With all the athletic gazelles at his disposal, some might of shaken their heads at Central coach Rick Nault's decision to put big man Jimmy Zenevitch on the Dual County League co-MVP, Acton-Boxboro swingman Wes Schroll in the Raider boys' Division 1 North semifinal win last night.
Schroll plays facing the basket. He attacks the rim from the perimeter. How was Zenevitch, primarily a post player, going to handle him?
"We felt it was the best matchup for him, because he's so strong going to the basket," said Nault. "Jimmy worked his tail off and did a great job."
Zenevitch held Schroll to just 10 points, with only one field goal in the first half when it was still a game.
"He's a bigger guard, coach thought I could handle him. I'm not sure if people know it, but I love playing out there, denying the ball and keeping on the pressure," said the junior Zenevitch, who yesterday received the first of what should be a bucket of scholarship offers coming his way when UMass Lowell offered early.
"I can handle most people on the perimeter. You talk, get through picks, you have to work."
Zenevitch hounded Schroll, who averages 16.1 points a game, from the opening tap. It was as tough an assignment as he's ever drawn (outside of guarding Carson Desrosiers in practice, of course).
"I was fighting through three or four picks every position," explained the 6-foot-7 Zenevitch.
Zenevitch was merely a cog in a dynamite defensive performance by the Raiders.
"We took them out of what they wanted to do. I thought we played perfect defensively," said Nault, lauding the work outside by guys like Luis Puello, Jaycob Morales, Evan Sheehan, Andrew Ouellette and others.
"As much as (Desrosiers) changes things in the paint, they change things on the perimeter. Kids like Luis, Jaycob, those guys, they put so much effort into making things difficult for opponents. We don't have a weakness defensively."