Advertisement

Hereford boys basketball off to perfect start

Hereford boys basketball off to perfect start
Parkville's Dashawn Little gets trapped between Hereford's Ben Bittner, left, and teammate Scott Isett on a drive to the hoop in a game Jan. 9. (Brian Krista, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

When Hereford defeated Parkville on Jan. 9 to improve to a perfect 10-0, the Bulls set a new school mark for most consecutive wins to start the season.

"This is the best start in Hereford High history," said Hereford coach Jim Rhoads after the 57-44 victory.

Advertisement

Rhoads, in his 13th season at Hereford, also was at the helm during the 2011-12 season when the Bulls went 19-4, but that team's season-opening streak only lasted six games.

Those 19 wins were the most in school history and this squad could be ready to challenge that mark.

"Hopefully we can eclipse that or get there and match it," said Rhoads, whose squad also defeated Franklin last week.

The five starters and sixth man are all seniors who have enjoyed past success.

When the Bulls played on the 2011-12 junior varsity, they posted a 19-2 mark.

Point guard Gabe Ceribelli was promoted to varsity for the postseason that year and even saw brief minutes in the season-ending loss to a Patterson squad led by Aquille Carr.

The next season he moved up to varsity as a sophomor, along with classmates Aaron Geschwilm and Scott Isett.

Chase Waganer and Ben Bittner joined them on varsity the following year and now they are the staring five for the historic squad.

Ceribelli (6-foot) leads the Bulls in scoring. The All-County Second-Team selection last season is averaging 20.3 points per game.

"He can shoot it and he gets to the line 8-10 times a game by just driving and handling the ball," Rhoads said. "He's a great athlete. He's really fast and aggressive. I would say he's probably the most talented player I've coached here in 13 years, offensively, for sure."

He's not the only one producing.

Geschwilm (6-6) is averaging 15 points and nine rebounds a game.

"He's been on varsity for three years, but he dedicated his spring and summer to getting better," said Rhoads noting he played AAU ball and attended camps in the offseason. "He's had a great year. He's going to play in college for sure. I have college coaches at every game."

While Geschwilm may be the most improved player since last year, Bittner (12 points per game) is right behind him.

Advertisement

"He's a much better shooter and he's probably our best perimeter defender," Rhoads said. "He gets to the basket. He's our second most improved player. He's really turned it on."

Waganer (6-3) is a workhorse who could make a difference in any lineup.

"Chase Waganer is just a great athlete," Rhoads said. "He can play inside or outside for us. He kind of does the dirty work. He will get rebounds, scores, but he's not quite the shooter as some of the other kids, but he's a slasher, good defender and he's a leaper."

Three-year varsity player Isett (6-3) is averaging about nine points per game and sixth man Stevie Gerovasillas (5-11)is also a senior.

Senior point guard Nate McMillan (5-9) comes off the bench along with junior Matt Lewis (6-4).

The coach feels the senior leadership has made the difference down the stretch in close games, including an overtime win over Manchester Valley and four and three-point victories over Perry Hall.

"The biggest thing we have is we've been able to finish off close games," he said.

His biggest concern is will they be able to do that against the tougher part of the league schedule that includes a home game Jan. 21 against Dulaney.

"They are very good," he said. "They are legit."

Rhoads' squad will also face perennial tough league foes New Town and Milford Mill in early February. and he hopes his team is ready to compete with them.

The Bulls are going to have to be ready in the playoffs when they will play in a region that includes Patterson, Dunbar and Randallstown.

"Our team goal is to get to the regional final and see what happens and go as far as you can in March," he said. "I think they are buying into it. I don't think they realize how good they can actually be. I think they are really good."

Advertisement
Advertisement