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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Paupack Cagers Led by a Solid Group of Seniors

  • Veteran leadership is already having an impact on and off the hardwood.
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  • The Buckhorns dropped their first preseason game to Elk Lake Wednesday night by a score of 54-42.
    While the loss wrecked their so-far-perfect preseason, the Bucks view this as a minor setback and look to their senior team members for leadership and points.
    Dotting the roster to help make that mission a success is a wide variety of senior talent with a mixed bag of basketball experience and a plethora of reasons to show up on the hardwood day after day.
    Veteran Affairs
    This season marks the fourth year Anthony Bouselli will be logging varsity minutes.
    The hard-charging center sprang up in a big way his junior year. Described by Head Coach Rich McGinnis a "blue collar player," Bouselli is a big part of the Buckhorn defense and is well respected both for his game and for his leadership.
    "I like getting charged up for the games," Bouselli stated as a reason that keeps him on the court every season, "I like to keep competing."
    Whereas Bouselli came into his own as a junior, his offensive counterpart, Jamel Blanding has finally stepped into the limelight, and stepped up his game.
    The once-back-up point guard is now the man calling the plays and keeping the offense going. In just four preseason match-ups, he's already overtaken his varsity points totals for last season.
    "I'm warming up to varsity," Blanding noted, "I like running the offense and keeping everyone involved."
    Added Support
    As simple as it sounds, what drives Peter Stella is winning.
    "Getting wins is what keeps me coming back, he said."
    McGinnis points out Stella is a hard worker on the court and has the potential to be one of those players who is a real sleeper.
    Page 2 of 2 - Tallying marks in the victory column may be the motivating force for Stella, but be assured that he's the kind of player that isn't going to sit idly by and let other people get those wins for him.
    Bringing added energy to the lineup are Mike Galgano, Aaron Graham, and Sam Vargas. Camaraderie and a love of the sport have brought all three to the court this season.
    None of them played last season and all three admit that they probably won't see a lot of time off the bench this year, nonetheless, they've played other sports and bring maturity and encouragement to other players.
    All of the seniors recognize too that they just don't have a responsibility to lead on the floor, but to support those other players, be they other classmates or younger players making their own marks.
    Earlier in the season McGinnis expressed that he wants to grow the culture of the Paupack program and Blanding echoed his sentiments.
    "We need to keep that culture going. People supported us and we need to support others, he said."
    "As seniors we need to give those players the same leadership we've gotten, better leadership even," Bouselli added.
    Legacy
    In some aspect, these six each fill the voids left by the five players who graduated from the Buckhorn ranks after the close of last season.
    They are not the same players, but the same types of players.
    In some cases parallels to the players that inspired them can be easily seen, yet at the same time bits and pieces of each of those who have gone before them show up in every one of them.
    If that's not continuing the culture, then what is?
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