Rancocas Valley boys basketball coach Jay Flanagan knows a thing or two about winning.
With stops at Moorestown Friends (two years), Riverside (three years), and Burlington Township (10 years), the 31st-year head coach has accumulated a career record of 455-324.
Flanagan is 273-136 in 15 seasons on Jacksonville Road and led the Red Devils to a NJSIAA Group 4 state championship in 2008.
However, this winter brings a different challenge.
After finishing with a 6-9 record last season, the Red Devils find themselves in a similar situation. Flanagan believes his team has a few objectives they need to attack head on — establishing a proven scorer, developing a brand of veteran leadership, and increasing team speed, etc. — in order to remain competitive.
But don’t think the Red Devils are just going to lay down.
There may be challenges that lie ahead, but that doesn’t mean this particular group isn’t ready to compete and work hard every time they touch the floor.
Rancocas Valley returns junior captain Jack Orendac. The 6-foot-1 guard is their top returning scorer from a season ago (10.6 points per game). He will be joined in the backcourt by senior Corey Williams. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 7.0 points per game last year and has charted varsity minutes in each of his first three seasons at Rancocas Valley.
RV’s biggest challenge will be filling the void left by current senior Rashan Addison. Addison suffered an ACL injury during football season. Flanagan described Addison as their, “best athlete, defender, and rebounder.” He averaged 7.6 points per game a season ago.
“We will hope to go .500 after losing our senior leader and captain, Rashan Addison,” Flanagan said. “We will have to play well to stay competitive in our league play and have a shot to compete in the state tourney.”
Sophomore point guard Rylhe Tibbs is also out for season with a torn ACL suffered during football season.
On the bright side, the Red Devils added a pair of 6-foot-4 juniors — guard Donovan Ross and forward Kahdir Linson — that are expected to be inserted into the starting lineup. Those two, along with 6-foot-6 junior Joey Dinneen, provide Rancocas Valley with much needed size. 6-foot-3 senior Rhien Manly will also add to that equation. RV also returns a pair of senior guards in Giani Blango and Zach Cantanzariti.
“We have more size than we have had the past few years,” Flanagan said.
Rancocas Valley will compete against the likes of Burlington Township, Moorestown and Westampton Tech in the Burlington County Scholastic League Liberty Division. The Red Devils will also host perennial South Jersey Group 4 contender Cherry Hill East at their annual Jeff Coney Classic on January 29, 2022.
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