Griswold High School boys' basketball team working on momentum

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Feb. 17, 2014
Griswold High School junior Zach Hankins (5) looks for an opening with help from senior Nick Faulise (44) at a Griswold-Windham basketball game. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Griswold High School junior Zach Hankins (5) looks for an opening with help from senior Nick Faulise (44) at a Griswold-Windham basketball game. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

It’s been a game of inches for this year’s Griswold High School boys’ basketball team. While the team’s record stood at 8-9 last week as snowstorms ground competition to a halt, “we were just a couple of plays away from being 10-7 or 11-6,” said head coach Rob Mileski.

Halfway through the season, with their record at a respectable 7-4, the Wolverines suffered a two-week late-season stretch in which they lost five consecutive games by a three-point or smaller margin. The losses included a 76-73 loss to Windham in overtime and a 56-55 squeaker against Plainfield, before pulling off a 69-44 win against Wheeler at home Feb. 11.

“It was a tough, stressful couple of weeks,” said Mileski, who is in his sixth year as GHS head coach. Keeping his squad’s momentum in play through the end of the game is the challenge, he said. “You’ve got to play all 32 minutes.”

“At the start of the season I knew this was going to be a talented group, a great group of kids,” said Mileski.”But it’s a very headstrong group. We’re trying to work on the mental aspect of the game – the focus, doing their job. People are open they’re supposed to cover. When we know who the other [team’s] shooters are, we don’t cover them. We’re really trying to work on the intelligence part of the game, the focus part of the game.”

Mileski is down five seniors from last year due to graduation, and this year’s crop of seniors includes forward Nick Faulise and centers Zane Peterson and Joe Gregory. The three captains don’t play at the same time, he said, which gives the rest of the squad some time on the court. Two of Mileski’s sophomores, Jordan Baker and Cole Mileski – the coach’s son – played 20 games of varsity ball last year, so they bring some experience to the court as well. Rounding out the team are juniors Zach Hankins, Dakota Pedro and Evan Dunham and sophomore Ezra Labrie.

Mileski’s crew qualified last week for the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament, which gets underway Feb. 27. The Wolverines will honor their three seniors at their last home game Feb. 24 against Killingly.


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