Grove CIty ready for another season on the run
The game plan remains the same for the Grove City High School boys basketball team in coach Greg Waits' 12th season.
The Greyhounds will be an up-tempo team featuring a pressure defense and a fast-break offense.
"We're going to run our secondary (fast break), we're going to fly up and down the court every time," Waits said. "We'll play 10 kids every game. The way we play, we have to play 10 kids or we can't play that way. We're full-court, man-to-man (on defense) the whole game and we're going to run every single time (possible), so we have to have 10 kids or we'd have to walk it up."
Grove City opened the season by finishing second in the Grove City Tip-Off Classic held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. After defeating Chillicothe 78-53 in the first round, the Greyhounds lost to Westland 92-81 in the title game.
Senior guard Christian Meister, who scored a team-high 18 points against Chillicothe, led Grove City with 23 points against Westland and was named to the all-tournament team.
"We're going to run all the time," said Meister, who is 6-foot-2. "It's the only way I like to play basketball. We can go as far as our work takes us. If we work hard and trust in each other, we'll go as far as we want."
Grove City begins OCC-Ohio Division play Friday, Dec. 7, when it plays host to Reynoldsburg.
Last season, the Greyhounds finished 15-7 overall, losing to Hilliard Davidson 54-50 in the second round of the Division I district tournament after beating Westland 83-79 in the first round.
Leading the returnees are Meister and 6-5 senior guard Brandon Bapst, who last season averaged 11.8 points and led the team in rebounding at 7.0 per game. Bapst was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Also back are seniors Tyler Hale (6-0, guard), Brenden Mathews (6-4, guard), Devonta Thomas (6-4, forward) and Bryton Wise (6-5, guard) and juniors Tyler Cowles (6-1, guard) and Scott Luchini (5-9, guard).
Other players are seniors Brian Stith (6-3, guard) and Dominic Marino (5-10, guard), juniors Tyler Dunn (6-1, guard) and Ben Myers (6-0, guard) and sophomores Nick Bapst (6-3, guard) and Ryan Grooms (6-3, guard).
"Our goals are to win the league and win the district," Waits said.
"We always set our goals high and if we reach them that's great, and if we don't, we're going to battle like crazy to get there."
The Greyhounds lost seven 2012 graduates, including Brad Saxton, who led the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Last season, Grove City tied Gahanna for third in the league at 8-6, behind Pickerington Central (13-1) and Newark (11-3) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (7-7), Pickerington North (7-7), Lancaster (2-12) and Groveport (0-14).
Central went on to win the Division I state title.
"We have a great league with a bunch of great coaches and great players," Waits said. "We have our work cut out for us every night. It's a fun league to play in because you play good teams."