You don’t have to be a skyscraper of a basketball player to block a shot. Just ask the Loyola Sacred Heart boys’ team.
Four mid-sized Rams combined for six blocked shots in Loyola’s 53-47 victory over league foe Deer Lodge on Thursday night in Missoula.
“We (block) and rebound really well for little guys,” joked Loyola coach Scott Anderson.
Maybe not little, but certainly not big. None of the four shot-blockers from Thursday’s game are taller than 6-foot-3.Strother Cooper and Kevin Swanson both stand right at that 6-3 mark while JJ Anderson and Forestt Cooper are eacha hair smaller at 6-2. Against the Wardens, Anderson and Swanson each swatted a pair of blocks and the Coop troop cataloged a blocked shot apiece.
In blocking, as in rebounding, height helps. But discipline can make the difference.
Positioning and anticipation are just as important, and Coach Anderson praised his team’s ability to slide into position before an opponent could on the defensive end, both before and after the Wardens put up a shot.
Loyola has six players listed on its varsity roster who stand within an inch of 6-3, but its two tallest boys get more minutes at JV. Perhaps the Rams will become a shot-blocking power if 6-4 Sam Johnston and 6-5 Stephen Sellman, both juniors, can play with the same tenacity and sight that their slightly shorter teammates are already employing.