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Red Devils make last run through TCC

SPRING VALLEY — The Hall Lady Red Devils will be leaving the Tri-County Conference after the upcoming basketball season, taking a ride down the Three Rivers Conference. They figure they might as well make a bon voyage.

Hall joined the Tri-County in 2010-11 after a long run in the NCIC, and coach Mike Filippini admitted most of his kids probably don’t know who all the teams are in it.

The 2012-13 edition of Red Devils basketball could be called Brett Fanning and gang. The Hall senior guard is the only returning starter, but he is a good one to have. The 2011-12 BCR First-Team selection was the area leading scorer a year ago at 17.9 ppg, shooting 41 percent behind the arc and 82 percent from the free throw line.

“Brett is obviously going to be our go to guy. He’s our only returning starter and will be counted on as a leader,” Filippini said.

Filippini gives a nod to seniors Taylor Steele (6-3 F) and Danny Nolasco (5-9 G), who saw good playing time last year, to having the inside track on two spots. But after that, Filippini says it’s wide open for the other two starting positions, and he means it, really.

“Most coaches say there are a lot of open spots to work for, but it’s mostly complete coaching BS.  With our group there really are a lot of open spots,” he said. “I anticipate playing a lot of different combinations depending on who we are playing and how hard we are working in practice.”

That has led to some real competitive practices over first two weeks of the season, Filippini said, with a lot of guys working hard to earn playing time. He said he has four kids battling for the final two starting spots.

Two of the four are junior newcomers Miguel Villarreal (5-11 G) and Austin Schmitt (6-0 F).Filippini said will probably take over at point guard, and “is a great ball handler, has great vision on the court, probably one of the best passers I’ve ever coached.”

The Red Devil coach said Schmitt has had a real good camp so far, becoming more aggressive on offense and rebounding and “is definitely is earning playing time.”

Senior Landon Piccatto has been pegged as a team captain along with Fanning and Steele. Classmates include Alex Olivares (5-11 F), Erick Fuentes (5-10 F) and Matt Boucher (6-1 F).

Rounding out the squad are juniors Ian Trevier (5-10 G), Jacob Byczynski (5-10 F), Roosvelt Fuentes (5-10 G), Zach Urbanski (6-0 F), Nick Scheri (5-7 G) and Matt Briddick (6-3 F).

As far as making their last run through the Tri-County, Filippini said the league should be very good again and looks at Putnam County, Peoria Christian and Henry-Senachwine to beat the top of the league with Ottawa Marquette also being a very competitive team.

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