Preview: Westerly boys basketball

Preview: Westerly boys basketball

Head coach: Mike Gleason (12th season). Assistant coaches: Jody Vacca, David Tiedemann, Mark Streich.

Last year: Westerly finished 11-14, but reached the Division II semifinals losing to Shea.

Returning to varsity:
David Tiedemann (F), Taber Gates (G), John Luzzi (G), Matt Canova (G), Vinny Giorno (C). Juniors: Cole Riley (G), Bereket Janat (C). Sophomores: Chas Morgan (F), Patrick Murphy (F).

New to varsity:
Anthony Serluca (G), Paul Perez (F). Sophomore: Connor Warner (G).

Outlook: Westerly received bad news earlier this week when coach Gleason said the 6-foot-8 Tiedemann, an All-State candidate, could be out at least two weeks with a knee injury.

But the Bulldogs do have some weapons back. Gates has more than 1,100 career points and should surpass Austin Cilley as the school’s career leader in 3-pointers this season. Gates was immense in the playoff run last season, averaging 21.3 points in the postseason. He averaged 19.8 a game last season.

Luzzi returns at the point, and Morgan came on last season. Luzzi averaged 6.3 points and 7.6 assists last season. Morgan had eight big points in a playoff win over Tolman and put up 10 against Shea in the semis.

“They (Gates, Luzzi and Morgan) will have to step up and run the show offensively,” Gleason said.

Gleason said Giorno, Murphy, Perez and Janat are all vying for time at forward and center.

“All four are playing well and I have a lot of confidence in what they have shown so far,” Gleason said. “They will have to step up.”

Riley has the ability to score and has “been aggressive” at both ends, Gleason said.

Gleason said Westerly’s ability to defend and rebound may hold the keys to the season.

“In the long term, assuming David does return, we could take advantage of it. We would have him fresh and others will have gained valuable experience,” Gleason said.

Coach’s take: “We have a lot of 3-point shooters, but we can’t be a team that shoots 30 3-pointers a game. Our games will be lower scoring and more defense oriented with David out.”

Keith Kimberlin


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