Falcons will share the scoring load
Following Saturday’s win against Oley Valley in which four Falcons finished in double figures, head coach Jason Weaver flashed back to a memorable performance from former Falcon Jack Reichenbach a year ago. Reichenbach had scored 25 points in the opening half of last year’s season opener.
Weaver noted that it’s unlikely any of his current players could put up those numbers in a half, but admitted that balanced scoring isn’t a bad thing. If Salisbury (5-17 overall in 2018, 5-13 in Colonial League) wants to get back to postseason play, balanced scoring figures to be key.
“I think there is more balance,” Weaver said. “I think last year sometimes we deferred to Jack and see what he is going to do. Once he went down last year, I think we found a little bit more balance, which isn’t a bad thing. Obviously there were a lot of games were Jack saved us because of his scoring.”
Reichenbach is now part of The University of Rhode Island track and field team, leaving a major scoring void from last winter. Khaleel Foster, who played all summer with Weaver and the Falcons, transferred unexpectedly to Executive Education Academy Charter School.
“I’ll coach the guys that are here,” Weaver said. “As long as we are playing hard, this team is going to be in battles all the time. I just want to be in games.”
Still, plenty of talent, both experienced and new, returns for Weaver.
Leading the list of returnees is senior point guard Sean Snyder and senior guard/forward Tommy Sylvester. Snyder has been starting at the point guard spot for years under Weaver, and Sylvester has plenty of varsity experience himself.
Senior center Jack Frankenfield, who will undoubtedly give opposing teams issues with his 6-foot-8 frame, is also back but missed the first two games due to injury. He is expected back for the Falcons’ Colonial League opener against Pen Argyl on Tuesday.
During his absence, sophomore forward Quinn Warmkessel has handled a majority of the Falcons’ rebounding and done a solid job down low. He started the final 10 games or so for Weaver last year as a freshman and provides a mismatch for opposing teams.
But perhaps the biggest change from last year will be the play of Quintin Stephens. While just a sophomore, Stephens’ ability to run in transition and get to the basket has been on full display through two games. He scored 15 against Blue Mountain and then added 12 against Oley Valley.
“[Quintin] played well over the summer for us in terms of attacking the basket and being aggressive,” Weaver said. “[Junior] Joe Panariello started these past two games. He’s a streaky shooter, but you can see when he plays under control he can get to the basket.”
A number of other underclassmen have made immediate impacts so far and figure to be key building blocks to this team’s season and future. Patrick Foley, a junior guard, has one of the best three-point shots on the team. Trey Weber and Zach Cornish, also juniors, provide plenty of depth for Weaver off the bench.
“Foley played last year for us, and he came in and hit two big threes for us tonight in the third quarter,” Weaver said. “I thought those were two really big shots. Then you have Zach Cornish, who is a guy in the mix for minutes and is a good three-point shooter.”