2017-2018 Trojan basketball preview
Eric Jeffries, Nate Kreitzer, and Allison Williams
Last winter, the Nanticoke boys basketball team shocked the Wyoming Valley Conference. After a devastating overtime loss to Scranton Prep in the district semifinals, the Trojans barely squeaked their way into the state playoffs.
Our boys then went on to make a run for the championship, fighting their way all the way into the final four, where they were the last public school standing in the tournament.
Last years team graduated multiple key players including Luke Butczynski, Cody Piestrak, and Justin Casey. To fill the void on the court left by these former Nanticoke basketball superstars, this years squad will need to rely heavily on young players.
Normally, a young team spells trouble for the upcoming season, but normal teams dont have talented players like point guard Nate Kreitzer and center Trah Krupinski ready to take the reigns. This dynamic duo led their team to a 3-0 start and crushed every team they faced during that stretch by no less than twenty points.
Through these first three games, Kreitzer, who is the only returning starter from the previous season, averaged 23 points per game while Krupinski averaged 21.
If their trending dominance continues throughout the season, Nate and Trah have a good chance at leading the Trojans into a recreation of the previous seasons success.
Coach: John Beggs
2016 results: 21-8, beat No. 2 Meyers for third-place in D2 Class 4A; lost to Imhotep Charter in PIAA semifinals.
Key players: Juniors Nate Kreitzer; Trahjan Krupinski. Sophomores Colby Butczynski; Andy Kozlofski. Freshman Jake Krupinski.
Outlook: The Trojans had an unlikely and incredible 2016-17 season that ended one win short of the state championship game. If they go on a similar playoff run to cap this season, though, it would be even more unlikely and unbelievable. Any team with Kreitzer will have a shot at winning big games. He played lights-out at the end of last season and averaged 12.1 ppg overall. Trahjan Krupinski is another veteran player whos averaging 18.8 ppg through five games. Krupinski and Kreitzer give Nanticoke Area a top-notch inside-out combination. But the Trojans did lose seven seniors and three transfers, forcing them to replace a ton of production.
Coach: John Beggs
2016-17 WVC record: 12-5 Div. 2, 3rd; 21-8 overall
2016-17 postseason: D2-4A Playoffs Wyoming Area, W 60-36; Scranton Prep, L 72-66 2OT; Meyers, W 57-46. PIAA 4A Playoffs Bethlehem Catholic, W 58-56; Conwell-Egan, W 62-54; West Philadelphia, W 78-62; Imhotep, L 60-23
State classification: 4A
Key players lost: Luke Butczynski; Zack Cardone; Justin Casey; Cody Piestrak; Rich Wiaterowski; Matt Piontkowski (transferred to Holy Redeemer/declared ineligible)
Key players: Nate Kreitzer, Jr.; Trahjan Krupinski, Jr.; Dylan Szychowski, Jr.; Colby Butczynski, So.; Andy Kozlofski, So.; Jake Krupinski, Fr.
Outlook: The Trojans lost the bulk of
their size, rebounding and scoring from a team which made it to the Class 4A state
semifinals. Theyll lean heavily on two players, at least early on. Kreitzer
(10.5 ppg) is a dynamic point guard who can drilled 3-pointers with ease. Trahjan
Krupinski (5.3) really came on as a rebounder and inside defender last season.
After those two, the questions are many.