NEPA Sports Nation

Injuries add to Trail’s challenge

Pictured above: Braden Savage

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – What already shaped up as a trying season for a young and inexperienced Lackawanna Trail boys basketball team has turned more difficult because of injuries.

Braden Savage, a 5-foot-8 guard who is the only returning starter and the only senior with any significant varsity experience, understood his task as he discussed the team during Coaches vs. Cancer Media Day at Riverfront Sports a week before the start of non-league play.

“I’m definitely being more of a leader this year than last year,” Savage said. “Especially in the locker room; last year I was more laid back and going off the seniors.

“This year, I’ll be the one taking charge and motivating the team.”

Savage scored 11 points, leading Lackawanna Trail when it dropped the opener to Wyoming Seminary, 61-37. An injury has kept him from playing since.

Four Lackawanna Trail starters have missed time because of injuries.

The Lions head into holiday tournament week with an 0-6 record and each loss by 18 or more points.

Sophomore guards Jake Antolick and Brandon Kalinoski are the other players back with varsity experience. Antolick is leading the team in scoring.

“We’re working on growing as a team and playing fundamentally sound basketball,” Lions coach Ben Domiano said during the preseason. “How we respond to adversity will determine how we compete.”

That theory is being put to the test early.

Junior forward Gavin June, senior center Ethan Ankoff, sophomore guard Sean Langley, freshman forward Byron Axtell and sophomore forwards Colton Hoffman and Kim Johns are others who Domiano expected to be in the mix.

June, Ankoff and Axtell are others who have missed games.

Savage, who could be ready to return soon, praised the commitment of his younger teammates, giving hope of improvement if the Lions can get back closer to full strength physically.

Lackawanna Trail is on a 32-game losing streak, including going 0-12 in Lackawanna League Division 4 and 0-21 overall last season.

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