By: Ryan Martin –
As the 2016-2017 basketball season starts, the Seton Lasalle Rebel boys’ basketball team is looking forward to having a great season. Due to PIAA reclassification the Rebels will compete in 3A, Section Two, rather than 2A as they did last year. This year the Rebels believe they can be very competitive with their new conference foes. According to Coach Mark Walsh, “I think our biggest asset this year will be our balance. We have a number of players we are counting on to contribute.”
With only one Senior this year, Svenson Sterling, the Rebels are mostly made up of juniors; Matt Banbury, Nick Deanes, George Mike, Jakob Richardson, Brent Ivory, Clayton Colwell, and Josh Blamer. Along with them are two sophomores Trevor O’Donnell and Kellen Krebs. Seton LaSalle called up 5 freshman this year to support the varsity bench: Michael Bigley, Jon Weir, Jacob Verner, Dylan Preston, and Cole Walsh.
According to Banbury, a junior guard “I believe we have great potential, as long as we put the work in and grind together as a team we’ll be able to play at a high level.” Banbury who seemed to be very excited and eager to start the season has nothing but good views of this season.
The Rebels are anchored by Ivory, Mike, Richardson, Deanes, Banbury and Blamer. Even though the Rebels may be young this year, Walsh has no worries that his team won’t come together and have a tremendous season. “We graduated a number of key players, but we are challenging these players daily to improve,” Walsh said.
“Even though we are young, we are athletic, we’re looking to win a section title,” Said Junior guard Nick Deanes. Deanes, a returning varsity player, looks forward to playing with his friends in the junior class. He embraces the youthness of the team.
The Rebels kick off their home opener Friday, December 17, against old conference foe Bishop Canevin. Due to the PIAA reclassifications Seton Lasalle and Bishop Canevin will not be in the same conference anymore ending a great 2A section 3 conference rivalry. “I loved playing against Bishop Canevin in conference last year, the game had a high intensity and often sold out,” said Mike when asked about his feeling about Bishop Canevin not being in conference anymore.
“Even though Canevin isn’t in our conference anymore, there are still other teams in our conference that will bring a lot of excitement and intensity to our games,” said junior forward Richardson.
The Rebels who finished last year with an overall record of 15-11 are looking to keep the positive momentum again. With teams like Avonworth and defending 1A WPIAL champions North Catholic in conference this year, the Rebels will have a competitive schedule. Speed and athleticism are a strong point for the Rebels. Seton Lasalle, who last year averaged 63.4 points per game, look to score quick and easy points. They also look to keep the game up tempo with their press defense. Everyone should come out and support this Seton Lasalle team .