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Graduation Takes Heavy Toll on Barnesville

Pack needs to fill many holes

November 27, 2012
By RICH GIBSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BARNESVILLE - During his eight-year tenure as Barnesville coach, Chris Pack's Shamrocks have enjoyed a noticeable measure of success.

In fact, the Shamrocks have a five-year streak of winning seasons. To continue that trend, Pack indicates many things must fall into place.

''We lost approximately 80 percent of our offense (via graduation) and have a limited number of returning players with varsity experience,'' Pack said. ''That doesn't mean any of our goals have changed. We expect to be competitive on a nightly basis. I don't believe there's any team on our schedule we can't go out and play with. Having said that, this season will be a challenge in many ways. We're probably going to experience a few rough nights.''

Not at all out of the question considering the amount of talent the class of 2012 produced.

Among the departed from a 13-10 campaign are the Dornon brothers, Zach and Preston, both a pair of rugged customers who were consistent scorers and in-your-face defenders.

''They averaged around 15 points (apiece) and were constant inside-outside threats,'' Pack said. ''In addition, they were tough-nosed kids and always the most competitive on the floor.''

The Shamrocks' inside game took a graduation hit with the loss of 6-foot-5 Tyler Fitzpatrick. Another inside force missing is 6-4 Ian Wells.

''Losing (those) four players at one time obviously means we'll sport a different look this season,'' Pack said.

Only three returning lettermen comprise the roster, led by two-year vet 5-10 senior Dylan MacMillan.

''Dylan has logged some varsity minutes since his freshman season. He is, by far, our most experienced returner,'' Pack said. ''We'll expect him to run the point and be a good decision-maker. Dylan's play will get our offense in the flow. We also foresee his scoring average (6.0) increasing.''

Returning letterwinner Brandon Burkhart figures to excel around the basket and provide both inside scoring and rebounding.

''Brandon came on strong late last season. His offense really began to come around and we envision more of the same,'' Pack said. ''He covers the floor well and is more aggressive under the boards.''

The Shamrocks' third letterman is 6-1 junior Brian Clark, who earned some important varsity minutes as a sophomore. One other senior on the roster, 6-1 wing Jacob Anderson, will likely serve as a role player.

Pack speaks highly of a pair of rising sophomores, both of whom figure to play important roles this winter.

Isaac McGee is a 5-11 potential scorer who is dramatically improved, according to his coach.

''We like Isaac's ball-handling and defensive skills. We think his game with improve as the season progresses,'' Pack said.

The same holds true for 6-1 Mitchell Wells, who figures to enhance the inside attack.

''Mitchell's a young kid with what we feel is a bright future,'' Pack said. ''We like his versatility and feel he can help in a number of ways.''

Five juniors complete the varsity unit: 6-1 wing Chase Mankin, 5-10 wing David Stewart, 6-1 forward Zach Houston, and six-foot swingmen Eric Nicholson and Lucas Wells.

Lucas Wells is wing-oriented with a good understanding of the game while Nicholson will be primary jayvee duty.

Barnesville's junior class includes Cory Rush. Two additional sophomores slated to see jayvee action are 5-10 Aaron Kerner and 5-9 Brady Rockwell.

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