The Quince Orchard boys’ basketball team typically ends practice by running wind sprints divided into two groups: guards and big men. This year, however, it’s a little hard to tell the difference.
The Cougars have two players around 6-foot-2 (Cameron Garrett and Garrett Eyrich) and one who may touch 6 feet (Nathan Dorsey). After that, it’s a bunch of kids around 5-foot-10 and shorter.
Oh, and they’re young and kind of slender, too.
So for veteran Coach Paul Foringer and his squad, that means high-pressure defense—just the way he likes it.
“We don’t have any size,” said Foringer. “So we’re going to be pressuring and trapping and getting after people a lot.”
“We might look like we’re a small team,” said senior captain Nathan Dorsey, a forward, “but we’ll run you to death until we get a win.”
One thing QO does have is a very good, but very young group of shooters.
Junior Noah Adnan is the most experienced of the marksmen having been a regular last year. Sophomores Alex Parisotto, who also played varsity last year, Andy Wexler, Cole Allemong and Teddy Kelly can also light it up. And freshman Drew Heinrichs is slotted as the starting point guard.
“He can shoot very well,” Foringer said of Heinrichs. “One of the better freshmen guards that I’ve had ever, since I’ve been here.”
“I have a litany of shooters,” Foringer acknowledged, but he said the real test will be how the underclassmen respond when the games get physical.
“These kids are all—hey they can shoot great, wow. (But) they’re going to get elbowed and get knocked around, and then are they going to be a great shooter now? I don’t know, they may not be.”
On the frontline, Foringer said, “Eyrich has done some really good things around the basket to get inside.” He said Dorsey’s “got some jump,” and he and fellow senior captain Alex Raines “are not afraid of anything,” but their lack of height hurts them inside. Garrett, the biggest player on the team, prefers to play on the perimeter.
The coach also expects senior Savon Atkins, a transfer guard from Magruder, to help the team as he becomes more familiar with the QO style. Senior Nahiem Howell, a defensive back on the state champion football team, will help the defense.
“We’re going to try to make our opposition as uncomfortable as we possibly can,” said Foringer, who will also likely rotate players in and out of the game in waves. “That’s how we’re going to have to win. And then we’re going to have to make threes.”
QO lost their opener to Tuscarora, 70-44, falling behind by 11 in the first quarter and more each period. Garrett led QO with 14 points, including two threes. They took a five-point halftime lead against Rockville last week before losing 48-47. Wexler scored 19 with two threes while Adnan had 11.
“We got to play our style of basketball to be good,” said Raines. “As long as we’re playing our style, I think we can make a decent run, better than last year” when QO went 10-12 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. “People don’t expect much from us, but I think that we can change their minds by the end of the season.”
“We’re just going to get physical,” Dorsey said. “We might be little but we just got to get good position, put a body on you.”
Or, as Foringer said: “Just throw ‘em out there and go get ‘em.”