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Jays set for Regional final PDF Print E-mail
Friday, March 15, 2013 12:21 PM

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St. John’s boys basketball coach Aaron Elwer has seen his team play better and better ball as the season has progressed, the hope of any coach at any level of the game.
He hopes his Blue Jays (20-5) have more improvement in them for this evening as they go for their first state berth since the Division IV championship season of 2001-02 as they take on Troy Christian (25-2) 7:30 p.m. this evening at the Kettering Fairmont Division IV Regional final.

“They just beat the top-ranked team in Division IV Tuesday and they themselves were ranked ninth; they are playing with a lot of confidence. They are perimeter-oriented, much like Jackson Center,” Elwer began. “They spread the floor offensively and do a lot of dribble-drive attack; they like to drive and either create a shot for themselves or kick to either another driver or to a spot-up 3-point shooter. Grant Zawadski, the coach’s son, makes it go for them; he averages around 17 points and six assists a game and is the Player of the Year in their conference (Metro Buckeye). He has a great basketball IQ. He is hard-nosed and that’s how they play; there were many times the other night against New Madison Tri-Village that they were clearly the tougher team, so we have to match that mindset and level of intensity.

“Defensively, we have seen them in a number of different things from full- to quarter-court but whatever they do, they simply try to create a lot of havoc for your offense.

Again, we have to be prepared and take advantage of what we can get.”

The game plan for the Blue and Gold remains what it always is for the coach.

“We have to go in with the same mindset that we have had the last couple of months: believe and trust in the game plan, in themselves and each other. That has worked well for the last couple of months,” Elwer added. “We are playing with great confidence right now — everyone is, no matter what role they have to fill for us. We’ve been playing great defense — we challenged the kids about a month ago to really get after it in our man-to-man and they responded well — we’ve been rebounding the ball well, especially against bigger teams, and executing the offense. We aim for 12 turnovers or less a game and that has been achieved about every game, plus we have been closing the door with our free-throw shooting. The seniors are leading the way and the younger guys are following their leadership. “As far as nerves, the only time I can see that we’ve had any was in the Lincolnview game. I don’t mind the nerves; if you care about the game and have a lot of time invested, like these guys do, you should be a little nervous the longer you play. I just think we’re excited and just want to get back out on the court; I like to see that.”


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