East Canton boys look to exploit their inside play

·2 min read
Returning lettermen for the 2021-22 East Canton boys basketball team are (left to right) Luke Riley, Landen Demos, Caleb Shilling, Chase Vacco and Mario Snellenberger.
Returning lettermen for the 2021-22 East Canton boys basketball team are (left to right) Luke Riley, Landen Demos, Caleb Shilling, Chase Vacco and Mario Snellenberger.
Members of the 2021-22 East Canton varsity boys basketball team are (front row, left to right) Mario Snellenberger, Luke Riley, Chase Vacco, Head Coach Ryan McGonagle, Dominic Hicks, Landen Demos and Alec Penrod; and (back row) Coach Ryan Johanning, Coach Jim Gensley, Olly Schrader, Jaedyn McLeod, Caleb Shilling, Ben Gallagher, Coach Nathan Borntrager and Coach Nathan Martin.
Members of the 2021-22 East Canton varsity boys basketball team are (front row, left to right) Mario Snellenberger, Luke Riley, Chase Vacco, Head Coach Ryan McGonagle, Dominic Hicks, Landen Demos and Alec Penrod; and (back row) Coach Ryan Johanning, Coach Jim Gensley, Olly Schrader, Jaedyn McLeod, Caleb Shilling, Ben Gallagher, Coach Nathan Borntrager and Coach Nathan Martin.

“We have the individual talent to compete in the league this season,” stated Ryan McGonagle, who is heading into his first year as head coach of the boys program at East Canton. “We have some learning to do in terms of playing as a group and putting winning first. We have a balanced team that can score in a number of ways, and I believe we will be the biggest team in the league. Our size, combined with our guard play, makes us a team that can compete in the IVC.”

The Hornets return five lettermen from last season’s 4-13 team.

Back are seniors Luke Riley (guard), Chase Vacco (forward), Landen Demos (point guard) and Mario Snellenberger (guard); and sophomore Caleb Shilling (center).

Also being looked upon to contribute are seniors Alec Penrod (guard) and Dominic Hicks (guard); junior Ben Gallagher (guard/forward); and sophomores Jaedyn McLeod (forward) and Olly Schrader (guard).

“Our strength this year will be our size and balance,” commented Coach McGonagle. “We have a 6’8 sophomore in Caleb Shilling, a 6’6 sophomore in Jaedyn McLeod, and a 6’3 strong post player in Chase Vacco. We will utilize a variety of ways to get the ball inside to our post players, but we also have solid guard play.

“Luke Riley is an explosive guard who can score the ball at all three levels, but is best going to the rim. Alec Penrod, a transfer from Louisville, is an athletic guard who is a shooter first, but can also finish around the basket. Landen Demos is our most consistent player at this point. He brings leadership, facilitating and scoring to our group.

“Mario Snellenberger is a good on-ball defender who can also get to the basket. Dominic Hicks is a guard who can handle the ball and shoot. Olly Schrader is a promising sophomore who will get varsity minutes. He has a lot of potential to not only defend, but also score. Ben Gallagher brings a physical presence to our team.”

Coach McGonagle projects his starting lineup to consist of Demos, Riley, Penrod, Vacco and Shilling.

“Malvern and Tusky Central should be the favorites to win the league,” noted Coach McGonagle. “They have two of the best players in the league in Minor and Sabin. Malvern’s established program will always put them near the top. Strasburg will be extremely well coached. Adam Hall will always have his team prepared and I feel they can knock anyone off because of that. I know Buckeye Trail has the Rome kid, but I don’t know much else about them. Jeremy Ady at Conotton will be a big reason the Rockets are improved this year.”

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: East Canton boys look to exploit their inside play

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