Troy Athens boys basketball coach David Scott is pictured earlier this season. Athens has already won more games than all of last season.

Troy Athens boys basketball coach David Scott is pictured earlier this season. Athens has already won more games than all of last season.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Athens boys basketball showing big improvement

By: Mark Vest | Troy Times | Published January 21, 2020

 Troy Athens sophomore Jonah Botardo controls the ball against Berkley High earlier this season.

Troy Athens sophomore Jonah Botardo controls the ball against Berkley High earlier this season.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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TROY — Troy Athens boys basketball coach David Scott isn’t hiding behind the fact that last season was a “rough go” for his team.

The Red Hawks finished 4-17 overall and 2-12 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

However, this season has been a very different one for Athens.

At press time, Athens was 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the OAA Blue Division.

Scott said that if his squad brings “energy and effort every night,” he likes his team’s chances against anyone on their schedule.

“(We’ve) got some great senior leaders this year — Davis DiGiovanni, Max Delong are our two captains, and they’re really kind (of) focused on making sure that we have a good year and that we keep improving,” Scott said. “And then a couple of other seniors in Paul Ciak and Jake Wood who are coming off the bench for us and providing us some good, steady sort (of) senior leadership. As long as they keep doing that, I think we’ll be OK.”

Scott also said Athens has some size.

Junior Michael Justice is listed at 6-foot-5, and Scott said DiGiovanni and Delong are also both “good size.”

From Scott’s perspective, Athens also has some nice guard play with freshman Bryce Eaton and sophomore Jonah Botardo, respectively.

“I think we’ve got a nice combination of some youth and some experience, some size and some skill,” Scott said. “So, I think we can play a lot (of) different ways and throw some different things at people.”

Athens is taking aim at an OAA Blue title.

“To be able to turn around after the season we had last year, be able to compete for a league title and win one, would mean a lot,” Scott said. “We only have three league titles in our school history. So, to put a fourth one up on our wall in our gym would be really special for this group.”

Delong has seen enough of this season’s team to have confidence in its abilities.

“I think we’re capable of doing big things,” Delong said. “We got a good squad going this year, and I think we could do some really good damage.”

There are some things for Scott to like about the state of Athens’ program, including only having four seniors on the roster.

“They’re a huge part of what we’re doing, but we’ve got a nice group of juniors and sophomores,” Scott said. “Bryce is a freshman. I think he’s one of the best freshmen in the county, if not (the) entire metro Detroit area. So, we’re excited. Hopefully, we stay together and keep growing and building as a team. We’re excited about this year.”

Up next, Athens plays at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Rochester High.

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