By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
SAYRE — Coming off a 7-15 season, first-year coach Devin Shaw has high expectations for the Sayre Redskins in 2019-20.
(Sayre opens its season tonight against Blue Ridge at the Blue Ridge Tip-Off Tournament.)
“I want us to compete every night.
“It’s like a one-game championship every night,” said Shaw. “You don’t have to be the best team in the league, you just have to be the best team in the gym that night.
“If we take it game-by game, hopefully, we can get ourselves into position to play for a division title, and maybe we can get to the Showdown and win that, and then to Districts after that.
“I think we can compete in the NTL and at the Showdown, but we’re going to take it one night at a time, and see where it takes us,” Shaw added.
Shaw said he expects to run a three-guard system, with junior Matt Lane at the point, sophomore Dom Fabbri at the 2-guard and junior Zach Moore at the 3-guard.
Senior Corbin Brown will play forward, and 6-5 junior Connor Young will also play forward.
“Corbin Brown is a bit under-sized at forward at 6-2, but he’s athletic and will create some mismatches,” said Shaw.
Six-foot-five junior Zach Belles will come off the bench at forward, with sophomores Kannon VanDuzer and Brayden Horton, and freshman Lucas Horton and Jackson Hubbard also seeing time.
Senior Riley McConnell and juniors Tavone McClennon, Cody VanBenthuysen, Nic Bentley, Jia Huang will also vie for playing time.
“Versatility is definitely a strength for us,” said Shaw. “I think we could take advantage of whatever we need to, inside or outside. Depending on the match-up, we can go big or we can go small
“We have a very interchangeable roster. We can have line-ups where we go big — with Zach Belles and Connor Young at forward — both are 6-5 — and Corbin Brown at the 3-guard.
“Or, we could go really small, with all guards and put Corbin Brown at the 5, and press some people, or runs some teams out of the gym with our athleticism, and get an advantage there.
“I’d definitely like to be able to work on the inside-outside game,” continued Shaw.
“Once defenses double-down our posts, I think we have some good shooters who can take advantage when we kick it out,” he added. “It’s good to have that size and be able to kick it out, or play in the post if we need to play in the post.”
Shaw said he’s still working on getting his offensive system in place in his first year on the sidelines.
“It’s a new system to them,” he said. “We’re trying to play catch-up from the summer and put stuff in.
“I think we’re about where I expected us to be,” noted Shaw. “There are some offenses I need to put in, so we’re still playing a little bit of catch-up on the offensive end.
“Defensively, we have most of our system in, which is going to help us,” he added. “I’m more of a defensive coach. If the other team can’t score, they can’t win. You have to be able to play good defense to win.”
IN PHOTO: Sayre’s Zach Moore.
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