In search of a turnaround; Mercer returns 5 starters

The Mustangs are participating in Redbank Valley's Tip-Off tournament.

Mercer Mustangs High School Basketball

2017-18 Mercer Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Dustin Snyder
Record: 4-19 (3-11), 7th place in Region 2

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Through sickness or injury coach Dustin Snyder points out that all of his letter winners started at some point last season. A Pair of seniors are set to lead Mercer into the upcoming season. Jimmy Amon and Jordon Baker each had strong junior years last winter. Amon scored 8.3 points and hauled down 7.0 caroms last year. Baker dished out 1.2 assists while scoring 5.9 points. “Jimmy has been a force on and off the court throughout his career,” Snyder praises. “He’s having a huge football season, which as a coach I am extremely happy for him. I think he takes a huge leap this season and could be a double-double machine.” Baker also led the team in free throw percentage by sinking 34 of 47 attempts for 72.3%. Senior Marcus Ryder connected on 26.2% of his three-point shots (11-42). All of our returning lettermen (Baker, Ryder, Brian Shevitz, Danny Scheidhauer) will be big contributors this year. We also have a few guys joining our program who haven’t played that could burst onto the scene and play huge roles for us.”

Snyder indicates, “Our senior group has alot of experience at the varsity level and has spent alot of time on the court. Our guys should all see equal touches. In the past, we’ve fed alot through one or two guys.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 8 – Redbank Valley Tip-Off (Redbank Valley), 7:30
Dec. 9 – Redbank Valley Tip-Off (TBD)
Dec. 12 – at Jamestown, 7:15
Dec. 16 – at Moniteau, 7:30
Dec. 22 – at West Middlesex, 7:30
Dec. 28 – Mercer Christmas Tournament
Dec. 29 – Mercer Christmas Tournament
Jan. 3 – at Wilmington, 7:15
Jan. 5 – Greenville, 7:15
Jan. 9 – Lakeview, 7:15
Jan. 12 – at Sharpsville, 7:15
Jan. 16 – at Rocky Grove, 7:15
Jan. 18 – Reynolds, 7:15
Jan. 23 – West Middlesex, 7:15
Jan. 26 – Wilmington, 7:15
Jan. 30 – at Greenville, 7:15
Jan. 31 – Ft. LeBoeuf, 7:15
Feb. 2 – at Lakeview, 7:15
Feb. 6 – Sharpsville, 7:15
Feb. 9 – Rocky Grove, 7:15
Feb. 10 – at Riverside
Feb. 13 – at Reynolds, 7

Challenges
The Mustangs lose three of their top four scorers in Brock Watson (15.3), Kyle Ricketts (7.1) and Alex VanWoert (6.6). Watson, who led the team in scoring, averaged 6.5 boards and 3.9 assists while shooting 46.0% (128-278) from the floor and 72.2% from the foul line (90-125). “Losing Brock hurts,” Snyder says, “because he was the one who did most of our ball handling and was a guy who we could go to if we needed a bucket.” Ricketts finished in the top four in scoring, rebounding (3.4), assists (1.5) and steals (1.8) per game. He also shot 26.1% from beyond the arc (23-88). VanWoert closed out the 2016-17 campaign by averaging over 6 points (6.6) and 6 rebounds (6.4) per contest. He also shot 70.3% from the charity stripe (26-37).

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 34.2% (77-148)
League Championships: None
State Playoff Record: 0-0
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 45.0
Scoring Defense: 55.3
Rebounding: 27.5
Field Goal Percentage: 35.9%
Three-Point Percentage: 21.8%
Free Throw Percentage: 66.6%

2016-17 Results
Iroquois 38 Mustangs 35
Reynolds 55 Mustangs 51
Rocky Grove 61 Mustangs 49
Mustangs 65 Sharpsville 59
Lakeview 50 Mustangs 33
Greenville 51 Mustangs 26
Wilmington 66 Mustangs 39
West Middlesex 61 Mustangs 52
Reynolds 49 Mustangs 46
Rocky Grove 57 Mustangs 53
Mustangs 70 Sharpsville 38
Cochranton 61 Mustangs 47
Mustangs 46 Lakeview 37
Greenville 57 Mustangs 32
Wilmington 66 Mustangs 34
Slippery Rock 46 Mustangs 37
Shenango 67 Mustangs 52
West Middlesex 56 Mustangs 45
Lincoln 48 Mustangs 33
Hickory 79 Mustangs 47
Mustangs 67 Jamestown 57
Slippery Rock 56 Mustangs 43
Grove City 57 Mustangs 34

Key Number
The Mustangs have posted just two winning seasons in the last 10 years (2013-14: 12-11; 2007-08: 15-9).

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s