Lions look for players to step up


It won't take a public address announcer very long to rattle off the Liberty Lions' roster this season.

Fifth-year coach Scott Kohr has nine players dressing on varsity this season and that's just fine by him.

"It makes things easier," he said.

"We have nine players who are working hard and having a great time. We're practicing with the junior varsity and they are getting a lot out of it, too."

Seven seniors, led by forwards Josh Gursky and Brian Trone, return. Gursky is the team's top returning scorer at 12 points a game last season.

The Lions, who finished 3-17 last season, will look to spread the wealth on the offensive end after losing forward Mike Davidson to graduation. Davidson averaged just over 18 points a game in winning his second straight county scoring crown.

"We're definitely going to have to spread the scoring out this year," Kohr said.

"Davidson was our scoring punch the past couple of years, but now we'll look to share the load. In our scrimmages, everyone but two guys had eight or more and no one had more than 16."

Gursky, a 6-1 wing, showed he could put the ball in the basket last season. Three times he had games in which he scored 16 or more points -- including a career-high 28 against Hammond.

Trone averaged eight a game last season and will be joined inside by 6-5 center Jake Gibson, who showed signs of coming into his own at times. His further emergence will be a key in the Lions' season.

Senior Chris Peay, who averaged seven points a game last year, replaces graduated Ross Yastrzemsky at the point guard position. He's a reliable distributor who also can score on his own.

Andy Thompson is a 6-3 forward who gives the Lions scoring punch outside along with fellow seniors Joe Monar (6-4) and Eric Brown. All three are versatile and should see plenty of time in Kohr's rotation.

"We'll mostly go man-to-man with a lot of pressure and throw in a zone at times," Kohr said.

"We'll run a motion offense with a lot of screens with three guys on the perimeter and two playing the post."

Junior newcomers Jeff Janyska (5-10 point guard) and Jeff Basford (6-1 forward) also should see some time in the Lions' lineup.

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