Reyan, Elk Lake look to defend title
BY JOBY FAWCETT
Times Shamrock Writer
Tanner Reyan and his Elk Lake teammates were a team on a mission at the end of last season.
Featuring a high-powered offense, the Warriors captured the Lackawanna League Division IV title, but it was a solid effort during the highly competitive District 2 Class AA tournament that earned them a level of respect.
And it also made coach John Wanero’s team one of the favorites this season with four starters, including Reyan, and five total players with significant experience returning.
“Last year in the playoffs, we really learned a lot about the team principles that coach preached to us,” Reyan said. “And we know how to hold up through times of adversity. We as a group have been playing together since fourth grade and I know they are going to be giving it all every single game.”
Led by Reyan, who was a Division IV first-team all-star, the Warriors had an explosive offense. He averaged 17.8 points per game, but his partner Rob Heft, who was also a first-team all-star has graduated, increasing Reyan’s role and responsibility for the team.
“I think he has really come along in all parts of his game,” Warnero said. “He is a scorer, but he makes our team go. Losing Rob Heft is going to burden him because he will be facing better defenders. He has to work harder and learn how to use his teammates to set up his shots and use his teammates in the offense to create opportunities for them as well.”
Elk Lake will also return one of the hardest working players in the division in Tyler Arnold. He is a 5-foot-8 guard, who is the team’s heart and soul and best defender. Matt Woolcock averaged 10.9 points and Nick Dudock gave the Warriors valuable minutes in the paint. Pete McGee is a presence in the middle, but at 6-2, he is the tallest player for Elk Lake in a division that will feature some size.
“Rebounding will be the key for us,” Reyan said. “We are going to be outsized by a team like Montrose. We have to get into good positions and get a body on everybody. We have to surround the rim and attack the ball.”
But even with all of that talent, coach Warnero had a stern message for his team as preseason camp opened.
“We have been talking about expectations being set for us,” he said. “We have to keep playing hard. We have to grind each and every night. People are saying we may have something here, so teams are going to give us their best shot and we haven’t won anything yet.
“You have to earn a championship.”
Montrose, which forced a playoff with Elk Lake in the first half last season, returns its big man in the middle, Cameron Dean. At 6-foot-6, the senior is a powerful inside presence who also averaged 19.5 points a game and was a Division IV first-team all-star.
Also back for the Meteors will be Erik Burgh, who led the team with 34 3-pointers, Brenton Warner (6-1) and Troy Ely (6-1).
Lackawanna Trail returns junior guard Ross Fauquier, who averaged 12.8 points per game and was an honorable mention all-star last season. Mountain View returns Brett Crowley, who was its leading scorer from last season at 10.9 points per game.
DIVISION IV TEAMS
Home court: Elk Lake High School
Last season: 20-6
Head coach: John Warnero
Returning starters: Tanner Reyan, Sr., G; Tyler Arnold, Sr., G; Matt Woolcock, Sr., G; Pete McGee, Sr., F; Nick Dudock, Sr., G/F.
Other returnees: Wyatt Warner, Jr., F; Seth Tewksbury, So., G; Hunter Watkins, So., G; Bailey Tyler, So., G; Cole Tyler, So., G; J.J. Heft, So., F; Jonny Baltzley, So., F; Antuan Robinson, Sr., G; Gavin Kelly, So., F.
Newcomers: Ben Woolcock, Fr.; Kyle Day, Fr.; Jason Vasquez, Fr.; Griffin Bunnell, Fr.; Chris Meaders, Fr.; T.J. Tyler, Fr.; Kyle Oakes, Fr.; Alex Hewitt, Fr.; Evan Debonis, Fr.; Lionel Cordova, Fr.
Home court: Montrose High School
Last season: 13-11
Head coach: Sean Madden
Returning starters: Cameron Dean, Sr., C; Brenton Warner, Sr., F; Erik Burgh, Sr., G; Troy Ely, Jr., G.
Other returnees: Frank Fruehan, Sr., F; Jack Fruehan, Jr., C; Austin Smith, So., G; Justin Richel, So., G.
Newcomers: Justin Hartman, Sr., G; Mason Peck, So., G; Travis Birchard, So., F; Andrew Bickford, So., F/G.
Home court: Blue Ridge High School
Last season: 7-16
Head coach: Matthew Button
Returning starters: None.
Other returnees: Austin Cardoza, Jr., G; Austin White, Jr., G/F; Austin Darrow, Jr., F; Brad Palmatier, Sr., F.
Newcomers: Steve Jesse, Jr., G/F; Mike Allen, Fr., G; Jarrod Mills, Fr., G; Ty Herbert, So., F; Austin Harper, So., F.
Home court: Forest City High School
Last season: 1-22
Head coach: Mike Latrella
Returning starters: Matt Nevins, Jr., G; Pat Coles, Jr., F.
Other returnees: Noah Fedak, Jr., G; John Darrenkamp, Jr., F; Ricky Yankauskas, Sr., G; Cody Barrese, Jr., F; Jon DeEsch, Jr., G; Sean McCormick, Jr., G; Mitchell Blake, So., F; Jordan Hicks, So., F; Adam Kowalewski, So., G; Dylan O’Dell, So., G; Matt Taylor, So., G.
Newcomer: Jared Paulin, Fr., F.
Home court: Mountain View High School
Last season: 7-16
Head coach: Spencer Lunger
Returning starters: Derek Bradley, Sr., C; Nick Schermerhorn, Sr., G; Brett Crowley, Sr., G; Chad Wescott, Sr., G.
Other returnees: Brandon Hawm, Sr., G; Mark Fontana, Sr., G; Tyler Salak, Sr., C; Ryan Lavin, Jr., G; Bryan Owens, Jr., C; Robert Perry, Jr., G; Trystan Phillips, Jr., F; Deon Faramelli, So., F.
Newcomers: Cody Hollister, So., G; Gabe Fontana, Jr., F; Matthew Lavin, Fr., G; Jesse Gerfin, Fr., F; Tyler Walcalowski, Fr., G; Josh Johnson, Fr., F.
Home court: Susquehanna Community High School
Last season: 13-11
Head coach: Lawrence Tompkins
Returning starter: Brandon Soden, Sr., G.
Other returnees: Josh Wheeler, Sr., G; Mark Zappe, Sr., F.
Newcomers: Steve Frye, Sr., F; Cody Towers, Sr., G; Nate Carpenter, Sr., F; Kyle MacDonald, Sr., F; Luke Falletta, Jr., G/F; Austin Felter, Jr., G; Christian Miller, Jr., F; Brady Towner, Jr., G; Kasey Burdick, Jr., G; Tyler Williams, Fr., G.