Jason Closs is the new Tri-Valley girls varsity basketball coach while Brian Tingley is starting his eighth season at the helm of the boys varsity team.
Closs moves up from coaching three years of Tri-Valley boys junior varsity where his team last season posted a perfect 16-0 undefeated record. This will be his fourth year of coaching on the varsity level and brings to the court 12 total years of coaching.
Closs when asked if there were any difference betweren coaching a boys junior varsity team to a girls varsity team said, "I went from a boys team last year that worked very hard, really practiced well and was very coach-able and now I've moved to a girls program this year at the varsity level with athletes that are very similar to what I had last year."
In regards to last year's girls varsity team the Bears finished the season with a 14-6 record losing to Chester 45-42 on a three-pointer with four seconds left by Chester's Kathrun Jankelunas.
In looking at the upcoming season Kloss noted, "these girls are hard working, they have been well coached in the past by former coach John Tenbus and this team is eager to be coached."
Returning players from last year's team include their outstanding three-point scorer Katlynn Greffrath, scrappy hustling guard Caroline Martin, Sabrina Smith, Colleen Jones, and Ashley Exner . New varsity members include Kayla Butler, Sara Dertinger, Grace Kelly, Jessie Leszcezynski and Danielle Shafarsky.
Closs at this point of the early season and without any scrimmage events at the time this interview was held said that the strengths of the team are, "their work rate, conditioning, getting up and down the court and working their fast breaks.
"Conditioning is very important to us as it allows us to play the type of basketball that we want to play which is to get up and down and to get into teams on defense and dictate how the game is played," Coach Closs added.
The coach indicated that he feel the team "should do fairly well on offense with getting up and down and getting out on the break.
Closs said the team was "very guard heavy and we are undersized at our forward positions but they will be physical."
The varsity girls team has made the sectionals the past three to four years but Coach Closs didn't give a prediction for making the sectionals but added, "we're going to take it one game at a time and I told the girls early on lets not think what we can do lets get busy doing."
Non-league play opens December 3 at home against Ellenville. First league game is scheduled December 17 at home against Tuxedo.
In discussing 2014 sectional play with boys varsity coach Brian Tingley he quickly expressed the fact that "I would be disappointed if we don't make it into the sectionals this year."
Several of the ball players we talked with expressed confidence indicating they anticipate a good season. The team last season won their first game in the sectionals against Chester and finished up with a 12-8 record being blown out in their final game against the Pine Plains Bombers who at the time were the No. 1 rated Class C school in the state.
When asked what the team looked like at this early stage of the season he said, "we should be quick if nothing else." He pointed out that he has a very fast team and that "they work well together, pass the ball well and they like to be around each other."
As far as ball control under the boards Tingley stressed the fact of rebounding to both get another shot for Tri-Valley or stopping the opponent from getting another shot. He also stressed the fact that he wants to see more shot blocking while on defense.
When asked about how the team will be offensively Coach Tingley said, "we have the speed here to get up and down the court and we got some guys that can play inside, players that can shoot outside and we have guys who can also handle the ball."
Returning players from last years team include Alex Brown, Devin Donnelley, Mike Post, Sam Tingley, Donntae Brock and Jesus Lozada.
Moving up from the undefeated JV team are Justin Swarthout, Jarred James, Dion Lynch, Zach Nilson, Stephen Carleton, Thomas Mungeer. Moving onto the varsity team from his position as team manager is Kainin Justiniano. Tingley noted that a new transfer student would be trying out for a team position and that the squad will consist of 12 or 13 players.
While talking about the varsity team being able to acquire some of last years undefeated JV team Tingley pointed out, "they will find it differently when coming up to the varsity level because up here you can't overpower people and the scouting is better."
In conversation about sectional play Tingley noted, " it's not going to be easy for us because Chester is going to have a very good team as they didn't lose any important players and they also had a very good JV team that will add to their strength also." He also feels that Seward (Florida) should also be a tough opponent.
Non-league play for the boys varsity opens on Dec. 4th and 6th in the Walton Tournament at Walton while the first league game is Decembers 18 at home against Tuxedo.
New Tri-Valley varsity girls basketball coach Jason Closs, standing right, discussing what he wants to do at practice that night.
Tri-Valley boys varsity coach Brian Tingley shows team members offensive tactics.