Waynesville coach Chris Pilz says his team is using summer games to figure out who will fill the roles left by graduated seniors

WAYNESVILLE — It may have been just a couple of scrimmages for the Waynesville Tigers basketball team on Tuesday, but for Coach Chris Pilz it was a welcome look into what he's got in his arsenal.

The Tigers graduated a few key role players in May that helped his team to sectionals this past season, so getting the younger guys some playing experience and seeing how they perform in game situations is extremely important for Pilz.

“We're really working and trying to find who 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 might be,” Pilz said. “Summer basketball is about seeing what guys can and can't do.”

For the record, the Tigers beat Hazelwood Central 72-63 and lost 64-60 to West Plains (all games were played in three quarters), but Pilz says what's on the scoreboard at the end of these scrimmages isn't important.

“It's summer ball,” Pilz said. “Win or lose it doesn't matter. We're just trying to give guys some playing time.”

It could also be a way to see what kind of group the other teams are putting together.

Although the starters typically don't play very much during these games, a coach can get a good look at them and see if they've grown, developed another part of their game or anything. It doesn't hurt getting a look at the bench either.
“West Plains and Hazelwood Central have good teams, two teams we will play next year,” Pilz said. “Anytime you can play someone like them, it's really beneficial.”

Pilz said his team will be playing plenty more this summer, trying to keep in shape and stay sharp while waiting for basketball season to come back.