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Vanini helps Depew run effective up-tempo style

In its recent winning streak, the Depew High School boys basketball team has turned to an up-tempo attack.

You can count junior Dennis Vanini among the Wildcats that have played well in that attack.

“We’re definitely doing that a lot more, we want to keep the pace up and see if teams can keep up with us,” Vanini said. “And we have to take advantage of everything I get.”

After a stretch of tough losses, the Wildcats have used the up-tempo attack effectively and rolled off four straight victories in ECIC-III play — two over opponents that beat the Wildcats earlier in the year.

“Earlier in the season, occasionally we’d pick out spots,” with the up-tempo attack, Jones said. “Now we’re trying to push just about everything and see if we can’t play a little differently. So far so good, but keep up with you, you have to keep changing.

Vanini has played a major part in that up-tempo attack — and the recent success. In his first season as a varsity regular, he has put up some impressive numbers.

The 5-foot-10 junior ranks third on the team with 7.1 points per game and second on the club with 29 total assists. He’s also collected 16 steals and hauled in 23 rebounds.

Vanini has scored at least eight points in eight of the season’s first 15 games and hit double-figures twice.

He’s led the Wildcats in scoring twice and Depew won both of those games.

But statistics don’t tell the true story of Vanini’s contribution. He’s been a standout at both ends of the floor.

“He’s a great defender and such an intelligent kid,” Depew coach Larry Jones said.

He’s also stepped up his ball-handling duties as has senior captain Nathaniel Hyman. And that has freed up leading-scorer Derrick Sekuterski to do his thing.

“Vanini and Hyman being able to handle the ball allows us to do different things with Derrick and (Mike) Lamb,” Jones said. “So we’re doing it a little differently.”


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