The Shaler Area Basketball Boys basketball team’s season is underway. The Titans opened this season on December 9th against Perry in a Tip off Tournament at Shaler Area. The team finished 1-1 in the tournament after losing to Kiski in the Championship game.
“In the Perry game we came out a little jittery which is normal for the first game, but once we settled down we executed very well. In the Kiski game, I think every person on our team felt like we were the better team, but the ball didn’t roll our way that game.” Coach Rob Niederberger said
The team lost a several seniors and a good chunk of its starting lineup from last year, but there are still some high expectations for the boys this season. This year the team is looking to not only the seniors but the younger guys to step up. The team, for the start of the season, will only have two seniors in their starting lineup.
Niederberger, in his second year as Shaler Area varsity head coach, is ready for the season and feels confident coming into it.
“I feel pretty good. I feel like these guys have put in a lot of work throughout the offseason. We started going back to workouts in February, and I feel like the guys who were sophomores last year had a lot of skill they just weren’t physically and mentally ready but they are now,” Niederberger said.
The basketball team play in arguably the best section of the WPIAL and the schedule is loaded up with tough opponents all year long. Senior Tanner Reinheimer who is closing in on scoring his 1000th point as a Varsity player, is totally ready for the challenges that come in with these teams in the 6A.
“It’s the hardest section in the WPIAL. We know what we have to go up against but I am confident that if we shut down a few key players when we play certain teams, we can definitely come out with wins,” Reinheimer said.
The team played in numerous offseason games, preparing for this year. Niederberger is confident that this got the younger players on the team ready to go when it comes down to true varsity minutes during regular season games.
The team will also have to overcome what could be one of its biggest problems: The Titans are the smallest team in their section by far. The players and coaches are both looking to beat teams with the speed that their team possesses.
“It doesn’t faze us. We know the way we need to play in order for us to be successful. This offseason we spent a lot of time shooting because of our size. You can’t change who you are but I feel like we can be a tough out for anyone we play,” Niederberger said.