SACKETS HARBOR, New York (WWNY) – With the fall sports season over, it’s time to focus on the winter high school sports season.
We head to the hardwood and take a look at the Sackets Harbor Patriots Boys’ Basketball Team, a squad with high expectations heading into the season.
Coach Jeff Robbins’ Patriots finished last season with a 22-2 overall record and a perfect 12-0 in Frontier League play, losing to Hamilton in the Section 3 Class D championship game.
With the core of the team back, expectations are high for the Patriots heading into the 2023-24 season.
”The expectations are high, but the only expectations that really matter are what we place on ourselves. We gotta pitch the point that [we] just gotta come to work every day, try to get better every day. We can’t worry about circumstances out of our control. We just gotta get better each day,” said Robbins.
The Patriots return their top 5 scorers, led by senior Austin Griner who led the team averaging over 21 points a game and junior Marcus Castine, who averaged almost 16 points a contest.
The players feel having this group together for so long will be a big plus heading into the 2023-24 season.
”Well, we’re all tight. We’ve been playing for years ever since we were little, so we got that chemistry and we’re just trying to keep building it up this year,” said Jake Peters.
”Probably a lot of teamwork and leadership. Everyone has the skill and everything, but leadership is gonna take us the whole way,” said Austin Griner.
A point of emphasis for the Patriots heading into the season will be improving their mental toughness on the hardwood and staying positive when the shots aren’t falling in key situations.
”I think we’re very strong physically, definitely. I think we could be stronger mentally, though. We tend to get down on ourselves a little bit when we don’t make as many shots as we want to,” said Marcus Castine.
Robbins says the key to his team having another successful season and making another run to the sectional championship will be how well they play on the defensive end this year.
”Yeah, I mean we gotta be able to lock down. There’s gonna be nights where the ball won’t go in the basket, tough shooting night, we play a tough defensive team. We gotta be able to match that on the defensive end and create offense from our defense,” said Robbins.
Look for the Patriots to be one of the favorites not only in the Frontier League D Division, but Section 3 as well.
1812 Sports and Entertainment will be holding their first ever Boys’ Lacrosse Recruiting Conference this coming Friday at IHC.
The conference begins at 10 a.m. and is free to all parents, players and coaches that want to attend.
Ryder Simser, a graduate assistant at LeMoyne, Tyler Simser, an Assistant Coach at Southern New Hampshire, and JCC Men’s Lacrosse Coach Chad Parker will give a coaches perspective.
While Rowan Marsell from Delaware University and Ethan Hopkins from Clarkson University will be in attendance to give a players perspective to those in attendance.
”Come, sit down, see what everyone has to say. See what college coaches are looking for and then also hear what the college players have to say about their experience through the process,” said Chad Green, President of 1812 Sports and Entertainment.
”It’s kind of a crazy time. You know, going into your junior, senior year of high school. You have all different coaches reaching out to you and everything else. It’s a whole whirlwind, honestly. You don’t really know what to expect and you don’t really know what’s going to happen going into the whole thing. To give these kids the advice from a college coach’s perspective as well as a players’ perspective is a good thing, for sure,” said Mike Schepis, Vice President of 1812 Sports and Entertainment.
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