Season Preview: Tyrone Boys Basketball Looks to Contend in 2017

The 2017 Tyrone Golden Eagles varsity basketball team is beaming with raw talent and hustle. They will be looking to bounce back from a somewhat lackluster 2016 campaign.

While losing star big-man Anthony Politza and scoring guard Zack Soellner is a big hit to a high-powered offense, the Golden Eagles still have plenty of talent, and will look to contend in the Mountain League.

“The potential for us to have a better season than last year is definitely there,” said Coach George Gripp. “Our defense and press will hopefully be there, but our overall play will depend on our scoring and shooting. If we do that well, I like our chances against anyone.”

Junior Jake Meredith comes in as an athletic scoring point guard but also a great floor general.  Meredith has the shooting touch to drain the three-ball, but also has the tenacity to drive down low and bang with the bigs.

Our overall play will depend on our scoring and shooting. If we do that well, I like our chances against anyone”

— Coach George Gripp

At the shooting guard, Dylan Thomas is the deadliest shooter on the team. Although his decision-making will need to develop, when he gets hot from downtown, it could spell disaster for the opposition.

The small forward will be handled by junior Parker Mitchell, a tough, athletic slasher who is almost unstoppable when attacking the rim. Mitchell could also handle the ball on some possessions as he has great court awareness.

Junior Hunter Anderson will serve as one of the big men.  He brings versatility in his shooting ability and finishing ability.

Senior Michael Lewis brings an enormous physical presence and an excellent defender as one of the bigs. Lewis is a tenacious rebounder and is arguably the team’s best overall defender.

The Golden Eagles have a good starting five, but the bench could be what really stands out on this team.

Senior Alex Weaver brings quality outside shooting, athleticism, and rebounding. Weaver will play some the big positions and wing positions this year. Junior Noel Politza also brings athleticism and hustle to the team. Sophomore Andrew Ferguson can score and rebound down low. Junior Joe Kohler will be the back-up ball-handler and also an athletic slasher.

“It should be a good season if we continue to go hard at practice, and stay focused,” said junior Jake Meredith, “our effort in practice will determine how we perform in games.”

As a team, look for the Golden Eagles to be a very athletic team, relying heavily on their full-court press. Along with their ability to run in transition, their outside shooting and defense is to look forward to. The Golden Eagles have multiple athletic defenders who could guard multiple positions.

This year’s schedule looks a lot like last year’s. The only difference in opponents is that Tyrone will play Juniata in the last game of the season.

All in all, Tyrone looks to have a winning year in which they compete for the lead in the Mountain League and strive to win the District Championship. Along with that, they look to go as far as they can in the state playoffs.

The Golden Eagles will start the season with the annual hardwood version of the Backyard Brawl at home on December 9.