’Lopes ready for another winning season

By ANDREW DOMENCIC

After winning their first section title in 41 years, the Avonworth boys' basketball team will take the court Tuesday looking to expunge all doubts that they are once again the team to beat in the section this year.

Last year, the team undoubtedly had one of the best seasons Avonworth boys’ basketball has seen in a long time, finishing with a 17-6 regular season record and defeating Frazier in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. This year, they are looking to use that momentum to propel their team into a position to excel at an even greater level.

"The guys have had some success...learning to win in basketball last year, and hopefully that carries over [into this year]," said head coach Dan Bradley.

The team loses only one starter from last season, Eric Gallupe, but he was the team's highest scoring player. However, the team returns many of last years top players, including seven seniors, three of whom - Josh Drwal, Chris O'Malley and Adam Joyce - were starters last year.

It is not only the seniors who will be carrying the team this year however. Last season, sophomore Garrett Day had a break-out year as a freshman, and his teammates are making note of his ability to play a major role in taking them to the next level.

"We have a lot of good athletes returning," said O'Malley, "and Garrett should have a big year for us."

The team will have to continue what they did last year, but adjustments will be made for the team to get even better than last year.

"We did a great job last year playing team defense, rebounding the ball, and limiting our opponents to one shot and not a lot of second chance points, so hopefully we continue to grow there. [The thing to improve upon] would be better shot selection. Sometimes we took some bad shots in streaks, and sometimes we had bad possessions back-to-back, so hopefully we can improve on that," said Bradley.

Fans will get to see the team for the first time in regular season play when they open the season on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Union Area High School.