Experience leads SCA boys’ hoops
Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 16, 2013
The Suffolk Christian Academy boys’ basketball head coach Ron Carr said he sees something different in the team this year.
The Knights endured a one-win season last year, but it returns a wiser, veteran squad for the 2013-14 season.
Carr said the amount of experience represented on the roster this year is probably the most in his five years of coaching the team. Some of the players have been with him for all or most of that time.
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“It’s really starting to culminate,” he said of their run together and the mindset and player leadership already evident.
“We have a very good team spirit on the team this year,” Carr said. “It seems like everybody is working with each other this year, and that means a lot.”
He believes the team will be able to have a winning season in what would be an impressive turnaround from last year.
“Personally, I don’t believe there’s going to be a comparison,” he said.
The Knights will hit the court now without a few key players from the 2012 squad that graduated: senior center Clint Byrd, senior forward Matt Snead and senior guard Nathan VanDorn.
“All three were very good assets to our team,” Carr said.
But he already has a couple of key returners lined up who he expects to provide leadership. The first is the Knights’ lone senior this year, center/forward Noah Nickert, who has been with Carr for the last four years.
He will be co-captain with junior guard/forward Nathan Leiter, who will most likely take the point guard position.
Carr praised Leiter for having improved his game in the off-season by visiting different basketball camps, including one in Florida at Pensacola Christian College.
“He’s also showing leadership as far as helping the rest of the team with some of their skills,” Carr said.
Among the four juniors on the team is Eric Habecker, who has gotten Carr’s attention, having shown a lot of talent.
“I believe I can use him as a point guard or guard,” Carr said. “He’s got a lot of team spirit.”
There are three sophomores on the team, led by returning guard Michael Cornette and forward Steven Effler.
Carr said Effler is “very strong with getting layups and rebounds. He’s very aggressive.”
Cornette offsets his own lack of height with good speed.
Suffolk Christian added churches to its governance last school year, creating a potentially larger pool of players for Carr to choose from. The addition of a junior varsity team this year changed that picture slightly, but not to the extent it keeps the varsity squad from having depth on the bench.
“This year we’ve got more experience so when we pull one guy out, we can put some experience back in there,” Carr said.
There will also be four or five players playing both JV and varsity.
The Knights will play Greenbrier Christian Academy in a scrimmage on Monday in Chesapeake.
“That’s pretty much going to give us an indication of what we need to work on,” Carr said, since the Gators are typically an aggressive, quality opponent.
Suffolk Christian will begin the regular season at home on Tuesday evening against Victory Christian School.