The Pleasantville High School boys basketball team will have a tough task in replacing four graduated starters.
But coach Kenneth Johnson was prepared for that fact, and said his players have enough varsity experience under their belts that there won't be as many growing pains.
"I played them all last year knowing that I had to get them ready," Johnson said. "On the other hand, I have a few seniors that are going to be leaders and impact players for us. They'll be my go-to guys down the stretch."
Those seniors include Lou Savage, Singleton McNeal and Brian Gomez.
"Lou is a slasher," Johnson said of his 6-foot-2 forward. "He's an excellent offensive rebounder, so I'm going to look to him to get to the bucket and get to the foul line for us.
"Brian Gomez is the same kind of player, a slasher. The thing about Brian is that he's a hustler. He led our team in steals with about five steals per game so I'm looking for his defense and getting to the bucket.
The Greyhounds are going to be smaller this year, Johnson said. But McNeal, at 6-foot-1, has a nice touch on his shot and will be able to score from outside the paint.
Pleasantville also got a transfer from Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Nile White, a 6-foot-2 senior guard.
The Greyhounds finished last season 16-12 and were eliminated in the first round of the South Jersey Group II playoffs by Middle Township.
Johnson expects his team to not only be back in the playoff hunt, but to be one of the top teams in the Cape-Atlantic League United and win back the title it had a share of two years ago.
Contact John Russo:
League: Cape-Atlantic League United
Group: South Jersey Group II
Coach: Kenneth Johnson (109-94, eight seasons)
2012-13 record: 16-12
2013-14 prediction: Contender - Pleasantville will compete for the CAL Tournament.
Key players: Lou Savage Sr., 6-1, F; Singleton McNeil Sr., 6-2, C; Brian Gomez Sr., 6-2, F; Nile White Sr., 6-3, F; Kenneth Allen So., 5-9, G; Marquel Bridgers So., 5-8, PG; Ayshion Centeno So., 6-2, SG; Che'quan Hargose Jr., 6-3, SG; Jovan Luna So. 5-8, PG; Omar Wallace So., 6-1, F.