CURWENSVILLE – It will be a challenge to start the 2018-19 high school basketball season for the Curwensville Golden Tide boys basketball team as nine of the first 12 games are road trips.
Head coach Matt Wassil is in his third year in his second stint with the Tide, going 6-16 in 2016-17 and 11-12 last year that included gaining a co-championship title in the Moshannon Valley League with West Branch.
Curwensville did qualify for the District 9 AA tournament, losing to Coudersport in the quarter-finals, 71-46.
Wassil talked about the team he plans to put on the floor, saying, “We will be looking to rotate in eight to nine guys depending on the match-ups for that particular game. Some of the substitute’s minutes will be determined by the style of play because that will have a major impact on who can and can’t be on the court. Nothing is set in stone as far as starting lineups, but it looks like Jeremy Irwin, Dakota Bloom and Ty Terry will be the guards with Christian Bakaysa and Avery Francisco at the forward positions.”
Irwin, Bloom, Bakaysa and Francisco are all returning seniors and are the four letter winners the Golden Tide have back. Terry is a freshman.
Continuing, Wassil said, “We will definitely need productive minutes off of the bench in order to have success and that will come in the form of seniors Jordan Demko and Lincoln Giuffre, as well as underclassmen Adam Miller, a junior, and sophomore Trevor Lansberry.”
As far as keys to success on offense this season, Wassil said, “We have to take advantage of our size inside with two experienced guys in Avery (Francisco) and Christian (Bakaysa). In order for our offense to function we must play through the post. Our guards then have to be able to make teams pay if they double team or collapse a zone.”
Defensively, Wassil added, “Defensively, we have the ability to rebound the ball really well with Avery (Francisco) being one of the best rebounders in District 9. Christian (Bakaysa) also allows us to stabilize the boards. We will need to make sure that opposing teams are taking tough contested shots so they can clean up the boards.”
The Tide open the new season on Friday with a trip to Clearfield to battle the Bison.
Junior varsity action begins at 6 pm with the varsity contest to immediately follow.
Be sure to listen to the Curwensville-Clearfield boys basketball game on WOKW-FM, 102.9, with a special start time for the pre-game at 7 pm.
SENIORS: * CHRISTIAN BAKAYSA, *DAKOTA BLOOM, JORDAN DEMKO, *AVERY FRANCISCO, LINCOLN GIUFFRE, *JEREMY IRWIN
JUNIORS: ADAM MILLER, CALEB VANCE
SOPHOMORES: SCOTT CONDON, CHASE GRAHAM, TREVOR LANSBERRY, MICHAEL LEZZER, MIKEY MCCRACKEN, CHASE MULLANEY, TY TKACIK
FRESHMEN: TY TERRY
* DENOTES RETURNING LETTERWINNER.
DECEMBER: 7 at Clearfield, 10 at Moshannon Valley, 14 RIDGWAY, 17 at Penns Manor, 19 GLENDALE,
21 at Leechburg
JANUARY: 4 at Brockway, 8 at DuBois Central Catholic, 10 at Harmony, 15 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
16 at West Branch, 18 at Kane, 21 HARMONY, 22 at Ridgway, 25 BROCKWAY, 28 WEST BRANCH,
30 at Glendale
FEBRUARY: 1 at Johnsonburg, 5 DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC, 8 SHEFFIELD, 11 MOSHANNON VALLEY, 13 CLEARFIELD
NOTE: HOME GAMES IN CAPS. ALL VARSITY GAMES START AT 7:30 PM UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.