US Basketball Season Update


Photo taken by Aiden James Dumm (’23)

Oliver Thomas, Staff Writer

The 2021-2022 US varsity basketball team is a youthful and talented group of young men looking to follow up the success of their previous three seasons. Losing an extremely talented and dominant group of seniors is by no means easy to rebuild from, as the preppers graduated 10 seniors last year. Losing this many key pieces will bring many new faces onto the court this year, as a young and talented sophomore and junior class will be heavily depended on. Losing all 5 starters, the Preppers will have a young and electric team. Though the team lacks experience, sophomore Justin Belcher was a key role player on last year’s 14-6 team. When Preppers Coach, Sean Mccdonell was asked about who he looks for in this year’s team to bring leadership, one of the first names he brought up was Belcher.

This year’s seniors are a close-knit group who will have a chance to continue the success of the program. Being that there are only 3 seniors on this year’s team, their leadership and impact on the court are crucial to this team’s success. The preppers backcourt is a much younger group, as sophomore Johny Diaz and Justin Belcher have been two young pieces who play a huge role in the Preppers offense. The Preppers also have a group of freshmen at the guard position, as Josh Belcher and Alec Condon have been two new faces for the preppers this season.

The Preppers have a schedule of many tough teams, including Shaker Heights, St. Edward, and the team that knocked them out of the 2021 playoffs, Green. There is no doubt that the Preppers will be looking for revenge when they face Green later this season. 

So far the Preppers are off to a 1-2 start to their season. In the first game, the Preppers took on the Kenston Bombers, in which the Preppers fell 73-48. “I don’t know if there were any positives,” said Coach Mcdonell when asked about the takeaways from the game against Kenston. However, in the following game against Padua, the Preppers had a 9 point lead going into the 4th quarter, however, they ended up falling 59-53. “We have to be aware of all the good we did to build a lead like that on the road in a hostile environment,” Mcdonnell said. Having the first two games not go the way they may have wanted, there were still plenty of positive takeaways. The three-point shooting has been a strength for young guards Johnathan Diaz and Alex Congdon, as both have been shooting 40% from behind the arc in the Prepper’s first 3 games. Though the Preppers have seen success from the 3 point line, the free-throw shooting has been sub-par as the Preppers are averaging 44% from the charity stripe. The defense has shown great amounts of talent, as Justin Belcher racked up a fantastic game against Warrensville Heights tallying 24 points and 5 steals.

This Saturday at 6 pm, the Preppers take on the Rogers Rams in an exhibition match. Come out and support your fellow students!