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Despite his teamâ€™s 2-5 record Chariho coach Corey Downey feels his squad is right where it needs to be in the Narragansett Summer Boys Basketball League to see success this winter.
â€śThis summer hasnâ€™t really been about wins, itâ€™s been about figuring out what our strengths and weaknesses are offensively and defensively,â€ť Downey said. â€śWeâ€™re just continuing to play hard and play good defense whatever it is at that time whether it is man or zone.
â€śItâ€™s been going well. Itâ€™s been exactly what I expected. We have 12 guys playing so weâ€™ve been getting guys in there and we have a chance of being sixth of the nine teams and then playing in a playoff game next Wednesday. Itâ€™s where I feel we need to be to make the playoffs in the winter, so I think thatâ€™s the goal.â€ť
The Chargers â€“ who have spent the last two seasons in flux and in the cellar of Division II â€“ for the first time return a strong core of starters and rotational players from the winter and know theyâ€™ll be better when the 2013-14 season rolls around.
â€śIn years past they almost mentally needed to win basketball games in the summer but for these guys they know we have a chance to be competitive in the winter time,â€ť Downey said. â€śItâ€™s more about working on things. Maybe playing zone against a certain team might not be good in that specific game but we want to work on it.â€ť
This summer the usual suspects have anchored Downeyâ€™s squad.
Seniors Robbie Toth, Zach Wallander, Bryan Thweat, Adam Bemis and junior Shane Stewart each saw a ton of minutes last season and were five of the Chargersâ€™ top seven players.
â€śItâ€™s really nice,â€ť Downey said of bringing back so many key contributors. â€śI feel like itâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve really had a team for two years.
â€śâ€¦Itâ€™s nice not to have to go over certain things I definitely would have gone over in the past because they know what to expect.â€ť
For right now, however, itâ€™s about building towards the winter season.
Downey knows he has five quality players, so one of the critical themes for Chariho this summer has been finding out who could potentially step in and contribute this winter.
One of the biggest areas of need for the Chargers is in the back court and so far wing players Grover Champlin, Cam Richard, Chris Edgerley, Nick and Dom Ciringione have shown they could help out this winter.
Chariho will also need some additional help in the post if Bemis or Toth get into foul trouble and so far Thomas Underhill and Jake DiCenzo are trying to work their way into the backup post role.
The Chargers scored a 39-32 victory over Westerly Monday and will wrap up the regular season Monday at 6:30 p.m. against Providence Country Day at Christofaro Park.