Versatility among key players could hold the key for Wyoming Area in what is becoming an increasingly difficult pursuit – to continue climbing through the ranks of Wyoming Valley Conference boys basketball.
The task is more challenging because the Warriors are no longer trying to improve upon minimal wins.
Two-time, all-star forward Sam Greenfield joins Kyre Zielinski and Matt Wright in returning to the starting lineup from a team that was unbeaten well into January on the way to a 16-7 finish that included 11-6 in the WVC.
Wyoming Area was just 6-59 in the WVC and has only nine total wins in five seasons prior to improving to 6-7 and 9-14 in 2015-16. The Warriors have won more conference and overall games than the year before in each of their their three seasons under coach Pete Moses.
The Warriors graduated two regular starters and three other players who played significant minutes at times, but, similar to a year ago, should be able to use many combinations both in which five players are on the floor and where they play.
“We’re probably going to be real versatile with Sam Greenfield,” Moses said. “Depending upon the lineups that we select, he’ll have opportunities to play in the frontcourt and in the backcourt. He’s done a good job developing his outside game and his ability to face the basket.”
While Greenfield is a mobile forward who has been forced to spend time in the post on undersized teams, Kyre Zielinski is a speedy guard who has attributes that can make him effective inside.
“Kyre Zielinski is a kid who traditionally has always been a guard for me, but he’s a great leaper and a great rebounder so there are doing to be times when we see him, against some of our bigger opponents, guarding the (power forward) on the other team,” Moses said of Zielinski, a tough man-to-man defender on the perimeter.
Aaron Zezza, who is ready to take over at point guard, is the second-tallest player on the team, so Moses may use him in different ways defensively, as well.
“We’re a team that really doesn’t have positions,” Moses said. “We really haven’t since I’ve been here.
“Everybody’s been kind of interchangeable.”
Wright is primarily a post player, handling a big share of the low post and rebounding duties, while Dylan Melberger is a potential starter on the wing.
P.J. Angeli, who suffered a serious knee injury in football season, will miss out on his senior year after making progress over the summer to increase his role on the team.
Moses still has many players to whom he can turn.
Sophomore Dominic DeLuca is another contender. Moses said DeLuca was capable of moving up last year, but his minutes may have been limited on a team “logjammed” with eight seniors.
Senior Steven Yordy, whom Moses describes as “a leaper and a shot blocker” is another inside option once he is cleared from an injury suffered in football season.
Junior Justin Alder is a speedy point guard. Daniel Weidl is fast improving player.
Jake Greenfield, Sam’s younger brother, is the only freshman to move up. Moses hopes to get him plenty of JV playing time and he may see varsity action as well.
Senior Alex Gonzales, Junior guard Nick Rubino, sophomores Cole Coolbaugh and Riley Rusyn are others trying to earn playing time.