2011-12 Winter Preview: Things looking up for Park boys basketball team?After graduating its top five scorers from last season, the Wolfpack will look to change its recent history with a new ensemble cast this year.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
It’s been a while since the Park boys basketball team won a Suburban East Conference game.
Park, which is 2-52 the past two seasons, last won a conference game on Feb. 20, 2009, beating White Bear Lake 63-61 amidst a 7-19 campaign three seasons ago.
After graduating its top five scorers from last season, the Wolfpack will look to change its recent history with a new ensemble cast this year.
Park will need to fill the shoes of key departures Ben Mair, who led the team in scoring with a 9.9 points per game average and Antonio Dominguez, who was second in scoring at 6.5 points per game, along with Mark Christian (6.5 points per game), Anthony Jones (6.3 points per game) and August Omot (5.4 points per game).
Key returners Robert Briggs, Anthony Tola, Tim Vorwerk and Austen Kruzeski – all seniors – come back to lead the way for the Wolfpack this winter.
Kruzeski and Tola are the top two returning scorers from last season. Kruzeski, a 6-foot-5 post player, was sixth on the team in scoring as a junior, averaging 5.3 points per game. Tola, a 6-2 forward scored 5.2 points per game.
“The players have been extremely focused on consistently learning and improving, working hard and being good teammates,” Park second-year head coach J Schwartz said.
Park opens the season on Friday, Dec. 2, against Simley at Park High School. The team’s first conference game is at Stillwater on Friday, Dec. 16.
Teams to beat in the SEC this year include: Roseville, Cretin-Derham Hall, Stillwater and Woodbury.
In Section 3AAAA, Park’s most challenging foes will be Eastview and Apple Valley.