Returning quarter opens season with high hopes

Johnny Carroll, Sports Editor

With great talent comes high expectations, which is the exactly the case for the varsity basketball team. The quartet of returning starters have opened the season as the No. 5 team in the Baltimore metro area, and with two dominant victories.

The ranking is the highest preseason ranking Head Coach Matt Lochte has received in his 15 years at Dulaney, but he’s not focused on it.

“We haven’t even talked about [the ranking] as a staff or as a team. We have just been focused on getting better,” Lochte said.

After graduating Captain Josh Cornish last year, leadership will be the coaching staff’s main priority as the season progresses.

“Right now, [leadership] is my main concern. Someone needs to emerge as a leader. And it might not be a single person, it might be a group of guys,” Lochte said.

The quartet of returning starters includes sophomores Ryan Conway and Ike Cornish, junior Che Evans, and senior Cameron Amoruso.

Expect Conway and Cornish to make major improvements, as they have a year under their belts. Amoruso will continue his role as a tough defender and a great role player.
Conway has already turned heads in his first two outings, after putting up 34 points in the home-opener blowout win against Catonsville. Not only was Conway shooting exceptionally well from three-point range, but he also got to the rim with ease.

“I think we’re playing great right now, we’re 2-0 to start. We’ve had some ups and downs, but we’re playing great as a team. It’ll be nice if we can keep the energy up,” Conway said.
Historically, Lochte has had major success with transfers. This year, junior transfer Cam Byers will make a big impact on the team.

“[Byers] can be a great teammate, be a force on the boards, and work super hard every day, as he has. He’s a true power forward at the high school level. He fills a void that we haven’t had in a few years,” Lochte said.

The addition of a true big man will allow Evans to play in his natural position, something he has not been able to do in his time at Dulaney. Evans’ ability to get to the basket and finish around the rim is one of the best on the team, and it has shown as he has scored double digits in his first two games.
In his first two showings, Cornish has proved that he can play at the varsity level. Last year, he showed his potential, but the game seemed a little fast for him. In the Lions’ 92-37 victory Dec. 12, Cornish dropped a stellar 23 points and grabbed a handful of rebounds.

Expectations will be high for the remainder of the season for the Lions, but they’ve got their own lofty goals to accomplish.

“Our goals are county, region and state [championships]. And we’re not shying away from those goals. Although those goals are lofty, we believe they’re realistic,” Lochte said.

Not only have the Lions dazzled on the court, but also in the classroom. As a team, they received a total of 40 A’s, equaling a 3.2 GPA during first quarter.