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Red Devils move forward despite losses

By Murray Gleffe

Correspondent


GREEN BAY — Rafe Whalen and Isaiah Hermans did about everything as seniors last year for the Green Bay East boys’ basketball team.

The Red Devils started last season 0-6 before winning 9 of their next 12 games on the way to a 10-13 overall mark.

“We started with no wins because we had some growing pains with two freshmen playing big minutes,” said head coach Rick Rosinski, whose team finished 6-8 in the Bay Conference last season. “Once we figured things out, we started to play. We had no size and had to adjust to some different defenses. As we got more practice time as a group, it helped build cohesion.”

The Red Devils fell 88-72 to Homestead in a WIAA Division 2 regional game to end their season.

Whalen averaged 26.5 points and topped the 30-point mark six times, including a 45-point performance at Plymouth.

Hermans added a second punch, pouring in 374 points and averaging 5.5 rebounds.

A pair of sophomores will be asked to replace the graduated duo.

Rick Rosinski

By the end of last season, Ryan Sweeney and Jalen Flowers were starters as freshmen.

“We will be young again with only two seniors,” Rosinski said. “We understand this is a process. Our goal is to improve and gradually continue to get better for the next few years. Hopefully, we can continue to run and push the ball in transition and build defensively with solid man defense.”

Others who could contend include Cole Gillespie and Othoniel Sicairos.

The three-point shot continues to be a key point for teams in Wisconsin.

“The three-point shot has drastically changed high school basketball overall,” said Rosinski. “It seems every shot is a three or layup if the shooter pumps and then kicks it underneath to a guy in the lane. In my opinion, there is no mid-range game or post scoring anymore. A lot of the frontcourt players like to follow some of the pros or the European League and shoot the three.  I would like to see the three-point line go back to the new college distance. The way high school kids shoot, it’s not as difficult as it was years ago.”

Rosinski has seen talented players come through his program, but basketball is not the only thing that keeps him around.

“It’s not easy at times here,” Rosinski said. “Sometimes you wear more than the hat of a basketball coach. There are issues outside of the game you try to deal with, which sometimes are out of your control. When you see success stories and the former players come back to visit, the hard times do not seem all bad. I received a text message from Cornelius Steel [2015 graduate] two weeks ago. The text was a player and coach hugging, and the caption read, ‘Never take a good coach for granted – especially a coach who cares for you as a person, not just an athlete.’ I think that’s what it’s all about.”


                                                     Green Bay East boys’ basketball schedule

 

12/2 – @ Luxemburg-Casco – 7:15 p.m.

12/5 – Wausau East

12/6 – @ Manitowoc Lincoln – 7:15 p.m.

12/10 – Seymour

12/13 – @ Green Bay West

12/20 – @ Xavier

1/3 – Ashwaubenon

1/7 – @ New London

1/10 – @ West De Pere

1/17 – @ Shawano Community

1/21 – Plymouth

1/23 – Menasha

1/28 – @ Seymour

2/1 – Green Bay West

2/6 – Xavier

2/11 – @ Wausau West – 7:15 p.m.

2/14 – New London

2/15 – @ Marquette (Michigan) – 2 p.m.

2/18 – West De Pere

2/21 – Shawano

2/24 – Port Washington

2/27 – @ Menasha

Editor’s note: All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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