AAAA semifinals.
Top player lost: Luke Nientimp
Top returning players: Carson Lewis, Michael Beck, Dalton Grafius, Josh Santillan, James Conner
Assistant coaches: Justin Izbicki, Cliff Beck, Jason Keim, Mychael Molnar, Mark Becker
Outlook: If there is one team to keep an eye on this year, it will be McDowell. Kevin O’Connor takes over the program this year and brings enthusiasm and a style of play that could translate into plenty of wins on the Class AAAA level. O’Connor was in the process of turning Fort LeBoeuf around when the opportunity arose at McDowell. The Trojans will have a similar look to their roster but the style of play could completely change to a run and gun philosophy. McDowell lost only Luke Nientimp to graduation and has seen participation increase heavily since O’Connor’s hire. Senior Carson Lewis is back to lead the offense after being voted to the all-region second team last year. Juniors Michael Beck and Dalton Grafius could make up one of the toughest scoring combinations in the area, while Josh Santillan could start as well. James Conner, a Pitt recruit in football, could play this season after not playing last year. He would bring a big-time presence in the paint and lots of speed for the Trojans. Andy Stromenger, Matt Hansen, Quinn Lewis, Jake Tarasovitch, Matt Orenick and Max Kerr could all be in the mix for playing time this year. Senior Jake Wolf could be in the starting lineup and provides leadership for the Trojans. Hansen and Tarasovitch’s speed could translate into playing time for both. McDowell has plenty of experience but buying into a new, up-tempo system will be key. With so many athletes, McDowell could turn to the style of Class AAAA WPIAL powers that sub in three, four or five at a time to keep the tempo up. Cathedral Prep is the obvious favorite in the region and district but McDowell could be right with the Ramblers at the end of the season.

Schedule
December
7-8 Franklin tournament
12 Meadville 7:30
13 Strong Vincent 7:30
15 at Mercyhurst Prep 7:30
18 at Warren 7:30
20-21 Hollidaysburg tournament
27-28 McDowell tournament
January
2 at General McLane 7:30
8 Central Tech* 8:30
11 DuBois 7:30
12 Girard 2:30
18-19 MLK Showcase
24 Cathedral Prep* 7:30
26 at East 7:30
February
2 at Corry 7:30
4 at Perry 7:30
8 at Central Tech* 7:30
14 at Cathedral Prep* 8:30
*Region 7 games

Girls
Coach (season): Megan Fiala (1st season)
2011-12 overall record: 17-7
2011-12 region record (place): 6-0 (champion)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Central Tech 56-18 to win the District 10 Class AAAA championship. McDowell then lost to Upper St. Clair 57-42 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Kaitlyn Fromknecht, Fallon Cosgrove, Taylor Lindquist, Maddie Miller, Nicole DiLuzio, Courtney McManigle
Top returning players: Hailey Wilwohl, Bri Krysiak
Assistant coaches: Rand Garrity, Tori Hansen, Elisha Pancoast
Outlook: McDowell will look almost brand new this season. Megan Fiala takes over the program as head coach the Trojans graduated six of their top nine players. Kaitlyn Fromknecht, Fallon Cosgrove, Taylor Lindquist, Maddie Miller, Nicole DiLuzio and Courtney McManigle are gone to graduation and each of the six leaves a big hole to fill. Fromknecht, the Region 7 Player of the Year, along with Lindquist, Miller and Cosgrove were voted to the all-region first team as seniors. The group won several District 10 Class AAAA championships together and leave McDowell with almost no experience back this year. The Trojans could rely heavily on senior Hailey Wilwohl. She was voted to the all-region second team as a junior and saw plenty of varsity minutes last year. She will look to step up as a leader at the point guard position, while Angela Aronica, Bri Krysiak and Caryn Kopay are also back. Both saw some playing time on the varsity level last year. Fiala commented that she has a solid group to work with this year which has plenty of potential. The Trojans have put in plenty of work in the offseason and they could be a surprise team despite the severe lack of experience. McDowell should be able to survive in a down region and could repeat as the D-10 Class AAAA champion. The Trojans’ success beyond that point will come down to how quickly the younger players adjust to their amplified roles on the varsity level.

Schedule
December
7-8 North Allegheny tournament
10 Jamestown (N.Y.) 7:30
14 Fort LeBoeuf 7:30
15 Girard 2:30
17 at Harbor Creek 7:30
20-21 Hollidaysburg tournament
27-28 McDowell tournament
January
3 Central Tech* 7:30
5 at Warren 2:30
10 at Strong Vincent* 7:30
12 Villa Maria 7:30
19 Rochester East (MLK Showcase)
24 at East* 7:30
28 at Central Tech* 7:30
February
2 at Corry 6
7 Strong Vincent* 7:30
9 Villa Angela-St. Joseph 2:30
14 East* 7:30
16 at Mercyhurst Prep 7
*Region 7 games

Thursday: Meadville

–Tom Reisenweber

 

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