Wednesday, November 30, 2022


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Sports Article
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Mayza Developing Game with Perkiomen School Varsity
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Zach Mayza views his participation with Perkiomen School's Varsity basketball team as the first step to his goal of playing in college. The Upper Hanover resident hopes to improve his game enough to earn a spot on the school's National team, then earn a spot on a roster in college.

Perkiomen's Zach Mayza passes the ball during play

in Tuesday's game agains Olympus Prep.  Mayza

scored 12 points in the game.

            A growth spurt would likely enhance his chances, according to Donte Gitttens, the Varsity head coach. He said Mayza already has a high basketball IQ.

"Zach is a good player now," the coach said. "He knows what to do. He doesn't force the issue. But when he shoots up, he's going to be a great player."

            The 5-foot-7 combination guard is making the most of his time with the Panthers Varsity squad. Gitttens described Mayza, the team's first guard off the bench, as a solid spot-up shooter.

"My skills have progressed during the season," the player said.

            In its first season, the Varsity has registered three victories. According to Gittens, the team was created both to develop players for the National team and provide another opportunity to them to earn collegiate opportunities during a 22-game schedule. In early December, the Panthers competed in the Zero Gravity Classic in Massachusetts.

            "We look at it as one program with two teams," said Gittens, who also serves as an assistant to head coach Thomas Baudinet on the National team. "The players are all connected."

            Mayza scored a season-high 12 points in a 67-54 loss to Olympus Prep on Tuesday. Christian Weddington posted a team-high 14 points. Kuzey Ercan, a junior from Istanbul, also finished with 12 points. 

            On Thursday, Jan. 20, the Panthers lost 92-73 to the Phelps Post Graduates. Jake Okon posted a team-high 15 points. Weddington scored 14 points and Ercan registered 13 points for the Panthers, who trailed 48-34 at halftime. Cyriac Putthusery, a senior from Syosset, N.Y., added 12.

            Mayza is the only player on the team who was in the program last season. The roster features three players from Turkey and one from Finland, some of whom had never played American basketball before, according to the coach.

"The strength of this team is that they play hard and never give up," said Gittens, who pointed out that only two of the team's 10 losses have been blowouts.

            The coach identified Okon, a 6-foot-2 guard from the Bronx, as the Panthers leading scorer. Gittens said Weddington, a 6-foot-3 forward from Texas, has the athletic ability to possibly make the jump to the National team.

            Additionally, Dan Mason – a 6-foot-9 sophomore from Wenonah, N.J. – could also graduate to the National squad, according to the coach. Gittens said Putthusery, the point guard, came into his own after a week of early season practice with the National team.

            While Mayza waits for a growth spurt, he works hard at improving his game. In case the additional height and weight don't materialize, he has decided to model his game off Honor Huff, a former standout guard at Perkiomen School.

            Huff, an Allentown native, averaged 22 points a game last season in just 12 games. In 2020, he came off the bench to help the Panthers reach the Final Four of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament.

            "I aspire to be Honor," Mayza said of Huff, who is currently averaging 8.3 points per game this season at the Virginia Military Academy. "He is so good with the ball, so fast. My spurt may never come."






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