Mansfield Basketball Preview 2017

Young Tigers looking forward for 2017 seasons

by Ed Weaver – December 7, 2017

The one word being mentioned by both Mansfield basketball teams to start the 2017 season is youth. While both teams have three total senior members between them, both squads are looking to have solid seasons and compete for district titles.

Boys Head Coach: Kipper Burleigh
Boys 2016 Record: 21-6
Boys Key Returners: Nick Kasper, Brent Burleigh
Boys Player(s) to Watch: Garrett David, Dylan Meyer

2016 was a great season for the Tigers that saw them capture the District IV Class AA championship in front of their home crowd at Mansfield University. 2017 might be a bit of a rebuilding year as four of last year’s five starters: Shane Kelly, Konnor Manikowski, Joel Whitteker, and all-stater Brock Burleigh graduated.

Kasper is the lone starter from last year’s team coming back for 2017, but the senior leader is ready to show why he’s one of the NTL’s deadliest perimeter shooters.

Brent Burleigh, David and Meyer all saw significant minutes during last season’s district title run which is only going to help them this year. Look for Burleigh, along with Jayden Andrews, to help Kasper on the outside with David and Meyer do business in the paint. Both David and Meyer were forces to be reckoned with at the JV level and will bring that fierceness with them this year.

“We’re young but we’re awful hungry,” said coach Kipper Burleigh about this 2017 squad. “We’ve got a lot of talent, we have kids that have good foot speed and that are quick, and we have the opportunity to be better defensively this year.”

Girls Head Coach: Nate McNamara
Girls 2016 Record: 7-15
Girls Key Returners: Alaina McKee, Alyssa Smith
Girls Player(s) to Watch: JoAnne McNamara, Shaelyn Berguson, Lizzi Welch

The Lady Tigers had a rough 2016 season as many members of their team played both JV and Varsity as many members of the team were underclassmen. While that is still the case for 2017 with only two seniors, Smith and McKee, the group should be competitive with another year of play under their belts.

The Lady Tigers are loaded with sophomores that played last season at both levels, seeing valuable minutes and gaining experience.

“When you have youth, the only way you can get better is with experience,” said second year head coach Nate McNamara. “The seniors did a great job last year on getting everyone on board, this year’s seniors have done the same thing.”

The Lady Tigers will rely on McKee’s and Smith’s leadership and sprinkle in the youth of McNamara, Berguson, Welch, and Sara Swingle to achieve the team’s ultimate goal of reaching the District IV playoffs.

Both teams start their seasons this Friday night with the boys team in the Loyalsock tip-off tournament and the girls at the Cowanesque Valley tip-off tournament.

Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Kristine Worthington

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Citizens & Northern Bank, Dunham’s Department Store

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