Experience, trust on defense contributes to Aquinas boys basketball turnaround

What a difference a year can make. Aquinas boys basketball had just nine wins a year ago and struggled to score more than 40 a game.

This year, they’re 15-4 and a two seed for sectionals. What’s the key behind a quick turnaround like this? A big one is experience.

Aquinas had just two seniors a year ago. This year they’ve got six seniors and five juniors, and after so many years playing together, they finally have that feeling like they can click on the floor.

Offense may still struggle from time to time, but this team takes a ton of pride in their man to man defense this season. In 19 games, they’ve held their opponents to less than 45 points 12 times, including both of their regional wins last week.

The guys say their success this season comes down to the high level of trust they place in one another.

“Outside Onalaska, I think we play the best defense in the conference,” senior Andrew Skemp said. “We have five guys on the floor who are ready to get after it.”

“Intensity, and as one, too,” senior Joe Savoldelli added. “We’ve really worked to play defense as one unit and help each other out.”

“We have a bunch of seniors on the bench who don’t really play, but every day they come into practice and bring a lot of intensity and really shape us,” junior Quinn Miskowski said. “Nathan Koch, Aiden Lee, Camden Gregg, they come in every day and don’t really play, but they work really hard in practice and give us a good look for the scout team.”

Aquinas hosts Northwestern tonight at 7 p.m.