2015-16 Maplewood Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Maplewood Rockets’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Nathan Kish, 5th season at Maplewood (69-26)
Record: 20-5 (14-2), 1st in NAC Stars
5-Year Winning Percentage: 70.9%

Season in Review
Since beginning the season with a 3-2 mark, the Rockets won seventeen of their final twenty games which included two post-season victories by a combined score of 174-92 before falling to Cornerstone Christian.

In all 25 games, Nate Spitler scored in double-figures which featured a 39-point performance on March 3 against Bloomfield. Over the last three years, Spitler scored over 1000 points (1029) as he was able to make 123 three-pointers and 325 rebounds. Dan Denman finished the 2014-15 season with 11 double-doubles.

Maplewood has improved their turnover ratio in each of the past two seasons (2012-13: 19.6; 2013-14: 15.0; 2014-15: 13.0). The Rockets were able to post their second straight 20-win season.

Key Losses
Dan Denman (12.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg)
Derek Morrison (9.6 ppg, 3.4 apg)
Nate Spitler (22.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.4 apg)

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 67.7
Scoring Defense: 47.3
Rebounding: 33.3
Field Goal Percentage: 47.6%
Three Point Percentage: 35.0%
Free Throw Percentage: 67.6%
Turnovers: 13.8

Key Returnees
The Rockets return to action without a single senior on the early roster. The team will rely on the experience which three underclassmen received last year by seeing action in all 25 games. Jake Hall averaged 8.0 points per game while grabbing 4.1 rebounds and dishing out 2.2 assists. Jake’s classmate Zach Dawson posted a 6.8 scoring average and 5.0 rebounds. Bobby Evan put together a solid stat line as a freshman last winter (5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 apg). Alex Ventura (0.7 ppg, 0.9 rpg) played in 19 games on the varsity level.

Alex Bell (5’10/Jr)
Collin Crowe (6’3/Jr)
Zach Dawson (6’3/Jr)
Dillon Dixon (5’11/Jr)
Jake Hall (6’2/Jr)
Alex Ventura (5’10/Jr)
Jared Bedlion (5’11/So)
Thomas Dorsey (5’10/So)
Bobby Evan (5’11/So)
Tommy Rink (5’9/So)
Matthew Sheely (5’10/So)

Northeastern Athletic Conference Stars Outlook
Badger Badger has finished with 14 losses or more in each of the past four seasons.

Grand Valley The Mustangs have endured through three consecutive losing seasons. Grand Valley is hoping to achieve some consistency which could bring them back into contention.

Maplewood The Rockets have completed back-to-back seasons with 20 wins. Maplewood lost a lot last year (Nate Spitler, Dan Denman, Derek Morrison) but appear to have a stable of young, bruising players in the likes of Jake Hall and Zach Dawson.

Mathews Mathews saw an increase in their win total by five victories (10 to 15) last winter. Could we see another increase this year?

Pymatuning Valley Uncharacteristically, Py Valley finished the 2014-15 season with a losing record (11-12). This year should be much different.

Windham You have to think last year’s sub-500 record was just a mirage – the team has played in the Final Four three times in school history.

2015-16 Schedule
Dec. 1 – Lakeview, 7
Dec. 4 – Pymatuning Valley, 7:30
Dec. 11 – Windham, 7:30
Dec. 15 – Bristol, 7:30
Dec. 18 – at Badger, 7:15
Dec. 22 – at Mathews, 7:30
Dec. 29 – Warren JFK, 7:30
Jan. 5 – at Lutheran East, 7:30
Jan. 8 – Grand Valley, 7:30
Jan. 12 – at Bristol, 7:30
Jan. 15 – at Pymatuning Valley, 6
Jan. 19 – at Lordstown, 7:30
Jan. 22 – at Windham, 7:30
Jan. 26 – Newbury, 7:30
Jan. 29 – Badger, 7:15
Feb. 2 – at Southington, 7:30
Feb. 5 – Mathews, 7:30
Feb. 9 – at Champion, 7
Feb. 12 – at Grand Valley, 7:30
Feb. 16 – Bloomfield, 7

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: None
…Maplewood has won the Sectional Championship in each of the last three years while registering five playoff wins during that span.

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