Warriors return ‘solid core group’ on hardwood

Published Nov 29, 2018 at 12:00pm

CLINTON — With six returning players from the varsity team that finished second in the Center State Conference Division I last season, the Class B Clinton boys basketball team heads into the 2018-19 season with a “solid core group,” said coach Jim Sojda.

Sojda’s team also advanced to the sectional qualifiers last year. The Warriors travel to Sauquoit Valley on Nov. 29 in a 7 p.m. start.

The Warriors’ returning starters include junior forward Tanner Deveans, a CSC All-Star, who at 6-foot led the team with 220 rebounds, averaging 10.5 rebounds per game, placing in the top 10 in rebounds in all of Section III.

Starting junior Josh Wilcox, another CSC All-Star, who will participate in his fourth varsity season for the Warriors, is 6-foot-2 and has accumulated 324 points, averaging 8.2 points per game. Added to the round-up is junior guard Eddie Llanos.

The newcomers of the team to watch are 5-foot-10 guard Noah King, 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Nick Crane, and 5-foot-10 freshman Chad Spann-Thomas.

Other returning Warriors who may play an important role this season, according to Sojda, are 6-foot-4 junior center Evan Wilcox, junior forward Brody Glindmyer and senior guard Preston Sperduto.

There are four other newcomers to the Warriors: junior guard Joel Cleveland, junior center Matthew Wagner; junior forward Alex Mancuso and freshman forward Taevon Jackson.

“I feel that our junior class brings a wealth of varsity experience, and our first-year players will hopefully provide us with depth as our season progresses,” Sojda said. “Our team has great chemistry and is well-balanced, and the guys are focused on working together to play the best basketball that we can.”

He said, “We play a tough league in the CSC-I, where all teams are strong and every game is important. We count out no one and plan to play all of our competitors hard as any one team can step up and surprise you on any given night.”

Alumni news:

Matthew Hobika, Class of 2018, two-time CSC-I All-Star, is beginning his first season of collegiate basketball at Elmira College. Malaquias Canery, Class of 2015, CSC-I Player of the Year for 2015, is a senior playing in his final season as a point guard for the Clarkson Golden Knights. Michael Hayduk, Class of 2013, has graduated after four years of playing for Clarkson. He has joined the Clinton Warriors staff as the assistant junior varsity coach this year.