Chardon enters the 2020-2021 season with four returning starters and four others who played valuable minutes last winter.
The Hilltoppers, who finished 9-13 last season, also have a lot of momentum following the football team’s run to the state championship game on Saturday.
What the Toppers don’t have is a lot of gym time during the preseason.
“Our strength this year is our experience and athleticism,” said fifth-year head coach Chad Murawski. “We are returning our top eight players from last year. Our weakness for the start of this year is definitely preparation. Because of the success of our football team, we still have not had our varsity players in the gym.”
Among Chardon’s projected starters are two seniors and three juniors. The Hilltoppers also have four seniors, two juniors and a sophomore coming off the bench.
“Our top returning players are very experienced,” Murawski said. “They have had success in their fall sports and I hope that carries onto the hardwood. They are truly winners.”
Leading the way for the Hilltoppers is Brady Toth, a 6-foot-5 senior forward who led the team in scoring last season.
“His body size and ability to score is a tough matchup for bigs and guards,” Murawski said. “He has the talent to be the leading scorer in the gym on any given night.”
Senior Drew Fetchik, a 5-foot-10 guard, is the quarterback of the football team and he’ll be expected to provide the same leadership and big-play ability on the basketball court.
“Drew is a true point guard,” Murawski said. “He is very reliable and meticulous in perfecting his skills; a leader on the football field and true leader on the court as well.”
Juniors Nathan Tager, Nathanael Sulka and Alex Henry are projected to round out the starting lineup.
Sulka, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, and Henry, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, are returning starters.
“Nathanael Sulka is a physical specimen. He is an extremely physical player, good finisher, and competitor,” Murawski said. “Alex Henry also has a very bright future. He started last year as a freshman and has a huge upside.”
Tager is a 6-foot-1 junior guard.
“Nathan is an unbelievable athlete and came on strong at the end of last year,” Murawski said. “An extremely well-rounded young man who has a bright future, Nathan participates in the band, soccer team, football team, and now basketball.”
Depth will be provided by seniors Elliott Tyminski, a 5-foot-10 guard, Kevin Doyle, a 5-foot-9 guard, Gabe Wolf, a 6-foot-2 center, and Shane Callahan, a 5-foot-8 guard, juniors Cody Palovich, a 5-foot-10 junior center and Joshua Bruce, a 6-foot-2 guard, and sophomore Trey Liebhardt, a 5-foot-9 guard.