Ridgewood boys basketball preview

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Point guard Anthony Mroz

Mroz is the lone returning starter from last year’s team, and he is the Rebels’ most dangerous offensive weapon.

He has shown the ability to penetrate into the paint, draw the defense and find the open man throughout his high school career. A lot of Ridgewood’s offense figures to come from Mroz’s ability to beat his defender off the dribble, but the senior also will be asked to look for his own shot more often than he did a year ago.

“He’s got the green light,” Ridgewood coach Chris Mroz said of his younger brother. “We’re looking for him to play like he did at Benet [last season when he scored 25 points] all the time. The guys here on the team know that he can do that, and it’s not like I’m trying to force it. The guys on the team are like, ‘Let’s go, Anthony. Let’s go.’ If he can play like that, we’re going to be in business.”

Shooting guard Adam Yaghmour

Chris Mroz said the biggest question mark the Rebels have entering the season is if they can score enough points. Anthony Mroz has proved that he can score, but the rest of the Rebels are largely untested on the varsity level.

When Chris Mroz was asked who would pick up the scoring slack, the first player he mentioned was Yaghmour.

The senior said he had a scorer’s mentality on the Rebels’ sophomore team two seasons ago, and he added that he will try to step back into that role this season. Yaghmour also said that playing next to Anthony Mroz in the backcourt will make it easier for him because his teammate, a four-year varsity player, figures to attract a great deal of defensive attention.

Forward Artur Zawada

The Mrozs and Yaghmour all said they expected Zawada to contribute on offense and on the glass this season. However, Zawada broke his left foot in P.E. class a little more than a month ago. Zawada said he broke the side of his foot in three different places when he landed on someone else’s foot while playing basketball.

The timetable for the senior’s return is still unclear. Zawada said on Nov. 19 he had no idea when he would be back.

“It sucks because Artur had been playing with me the whole summer,” Anthony Mroz said. “He’s really improved his game a lot.”

I think coach Mroz has done a great job with their program, and they still have his little brother Anthony, and he’s a phenomenal player, so I’m sure they have something good to build around there. I think Ridgewood’s still going to be very competitive. … They have one of the best kids in the conference. I really respect what coach Mroz does with his kids. They always play super hard, and they attack teams. I personally still think they’re going to be near the top [of the Metro Suburban].

2012-13 record: 19-9 overall, 9-3 Metro Suburban

2013 playoffs: Lost in regional final of Class 3A to Carmel

Head coach: Chris Mroz, fourth year

Projected starting five: sr. PG Anthony Mroz, sr. SG Adam Yaghmour, fr. SF Zachary Rzewnicki, jr. PF Brian Burak, so. C Brandon Miller.

Game to watch: Ridgewood at York’s Jack Tosh Christmas Tournament, Dec. 26-31. This is the first time the Rebels will play in the long-standing tournament, according to Chris Mroz. The tournament has expanded to 32 teams this season and is full of quality squads.

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