The Lacey Township High School boys basketball team comes off a historic season.
The Lions finished 22-5 and advanced to the South Jersey Group III final, losing to Camden 42-40 last season.
Lacey doesn't return any starters from last season but the benefits of last season are still seen in the program.
"Some of are younger guys saw how hard the guys worked last year," Lacey coach Ryan O'Rourke said.
"It adds excitement to the program and reinforced the fact that if you work hard, good things happen."
Lacey does return some key players off the bench from last season's team in Trevor Matthews, Steve Dalrymple and Kevin Leahy.
Leahy is a good shooter, while Matthews and Dalrymple are strong defenders and rebounders.
Dyllon Ramos, a senior guard who missed all of last season with a knee injury, also returns for the Lions. Ramos started some games as a freshman and sophomore.
"He's going to handle the ball for us and run the show," O'Rourke said.
The Lions relied on a deliberate, patient offense and matchup zone defense last season. More of the same can be expected this season with some man-to-man defense mixed in.
"We're not going to change anything we do," O'Rourke said. "We're going to try to take care of the basketball, stay patient and work for good shots. I think we're capable of being competitive every night. We need to try to keep the scores low and play the game at our tempo."
Contact Michael McGarry:
League: Shore Conference A South
Group: South Jersey Group III
Coach: Ryan O'Rourke
Last season's record: 22-5
2012-2013 prediction: Lacey doesn't return any starters but has some veterans back and could surprise.
Key players: Trevor Matthews, Sr., 6-4, F; Steve Dalrymple, Sr., 6-3, F; Kevin Leahy, Sr., 5-11, G; Dyllon Ramos, Sr., 5-7, G; Chris Iappico, So., 6-2, C; Jordan Arce, Jr., 6-4, F; Francesco Armato, Sr., 5-11, G; Alex Stevens, Sr., 5-11, G; Pete Jankowski, Sr., 6-4, C; Cody Mayer, Jr., 6-3, F; Mike Boice, Fr., 5-10, G; Vinnie Dellavolla, Fr., 6-1, F.
6:30 p.m. Monday vs. Southern Regional
6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 vs. Toms River East
6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 vs. Brick Memorial
6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Toms River North
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