Perimeter-oriented Belfast could be in mix for playoff spot
Belfast — The following is a synopsis of the 2012-13 Belfast Area High School boys varsity basketball team:
Coach/years coached current team: Scott Benzie, fifth year.
Last year's record/playoff information: 1-17, 19th in Eastern Class B. The Lions did not qualify for the playoffs.
Roster: Seniors Ryan Rice (guard), Yanni Rakis (guard), Carl Dodge (guard), Kaleb Benjamin (guard) and Steve Paul (center); juniors Mike Reynolds (center), Korey Doolan (center), Tyler Tran (guard), Kenan Mahmic (center), Asa Lewis (forward), Zach Collier (forward), Marcus Riley (guard) and Greg Clark (guard); and sophomore Zavier Roman (guard).
Outlook: Coming off a one-win season, the Lions have nowhere to go but up this season. And if their play in the preseason is any indication, that is exactly where they intend to go.
The Lions went 3-2 in the preseason, winning "pretty handily" in games against George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Narraguagus of Harrington and Bucksport, while falling to both Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island, the latter of which many consider to be top contenders for the regional crown.
Benzie said the Lions are a perimeter-oriented team that will see success in their guard play, but lack a tall force in the middle, meaning the team likely will look to get out and run quite a bit this season.
Rice and Rakis lead a group of five seniors, in addition to other key pieces, that have played well together in recent seasons. Benzie hopes that cohesion will lead the Lions to a prelim playoff game and, ultimately, the regional tournament at the Bangor Auditorium.
"I'm expecting strong leadership over anything else," Benzie said. "When you're in a tight game, your mental preparedness is more important than anything else. I’m just hoping they can really perform under pressure."
"I really think this year we could be in the mix for a playoff berth," the veteran coach said.
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