New coach Powers wants intensity, defense to carry clubNew Ellsworth High School boys basketball head coach Rich Powers described the Panthers latest contest, a 55-47 win over Cannon Falls, as one of the most intense games he’s ever been a part of.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
New Ellsworth High School boys basketball head coach Rich Powers described the Panthers latest contest, a 55-47 win over Cannon Falls, as one of the most intense games he’s ever been a part of.
And that’s the he likes his basketball played.
“I played in college and in the Marines and there you played hard and intense all the way from start to finish,” Power said. “That’s the kind of basketball I know and how I want us to play.”
If the Panthers can sustain such an effort from now until March they may be able to add another winning season to their current string of back-to-back winning seasons. And you’ll have to go back long way for the last time that happened in program history.
Ellsworth will have to play in this fashion young squad or not. EHS lost several seniors from last year’s 14-9 team, 8-6 in the Middle Border Conference, including All-MBC performers Lemoine Steffen and Travis Kroll. They certainly will need senior Alex Campbell. His return to the varsity line-up Friday after recovery from knee surgery helped spark the Panthers to a much needed win after straight losses. He finished with a double-double 13 points and 13 rebounds against the Bombers.
Ellsworth will also have back fellow seniors Derrick Swanson, Brady DeGross and Tyler Marson, James Georgakas and Kyle Gilbertson. Also back is junior Chrystian Kulow and sophomores Nick Taranto and Jarek Fischer are getting significant minutes in the varsity line-up as well.
“We have the athletes to play this style of ball and we need to take advantage of it,” Powers said. “This is true with Alex and Chrystian and I think fans see it also with Tyler and Derrick as well.”
While Powers wants an attacking and opportunistic style going both ways on the court, he also wants make sure it stays in control as well.
“We have to keep our composure and avoiding foul trouble is going to be a big factor in each our games,” Powers said. “Tyler for example, is a good senior leader who won’t get frazzled on the court which goes with the qualities we also want like hard work and intensity.”
Powers hopes Kulow can balance his skills as an outside shooter by attacking the basket more often from the perimeter.
Controlling tempo will be important for EHS to stay away from half-court games which their lack of overall team height will make them vulnerable on defense.