Dover Basketball Mid-Season Report


Dylan Grewell, Staff Writer

Dover basketball has gotten off to a great start this year with some previously inexperienced players. They had an amazing regular season going 20-1. Unfortunately, they lost the first tournament game of the playoffs to a gritty Austintown-Fitch team. This season, Dover is off to a similar start with a 10-1 record. This year’s team consists of 4 seniors and 7 juniors with little to no varsity experience. After losing to a very talented and tall ISA team, the team has won 8 in a row. Over these first 11 games, the team has averaged 50.6 points per game and are only giving up around 40.7 points per game. What’s different about Dover than other teams is bench depth. We can bring a whole new 5 off the bench to compete and give the starters some rest. We also have some speed and some size with 4 of the 5 starters being 6’2 and taller. Coming off the bench, we have 4 of 5 kids coming off of the bench being 6’2 and above as well. 

This year’s team has a good vibe and a sense of urgency. The schedule this season hasn’t been easy, and it isn’t getting any easier. Some tough remaining games are New Philadelphia twice, Parkersburg South, who is ranked 7th in all of West Virginia, and Alliance, who is ranked 15th in Division 2. Those 4 teams are good basketball teams, but it is nothing we can’t handle. We have scoring threats all over the court, and we can score inside and outside the arc. Junior Point Guard Carter Grove can shoot the 3 and run the offense. Senior Guard Tyler Stevenson is our primary shooter and can score the ball. Senior Forward Ben Hamm is a hustler who is physical and grabs rebounds all day long. He is a great defender and shuts down opposing scoring threats. Senior Forward Brett DeVault is a physical body who plays like a big down low. Junior 6’6 Big Man Jacob Hanner adds size and speed and uses it to his advantage. Coming off the bench, we have Junior Guard Bronson Gilyard who can score from anywhere. He can shoot the 3, midrange, and he can finish inside with contact. He is also a very strong and underrated defender which makes up for his height only being 5’8. Junior guard Tommy Coletti also comes off the bench, and he is a sharpshooter and can provide scoring off the bench. Junior Forward Trey Ridgeway provides very good defense and can rebound the basketball very well. Junior Zane Conner adds some size being 6’4 and adds bench depth. Senior Big Man Jackson Lurie provides his size and strength inside the paint. 

I asked senior Ben Hamm “How do you think the team has played overall this year?” He responded with “I feel like going into the season, people didn’t expect us to be good. We lost a very strong senior class, so we didn’t have much experience. I feel like our seniors have been great leaders, and the juniors have gained experience that have allowed them to play at an extremely high level. We all accept our roles and know what we need to do to get the job done.” I also asked Ben, “what do you guys need to improve on heading into the postseason?” Ben replied with “Heading into the postseason, we really have to focus on being strong with the ball and handling adversity. Moving up to division 1 a couple years ago has made it difficult, but our team has no fear, as we are all excited to take on the challenge.” I also asked junior point guard Carter Grove similar questions. For instance, I asked Grove, “How do you feel the team has performed this season?” Carter answered with “I feel that the team has made a ton of progress this season thus far, and we’ve defeated a lot of talented teams.” My next question for junior point guard was “What are your goals and expectations heading into the postseason?” Carter said, “I want to make a big run this year in the state tournament. I want to make a statement this year, as I head into my senior year at Dover.”

Coming down the stretch is going to be very important for this squad as they prepare for the upcoming D1 tournament. The D1 tournament will be loaded with great teams that have size and strength, which is almost comparable to the ISA team that we played earlier in the season. However, if Dover can keep the offense flowing and protect the perimeter, they can make a deep run in the playoffs.