After a 21-point victory over Lebanon in their first game of the season, the boys’ varsity basketball team has been swimming in a positive vibe all week but that can change as quickly as Albert Pujols choosing to sign with the Angels, if they’re not careful.
Colerain tomorrow night will be a completely different game then the Warriors put up last Saturday, you could say it will be centered around one question: Can Mason handle the Colerain pressure?
Colerain, who is currently 2-0, bases their whole game plan around being a quicker team that scores easy fast break points off turnovers. Mason head coach Greg Richards said that he watched Colerain play Wednesday night against Ryle and he said he was impressed by them. He said they run a full court, man-to-man press, which then trickles back into a 2-3, pressuring zone, and it is something that the Comets aren’t really used to.
If they can successfully break the press, Colerain’s 2-3 zone will allow for a lot of outside shooting opportunities for spot-up shooters like junior Drew Matula and even senior JD Sprague who last year shot around 35% from beyond the arc. We saw in the Lebanon game that this team can score: Sprague had 23 points, Darin Harris had 18 and Michael Van Kleuen had 10 in the first game, if they can handle the press and get some decent shots, the Comets will score at ease.
Another help for the Comets as they try and handle this Cardinal pressure will be the return of junior guard Connor McVey who has battled a knee injury this off-season. McVey, starting point guard for the JV team last year, is a quick guard who plays just like the label, fast. Even though he won’t start or play significant minutes, it will be nice for Coach Richards to have another guard that can come off the bench and handle the press, if it’s needed.
Mason- According to Coach Richards senior Jon Delotell might be out with a concussion that he suffered a few days ago and junior Bryan King is out as well (around a week) from an infection in his foot. Richards said that the injury was discovered on Sunday and that the infection was from an untreated blister.
Colerain- Allante Foster hasn’t played in either of the Cardinal’s first two games and it is still not official if he will play against Mason Friday night or not. Foster is a transfer from Lakota East, he averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game for East and Richards said he is considering him one of Colerain’s “top players.”
NOS’ Angle: Mason has to be careful with this game; Colerain is pretty dangerous this year as we say in their first two games. Last year Mason beat Colerain 54-38 but that score won’t be as easy to achieve because Colerain has a completely different line-up this year as they have three big transfers, including Foster from Lakota East. They are going to put a ton of pressure on the Comets, mainly in the full court, and that’s not a huge surprise because they do it year in and year out but this year is looks like the Cardinal press is at its best. With McVey coming back, that will open up a lot more opportunities at the guard position and even though he will be very out of shape, he should help give some relief to guard Tim Reale and Sprague . I think if Mason can handle pressure and limit turnovers, they should win this game easy, it could really be a Comet blow out but if they can’t handle the pressure, it’s going to be a long night.