Under-sized Wildcats rely on hustle and quickness

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Thu., Dec. 13, 2012
Tyron Williams drives with the ball. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Tyron Williams drives with the ball. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Suffield High School boys’ basketball team may not be the most physically imposing squad opposing teams will see during the season, but it’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog - or in this case, Wildcat. What Suffield lacks in size and strength, it compensates for with tenacity, hustle and drive.

Suffield is coming off a 9-12 season finishing 11th in the highly-competitive North Central Connecticut Conference and earning a berth in the Class M state tournament, where it fell to seventh-seeded Valley Regional of Deep River.

“There are a lot of really good teams in the league, and I think the league is up this year, so it’s going to be a fight every night,” said head coach Dan Gatto.

His backcourt is led by senior captain Tyron Williams and junior captain Nolan McCoy. McCoy and Williams will split the duties of playing point guard and shooting guard. Williams looks to be the Wildcats’ biggest threat offensively. He has what seems to be an endless bag of moves and tricks to drive and slash to the hoop, with a great ability to finish in traffic and under pressure. Williams is strong around the basket, and the range of his jump shots has increased, which will keep defenders honest.

The extremely under-sized front court is led by senior captain Ben Woodhouse and junior captain Sean Sullivan. On a good day, they stand above 6 feet tall, but this should not affect them like one would think, because both have a knack for positioning under the basket, as well as timing their jumps and reaching and swatting to create steals.

Rebounding will be by committee for the Wildcats, with five guys crashing the boards. Gatto expects his two under-sized forwards to box out and have the guards come in and clean up the rebounds. Gatto plans to play an up-tempo style of play with lots of pressing and trapping to create easy offense off of their quick and athletic defense.

The Wildcats will also look for strong contributions off the bench from seniors Damien Gunn and Troy Hastings and sophomore Gezim Ramadani.

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