Weekly Feature

2018-01-11 / Sports

Depew boys’ hoops team off to 5-2 start


The Depew boys’ basketball team has moved to 3-0 in league play and 5-2 overall with an 83-27 win over Eden Thursday. The win was the strongest defensive effort the team has put forth this season.

“We’re starting to defend a little better,” Depew coach Larry Jones said. “I mean, we held them to 27 points. You’re not talking about a real strong team, but we did start to pressure a little better. We got lots of points off of turnovers and executed a little better offensively, too. We had a good shooting night, we shot about 58 percent.”

Chad Biersbach led the way with 32 points while Jordan Ciesielski had 19 and Matt Martin had 10. Biersbach and Ciesielski were especially strong early on, enabling them to jump out to a big lead.

“Chad played really well. He got off to a hot start — he had four threes in the first quarter,” Jones said. “Jordan Ciesielski played real well, too. I think they had 26 of our 28 in the first quarter. They had a real big first quarter to get us off quickly.”

Part of the team’s early-season success can be traced to style of play. The team tries to play fast and pressures the other team to do the same. The goal is to dictate the tempo of the game and make the other team play how they want them to play.

“A lot of times when you can pressure people and get some easy baskets, you can get to a team early and get them on their heels,” Jones said. “That’s kind of what we’re attempting to do, make teams play a little faster. Hopefully, that turns into them eventually getting tired and we can have some success, or you can force some turnovers and create some easy baskets for yourself. Either way, if you’re successful with it and don’t get beat by giving up layup after layup, you can be in pretty good shape.”

While Biersbach and Ciesielski have been playing well all year, the team is starting to see more depth emerge. Senior Dylan Swiklinski is back from a rib injury and is starting to make an impact.

“Early in the season in one of our scrimmages, he had a rib issue,” Jones said. “He had a break or a crack in one of his ribs so he had to sit a while. So it’s taken him a little while to get back in the flow. In the St. Mary’s loss and the Eden game, he got back into it. He’s a bigger kid, about 6-foot-1-inch, so we could use that size down low. He can shoot the ball a little bit. The better he plays, the more options we have on offense.”

The team is still without Sean Miller, who tweaked his ankle in a game a few weeks back. He’ll add another scoring thread when he returns. Additionally, junior Matt Martin is starting to emerge on the offensive end.

“Junior Matt Martin has started to come on and play well for us,” Jones said. “I believe he had 10 points in the Eden game; he had a couple threes. He didn’t do a lot the first few games, but he’s starting to get some more playing time. I even started him the last couple games. We’re going from being a two-person team to a little more well-rounded and a little deeper.”

The Wildcats will take on Alden and JFK this week, both of whom will be tough league matchups. They’ll be seeing a lot of that from here on out.

“Alden is our first home game of the season, besides our tournament,” Jones said. “Then JFK, I think, only has one league loss and that was to Lackawanna. Obviously, we need to take care of business against Alden. Should that happen, that would make Thursday even bigger. We’re getting into the meat of our schedule. We’re going to play more and more league teams. This is the time we need to start playing better.”

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