Falcons focused on defense in summer
When Salisbury senior Jack Reichenbach got injured during the winter basketball season, head coach Jason Weaver was left with four juniors and one freshman in the starting lineup.
The Falcons endured some growing pains without their leader in Reichenbach. But with all five of those starters returning to the lineup, as well as much of the team’s core, Salisbury is using the summer to improve its chemistry as a team.
“After Jack Reichenbach got hurt, we were starting four juniors and Quinn Warmkessel, who was a freshman,” Weaver said. “So, yeah, there are a lot of guys coming back. We’re getting better playing as a team. We are sharing the ball better and not forcing shots.”
Salisbury defeated Roberto Clemente last week by double digits to improve to 3-4 on the season in the Cedar Beach Summer League. It was the Falcons’ final game before playing in this week’s Bash at the Beach Tournament at Cedar Beach Park.
Jack Frankenfield, who started much of last season at center for the Falcons, dominated inside against Roberto Clemente. If Frankenfield continues to improve in the paint, he’ll be a nice compliment to the Falcons’ shooters from beyond the arc.
“They really didn’t have much size, so Jack Frankenfield sort of dominated inside,” Weaver said. “He had 14 or 16 points. We were able to get out and run on them, too. We got some decent transition baskets. It was good for us to get a win.”
The Falcons also recently capped a solid outing at a tournament in Pottsville where they won two games. They got the experience of playing against a Reading team that pressured Salisbury for much of the game, a facet of the game the haunted the inexperienced Falcons in the winter.
“Obviously Reading took it to us, but I think it’s good for us to see those teams as well,” Weaver said. “Last year we struggled with pressure. I think playing teams like Reading that are in our face and trapping us is only going to make us better.”
Weaver is also looking for the Falcons’ team defense to turn it up a notch in the offseason. And it starts with the leadership of incoming senior guards Sean Snyder and Tommy Sylvester.
“It’s been on them to sort of pick it up defensively,” Weaver said. “And they have the past couple of weeks and it really makes a difference.
“We just played up in Pottsville in a little tournament this past weekend. We are getting better defensively, and I think that’s one of the things that I’m trying to focus on. We have to get stops. We have to rebound. We have to play good help defense. All of those things. I think because we are getting better defensively, it’s leading to some easier baskets on the other end in transition.”
Salisbury faces Panther Valley in the opening round of the Beach at the Bash tournament on Thursday at 6 p.m.