LEMONT – This summer was a busy one for the Lemont boys basketball program.
Playing in the South Suburban Summer league on Tuesday and Thursday nights in June, in addition to three tournaments and a couple of one-day shootouts, the Indians ended up playing in more than 50 games.
“We did pretty well,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said. “Without keeping track for sure, I would say we won more than we lost. We competed well. It was a very productive summer.”
The six-week season held extra importance this time around with Lemont having lost a dominant senior class to graduation. In addition, returning starters Mike Wisz and Jake Terrazas missed a lot of time due to baseball commitments.
“We went into the summer with a lot of guys who hadn’t played any varsity minutes,” the coach said. “Losing so much of our senior talent, even our bench strength was senior heavy. It was very important for us to use this time to assess who we have and to focus on the development of those guys who are going to get a lot of minutes this year.”
One player who stood out was incoming senior Luis Marquez.
“He is a kid who had success at the freshman and sophomore levels,” Runaas said. “He is working very hard and he is a kid that everyone kind of looks at and sees has a lot of potential.”
The Indians expect to play a little different style come next winter.
“This team will have to be a little more conservative with the ball,” the coach said. “We are going to have to move the ball a little more and seek out better shots. Last year, if things broke down, Juozas (Balciunas) could make things happen, not only for himself but for others.”
In the meantime, the next couple of months before the 2013-14 season begins are crucial, he said.
“We have talked about that,” Runaas added. “The summertime is important and in some years, more important than others. Last year, it was not as important because we knew what we had coming back.
“The message we left with the team is if you don’t do anything until we come back as a team, you are going to be in trouble. There are about 3½ months before we get back and a lot can happen in that time.”