Youth, depth held back Belding boys basketball

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:00 am on Monday, March 25, 2013

Belding junior Nick Price, left, brings the ball up the court during the district boys basketball tournament this season.

BELDING — Belding’s boys basketball program had some growing pains to go through this season.

It started with new coach Jeff Wierzbicki, who took over the program from Brian Babbitt. He put in a new system for the Redskins to digest.

The result was a 4-16 season overall and 1-11 in the O-K Blue Conference.

“We stared the year off 3-3 then we went through a spell in January and February where we couldn’t get a win but we were very competitive,” Wierzbicki said. “I implemented a lot of things and to their credit we played a lot better at the end of the season.”

Not only were the Redskins having to learn a new system, there weren’t enough players in the playing rotation, Wierzbicki noted.

“In our program we’re not as deep as I would like us to be,” he said. “We had a lot of guys play a lot of minutes to keep us in the game. But with eight sophomores coming back our future looks bright as far as adding depth to our varsity level.”

Three players were the team leaders in just about every statistical category. Brendan Zuver, Brendan Sutherland and Kole Hart were the top players on Belding’s team.

“Brendan and Brendan and Kole Hart helped us along in the big stat categories,” Wierzbicki said.

Hart was O-K Blue first-team while Zuver was an honorable mention.

But there were others who contributed a signicant role on the Redskins team, Wierzbicki said.

“Guys like Nick Price at point guard got some valuable minutes at that position,” he said. “Ty Wittenach and Brian Daller Were rotating at the five spot. Both of those guys are juniors coming back. Bryce Wilker, a 6-5 sophomore played varsity all season long won’t be having to get the kinks out and will be fighting for an all-conference player.”

Having a year of experience with the new system will help out next season, but there’s a bright future ahead, Wierzbicki noted.

“It’s hard to say wins and losses, but we were young this year,” he said. “We’re going to have an entire summer playing all June that these guys are going to be able to continue the progress we had in February and March. We’re going to have Kole Hart back and seven other guys that played a lot this year.”

The players will have to get better individually, too, he said.

“It’s a tough conference year in and year out,” Wierzbicki said. “For us to get better individually each guy has an are they can help. Collectively each player needs to work on one part of their game to help the team next year.”

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