Cambridge with quick turnaround heading into season
The Cambridge boys basketball team has been in an interesting situation over the past couple weeks.
While most teams in New York have been practicing at full strength over the last three weeks, the Indians have been without some of its key cogs.
With the football team making a run to win its second consecutive state championship, multiple sport athletes like Brenden Holcomb and Tommy English, among others, hadn't gotten a chance to get back onto the hardwood as early as they may have hoped.
With football season now officially over, guys like Holcomb and English can now focus all of their attention on basketball.
This past week was the first one where the whole team was together, meaning the Indians would have just about seven practices together before their opening game against Salem this upcoming Tuesday.
Cambridge coach Tim Ogilvie isn't one to make any excuses, but admits it's a challenge to have the team have to come together so quickly.
"Right from the get go we talked about working hard and staying focused," Ogilvie said. "One thing we talked about when everybody was here was keeping that good, positive attitude that we had with fall sports, most notably football, and carry that through to the basketball season. We've got some catching up to do. Other programs have been at full force for three weeks and we're just starting."
The Indians finished last season at 11-11 and were knocked out by Lake George in the second round of the Class C tournament. Cambridge loses a significant amount of scoring depth from last season's team with Shawn Lemieux, Ryan McLenithan and Max Ratelle all graduating. All three of those players scored more than 100 points last season, with Lemieux and Ratelle both scoring more than 200 points.
It will be a tough task to replace that group and the Indians will be relying heavily on Holcomb, as senior, to provide that boost. The 6-foot-3 big man led the team in scoring last season with 282 points.
Ogilvie also expects English to play a major role for the team at the guard position. English had a 21-point performance against Argyle last season and scored in double digits on two other occasions.
"Having a couple kids back who were starters as sophomores and juniors in Tommy and Brenden, they kind of fall into that leadership role," said Ogilvie about the pair. "They've got game experience. One thing I've talked to those two about was that they're the one's who are going to set the tone for us in practice and lead by example."
Having lost major talent from last season's squad, it's important to continue to develop the next group and Ogilvie feels like the program has done a nice job in that regard.
"We've developed a system that we're comfortable with as coaches," Ogilvie said. "Bringing the kids along certainly has helped as they develop and make the transition from JV to varsity. We've seen huge benefits as kids transition from our various levels up through the varsity program."
With so little time to prepare before the opening game against the Generals, Cambridge doesn't have enough time to fully institute what it wants for the opener, but as time goes on they will continue to institute more and more plays as they get back into the swing of the season.
Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cambridge.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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