At a glanceCOACH Bob Ward2011-12 RECORD 20-8 (7-3 Suburban Christian Blue)FIRST GAME 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at Batavia inviteTOP PLAYERS Andrew Kimball sr. G Tim Zettinger sr. G Jason Pisarski sr. G/F Matt Bonner sr. G Kevin McShea sr. F
WHAT TO WATCH Year 1 under Bob Ward was an unquestioned success with the Spartans advancing to a Class 3A sectional final.
This time around, despite losing a strong senior class, St. Francis will look to match those accomplishments from 2011-12.
The Spartans do return five seniors who either started or played key reserve roles — Andrew Kimball, Tim Zettinger, Jason Pisarski, Matt Bonner and Kevin McShea. Waiting in the wings in a strong crop of juniors.
“We do have interchangeable parts,” Ward said. “All of the kids are comfortable playing in different spots on the floor. I think it is important all year long to have healthy competition at all of the spots.
“I think you will see the type of team that statistically, at least point-wise, will be fairly even but with the ability for players on specific nights to have big nights for us.”
St. Francis returns to the Batavia Thanksgiving invite as defending championships. The squad will play at Glenbard West over Christmas break and will also take part in a pair of shootouts (Manny’s Shoot-out and the Wheaton vs. Quad Cities shootout).
“We could be a really strong team defensively,” Ward said, “and we will shoot it pretty well.”