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2022-23 Rootstown boys basketball preview

2022-23 Rootstown boys basketball preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor



Cody Calhoun

5th year

30-59 career record



Coaching Staff: Chuck Palmer, varsity assistant; Matt Patrick, varsity assistant; Austin Nupp, junior varsity.

2021-22 Record: 7-16 overall; 1-11 Portage Trail Conference.

Returning Lettermen (3): Cole Hostetler, sr.; Aiden Rodstrom, jr.; Brady Fillmore, jr.

Lettermen Lost (6): Donovan Birkett, Xavier Birkett, Branden Bobbs, Brandan Nicholas, Dom Shipp, Nick Wancik.



The Rovers will be a new-look rotation this season, with all five starters from last year graduating.

“We have a number of guys who can play a variety of positions, which we hope to use to our advantage to try to create mismatches,” Calhoun said.

To do it, Calhoun wants to play position-less basketball with unselfish players.

“As we create an identity offensively at the beginning of the season, we will likely have a number of guys be our leading scorer each game. Once we get more comfortable, we want to play at a faster tempo and get the ball in transition.”

A number of new faces will be integrated into the rotation, which may lead to some growing pains early, but Calhoun believes his team will improve as the season progresses and players start to collect experience.



Senior Cole Hostetler owns the most experience and Calhoun will lean on that with his young rotation.

“I expect Cole to provide us with leadership, scoring, defense and help handle the ball,” Calhoun said.

Junior Joe Weaver sp[ent the off-season working to improve to prepare himself for a larger role this year.

“Joe has a high basketball IQ and can handle the ball, create for others and also score,” Calhoun said.

Another junior, Brady Fillmore, earned some experience last year. He can play both guard and forward.

“Brady can use his athleticisim at both ends of the floor to create opportunities,” Calhoun said.

Junior Cameron Mahoine is a newcomer to the team and is another player that can play in either the backcourt or frontcourt.

“Cameron is a very good athlete, and is a good on-ball defender. He can use his length and athleticism to disrupt things defensively.”

Freshman Mason Lisi will also get an opportunity to fit into the rotation as a primary ball-handler.



Junior Aiden Rodstrom gained the most varsity experience last year, but is likely out for the year because of shoulder surgery.

Junior Ryan Piscitani returns to the program after missing all of last year with a knee injury.

“He is a versatile player that can impact the game in many ways,” Calhoun said.

Junior Kyle Weese makes the jump from last year’s junior-varsity team and can shoot from the outside, as well as post up. Calhoun expects him to be one of the team’s better rebounders.

Junior Colby Scott is improving and “plays with great effort and toughness,” according to Calhoun.

Sophomore Blake Postlethwait has shown promise in the preseason and is another player that can be moved around the court.



“This year’s team is very raw in experience, but has more size and length than the past couple years,” Calhoun said. “They also have a higher level of versatility.”



Blake Postlethwait, soph.; Zachary Hays, soph.; Mason Lisi, fresh.; Landon Rodstrom, fresh.; Ethan White, fresh.



“We want to try to get a little bit better each day,” Calhoun said. “Our effort and attitude will drive everything that we do throughout the year.”



“We have a high number of players that will be playing extended varsity minutes for the first time,” Calhoun said. “We also have to replace much of our scoring last year and do not have a consistent No.-1 option right now.”



“I believe the PTC will be one of the best small-school leagues in Northeast Ohio this winter. On paper, Mogadore, St. Thomas and JFK all have a number of returning players from teams that finished at the top of the league,” Calhoun said.

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