Ath­letic teens to fly high for Saints

Alpine Observer - - Sport -

By JUSTIN JENVEY

AN ex­cit­ing group of young­sters are set to lead Myrtle­ford in the club’s se­cond foray in the CBL men’s com­pe­ti­tion.

The Saints have lost lead­ing scorer and MVP Jalen Barker but might be stronger than a year ago with some ta­lented teenagers join­ing sev­eral young stars who are ready to step up.

“We lost smaller guys and added play­ers that are three or four inches taller so we’re more even across the board now,” coach Michelle Barker said.

“We’ve got 10 re­ally good play­ers so pick­ing a start­ing five is go­ing to be tough and won’t just be our best five play­ers but our best com­bi­na­tion.”

Barker said a large fo­cus had been spent on de­fence while on of­fense the team will look to play an up-tempo style.

“We’ve worked a lot on not just guard­ing the ball but mak­ing sure guys are in a po­si­tion to help out if a team­mate is beaten one-on-one,” she said.

“I think our strength is go­ing to be our speed and an abil­ity to re­ally push the ball down the court.”

With Jalen Barker’s de­par­ture an­other player from Bright, Austin Wickes, and Jack Woodall who was part of last year’s team, are ex­pected to lead the of­fense.

“They’re both dif­fer­ent play­ers, Austin reads the game re­ally well and is more a play­maker whereas Jack is more a scorer and looks for gaps in the de­fence to at­tack the rim,” Barker said.

The first-year coach said she was ex­cited to see how Char­lie Crisp pro­gresses af­ter blos­som­ing in the se­cond half of last sea­son and will also give more play­ing time to Will McKer­ral who will share min­utes at cen­ter with ex­pe­ri­enced big man Ben McIntyre and the su­per ath­letic Ryan Crisp.

“I’m re­ally happy with the way we’ve been train­ing, and how the guys are shoot­ing the ball,” Barker said.

“For us the goal is to dou­ble last year’s three wins and with a min­i­mum of six wins we should be in con­tention for a spot in fi­nals.”

YOUNG GUNS: Jack­son Townsend, Austin Wickes and Jack Woodall are some of the ta­lented teenagers in the men’s squad.

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