Depth to fuel Greensburg Central boys this season
The Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball team will turn to its bench early and often throughout the 2015-16 season.
A team that will feature significant minutes for 10 players throughout the season, coach Greg Bisignani said his group goes much deeper than the five players who start.
“I tell my team all the time, we really don’t have a starting five, we have 10 guys that are going to play,” he said. “We’re a team, not a starting five. We’re going to have all kinds of combinations at all times throughout the game.”
“If some guy’s having an off day or anything, we have a guy that can fill that role for him,” added senior guard Tyler White.
White and forward Dom Rullo are back as the team’s two returning starters and highlight a senior class that also includes guards Sam Nowicki and Scott Riley and forward Nick Rullo.
Meanwhile, the junior class is paced by guard/forwards Dom Eisaman, Ben Hertzog, Neal McDermott and Jack Liberatore, along with guard Alvin Ross.
The Centurions’ team depth and balanced scoring was on display in the opening two games of the season as they defeated two of the top teams in Class AA in the Seton-La Salle tournament.
In the season-opening win over Bishop Canevin, White scored 13 points, capped by a winning basket at the buzzer, and Dom Rullo added 10.
In the team’s win over Seton-La Salle the following day, Eisaman and Dom Rullo led the team with 17 points each, and McDermott added 15 and Hertzog had 10.
That type of versatility and balanced scoring is something Bisignani said his team has embraced this season as the Centurions look to return to the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs.
“We don’t really care who’s the leading scorer each game as long as the team has the most points at the end of the game,” he said. “That’s our ultimate goal, and the kids have bought into that so far.”
Greensburg Central Catholic will adjust its lineup on a per-matchup basis as the year goes along while also allowing players’ performances in practices to dictate their playing time in upcoming games.
“It going to be based off of matchups and a game-by-game thing,” White said. “It’s going to be based off how you do in practice. There can be any starting five.”
That type of competition in practice, along with the fact the Centurions can field two competitive teams of five in each session, should lead to better preparation leading up to game days.
“If everyone’s going hard in practice and it’s just like a game time situation, we’re always getting better,” Dom Rullo said.
While the Centurions’ depth and scoring balance proved to be beneficial in the season’s opening weekend, Bisignani and his team know they have plenty to improve on as the season is only beginning.
“We knew we were going to get a good first two games of the season. … We told the kids, we knew if we lost these games it wasn’t going to break the season,” he said. “We also knew if we won these games, it wasn’t going to make the season … we have a lot of work to do.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.