Basketball Looks for Strong Finish

Devinee Bowen

The Shepard varsity boys basketball team is crushing it on the court this year. The Astros record is currently 14-6, already ahead of last year’s pace despite not having last year’s leading scorer and rebounder Chris Harrison who has been out with an injury. 

The Astros have used a balanced scoring attack and played well as a team in Harrison’s absence. 

“This team has very good chemistry and is very coachable,” said Coach Anthony Chiuccariello. “The goals the team wishes to pursue would be to improve everyday and to become the best possible versions of themselves.” They want to be a better team in February than they were in November.

    Seniors Korey Burrell and Thomas Dougherty, are team captains, but Coach Chic is happy with the team’s leadership from others as well. Chiuccariello said, “You don’t have to be a captain to be a good leader.” A good leader can lead (by example without saying a word) or by supporting a teammate when he needs it or by challenging a teammate when it is needed. Jordan Jackson, Phil Boresma, and Burtron Harper have all done an excellent job in leading their team.”

    Chiuccariello wants the team to improve defensively. In the summer and fall, the team gave up too many points during running clock games.

“The team is getting better in certain areas as they are not giving up as many layups and are causing more turnovers each game,” said Chiuccariello.

   “They are best when they are out in transition and are running. The guys on the team are good at finishing on the break. These men are unselfish and pass to the open man in which benefits the team as they run up their score.”.

    Two of the team’s highlights include victories over traditional power Marist, and a last minute win over  Thornton Fractional North. The return of Harrison should make the team even stronger. Chiuccariello believes Harrison will help with both inside and outside scoring as he can both finish around the rim and drain threes. Rebounding should also improve with his return.

      “Chris will be a big help in our quest towards winning conference and a deep play-off run,” said senior Jourdan Jackson.