High School Sports

Bald Eagle Area boys’ basketball stressing full-court press


Bald Eagle Area wants to be a “94-32 team” this season.

Ninety-four feet for 32 minutes.

Eagles coach Bill Butterworth is stressing that mentality to his players as he plans to utilize a full-court press more often.

“We’ll be back to the way I like to coach — up and down the floor and get after it,” Butterworth said. “Be physical, get after people, get up in your face and try to play defense.”

Butterworth said he is expecting to use an 8-10 man rotation, with players giving him 3-4 minutes at a time to provide constant pressure on opponents. The coach hopes the press leads to turnovers, wears shooters down and rushes teams into bad first shots.

Butterworth is focused on his team’s defense after the Eagles allowed 71.4 points per game during a 5-17 season last year.

“We’ve been just atrocious the last three or four years on defense,” Butterworth said. “We could score with anybody and we lost a lot of games where we were in the 60s.”

Mitch Jenkins, an athletic guard who is the team’s lone senior, could lead BEA’s effort to cause havoc with its press.

Butterworth expects Jordan Jones to provide a scoring punch for the inexperienced Eagles, and he’s been impressed by the strides that 6-foot-8 center Mark Eminhizer made during the offseason.

Bald Eagle Area

Coach: Bill Butterworth

Assistants: Ryan Dyke, Mike Habovick, Ernest Greene, Les Barnhart, Ron Hoover, Brett Butterworth

Last year: 5-17

Key losses: Trey Butterworth, Noah Chambers, AJ Onder, Brandon Barnyak, Daniel Hockenbury, John Friedline

Returning letterwinners: Mitch Jenkins, Jordan Jones, Parker Hilderbrand

Key newcomers: Mark Eminhizer, Andrew Dubbs, Blake Roberts, Jaden Jones, Garret Barnhart, Mike Habovick, Logan Fetzer, Jared Gettig, Cale Burkett