Junior varsity team goes .500 in 2012-13
The Northwestern Lehigh boys basketball program is building from the ground up. That growth starts at the lowest levels and works its way to the varsity team.
A big stepping stone for players is the junior varsity level.
With first year head coach, Pat Wanamaker, the Tiger junior varsity team fought hard all season long and finished with an 11-11 record.
Wanamaker, who was a volunteer assistant at Northern Lehigh the last five years, says his players exceeded his expectations.
"I didn't expect us to be as successful as we were," he said. "Some kids really stepped up and they really worked hard. At every game and every practice they were working hard."
Every player on the roster started at least one game, however there was a core group of five starters. Those players were freshman Brady Mengel, freshman Parker Jones, sophomore Taylor Breininger, sophomore Logan Schwartz and sophomore Kevin Shuey.
Their season started off with what Wanamaker described as, "a huge win and a huge loss," in the tip-off tournament. Following that opening weekend, the players were competitive in almost every game, but lost a lot of close contests.
Wanamaker attributes the close losses to the current state of the program.
"I just think the boys didn't know how to finish off games," he said. "I don't think they could take a close game and make it their own and come out with a win."
Finishing the season with a .500 record is important to Wanamaker and his assistants, but they focus on the fact that the players vastly improved throughout the winter. Most notably were the aforementioned Mengel and Jones. Also, Breininger was mentioned by Wannamaker as improving his skills as the season progressed. The head coach described him as a "super-athlete."
The rest of the Tigers were sophomore Jordan Storm, sophomore Jonathan Maurer, freshman Ryan McCann, sophomore Jonathan Deutsch, freshman Dustin Snyder and sophomore Matthew Archer.
Everyone on the 11-man roster played an important role on the team whether it was offensively, defensively, starting or contributing off the bench, every player made an impact this winter.