When Fox Chapel basketball lost to Penn Hills in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs March 10, it brought the curtain down on the Foxes’ season.
Coach Zach Skrinjar felt it was a successful year with a few “what-ifs.”
“Any time you earn the right to play into March and qualify for the state tournament, I think you have to call the season a success,” Skrinjar said. “Some benchmarks were not met, but it was enjoyable to watch this group grow as a team and improve as basketball players as the season went on. Those are always two benchmarks that you look for within your season, and I am proud of what this group achieved in our time together.
“I was impressed with how our guys handled a lot of the adversity that came our way as far as injuries, people getting sick and missing games. But we embraced it, and I believe it made us better. I would have loved to see what this team could have achieved if we were healthy and at full strength all year. I know that every coach wants that. We certainly weren’t the only team who lost guys and had injuries, but selfishly and for our players, coaches and fans it would have been very interesting to see.”
Next year, Skrinjar will have some big holes to fill as he will lose three main contributors in seniors Carson Cohen, Dom McGriff and Micah Morris.
Cohen and McGriff were first-team all-section selections. Seniors Sai Yarlagadda, Joe Zapalla and Justin Supsura also will graduate.
“We’ve got some talent returning,” Skrinjar said. “Plus, two players who would have started but missed the season due to injuries — Ryan Kerr and Sam Brown — will be back.”
Second-team all-section player Ben Kelly returns along with starter Noah Marks, Kenyon Weiss, Arnold Vento and Shane Susnak. Players expected to contribute include William Generett and Will Livingston.