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St. Mary’s using balanced scoring to become a top small school

Latrell Tyson has helped St. Mary’s as one of many scorers on a team enjoying a 6-3 season, going into a difficult and busy week. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes
St. Mary’s might not have that No. 1 go-to superstar but the Lancers don’t seem to need one. Every night, it seems a different player steps into a starring role.

That balance has been big for the Lancers, who are one of the top small school teams in Western New York once again.

“We’ve got a pretty balanced lineup and that excites us,” senior forward Matt Wrobel said. “Any one of us can go for 20 on any night. That’s good to have. We like to work the ball around and we know everyone is capable of scoring.”

With Wrobel and last year’s leading scorer, senior Alex English, doing the damage inside and seniors Dione Strong and Latrell Tyson excelling at guard, St. Mary’s has proven to have an answer regardless of the competition.

We’re tough to match up against,” St. Mary’s coach Paul Rath said. “Teams want to go man, usually they have a short guard and we’ll put our guards on the block. We’re a difficult team to match up against; we’ve got some advantages out there of our own.”

The Lancers also have their fair share of big guys. Many of the names that led a strong run for the boys volleyball team are now causing problems for opponents in the paint.

“We’re pretty much 6-3, 6-4 across the board, so we’re going to create some mismatches for some other teams that have smaller guards,” Rath said. “We’re trying to take advantage of that.”

The Lancers started the new year with a big win over an improved Park School on Jan. 2, pushing their record to 6-3. That includes a championship at the Depew Holiday Tournament and a victory over OTC Middle College at the Pastor-Cooper Memorial Classic and an impressive rout of Clarence in the Public/Private Challenge at Canisius High School, the Red Devils’ lone loss of the season to this point.

And each night, it seemed there was a different standout for St. Mary’s.

“On any given night, we have an abundance of guys that can score and an abundance of guys that can hustle,” Rath said. “We have a number of weapons.”

The losses were hardly bad ones, either. They came to Monsignor Martin Athletic Association big-school contender Bishop Timon and a pair in a tournament to Williamsville North and Williamsville South.

“So far, so good,” Rath said. “We’d like to get that one back from Timon but that’s a tough venue and hopefully we can see them again in the playoffs.”

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