Superior Central Cougars boys basketball team working to maximize small numbers
EBEN — The Superior Central boys plan to make extensive use of a relatively new roster rule this basketball season.
The Cougars, with just six players on its varsity team, open at Forest Park on Thursday.
“We’re going to have to take advantage of the fifth-quarter rule,” second-year coach Adam Ely said. “We’ll have JVs playing five quarters. I doubt if we’d have a varsity team without that rule.
“Between COVID and quarantines, we haven’t had a full team. We’ll be learning on the fly. We still need time to figure things out. We’re going to have to maximize all six guys.”
The rule allows athletes to play a total of five quarters each day between varsity and subvarsity levels.
Gone through graduation from last season’s 4-14 team are current Bay College player Parker Maki along with Kyle Frusti, now a football player at St. Norbert College.
Senior returners are 5-foot-9 guard Zach Frusti and 6-1 forward Garrett Koski.
“They’re our only experienced players,” Ely said. “We’re relying on them to help the younger guys out.”
Junior newcomers include 5-9 guard Lucas Swetich, 6-foot forward Jacob Charlebois and 5-10 guard Emmett Vining, who didn’t play last season.
Joining them is 6-foot sophomore point guard Logan Frusti.
“Logan will run our offense a lot,” Ely said. “Our system is not going to change. We’re not concerned about pace, although we certainly don’t want to get into a track meet with anyone.
“If we execute, our numbers situation doesn’t hurt us. It’s one of those situations which you need to be great at what you’re good at. We need to work on our overall game.”
Ely knows Forest Park will be a worthy opponent Thursday.
“Challenge No. 1 is they’re big, strong and athletic,” he said. “We’re one of the smaller schools in our (Skyline Central) conference, but there are schools smaller than us who are winning. Our conference is big and strong. There’s not a night off.”
The Cougars host Brimley Saturday and North Central Monday.
“Our game with Brimley will be interesting,” Ely said. “Playing on Saturday afternoon will be a challenge for both teams. Kids like to stay in a routine and that will be a change from their regular routine. At least we don’t have to take the bus ride over there.
“I came in here with plans to turn our program around, but not a lot of kids are playing sports. I give these kids a lot of credit for showing up and giving their all. It’s going to be what we decide to make of it.”