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Tomahawk basketball senior-laden
MARYSVILLE — The Tomahawk boys basketball team has the pieces in place for the classic sports storyline — the seniors that paid their dues and get their moment in the sun.
With eight seniors playing varsity this year and just two seeing substantial varsity time as juniors last year, M-P has a “young” senior team. But though it sounds like a sports fairy tale, the Tomahawks are far from a Cinderella squad.
The Tomahawks have enjoyed district playoff berths in recent years and their first district win last season with the winning combination of a strong post presence, good shooting guards and solid teamwork.
Seniors Ryan Lanphere and Nick Forsythe hope to continue the team’s winning tradition for another season.
“I think a lot of people know about Ryan and a little about Nick,” said M-P coach Bary Gould of his two captains. Lanphere, a defense-oriented guard with a knack for getting his hands in other teams’ passing lanes, will be starting his third season when the Tomahawks tip off this month.
Forsythe started last season as a swing player between junior varsity and varsity but earned a couple of varsity starts by the end of the season after strong performances off the bench. Forsythe came in at forward and occasionally gave a breather to all-league post Taylor Stevens, who is a freshman at North Idaho College this winter.
With those known quantities, it will require a well-rounded team effort to carry the Tomahawks to success. Several of last year’s swing players have the skills to make themselves known in this league.
One of those pieces will be senior Tyler Holm, who will join Lanphere at guard. Holm appears to have added strength in the offseason and ought to catch some teams off guard as injury kept him on the bench last winter.
“He has come on really strong this summer,” Gould added.
Spencer Elwell takes over Stevens’ number and, like his teammate from last season, brings a height advantage to the Tomahawk cagers. His long arms ought to be useful when passing and blocking and his coach adds that Elwell’s footwork has improved as well.
Other weapons M-P’s arsenal include Troy Toler and Nick Soriano, both of whom will probably play at guard. Toler came off the bench late last season with a knack for hitting three-pointers. But in practice, Toler showed he had added some skills in the offseason, finding open lanes for the easy two points and demonstrating a vertical leap that was capable of blocking the 6-8 Elwell.
Frankie Busicchio and Jordan Gobsey round out the squad.
“Those guys, I think they’re just hungry,” Gould said.