By Matthew De George
Strath Haven’s 19-win season in 2015-16 ranked as one of the surprises in District 1.
But as John Harrar surveyed the gym this week, he couldn’t help but notice that much of the depth that furnished that special season has moved on.
Where scoring balance was the Panthers’ hallmark last year, Harrar finds himself as the focal point this year, the 6-foot-8 senior accompanied by just one returnee who played more than 12 games last year.
“We’re just trying to get people varsity experience, because we have some people who didn’t even get in last year (that are) starting” this year, Harrar said. “Once we pick that up, we’ll be fine.”
Harrar anticipated changes, with the matriculation of three starting seniors. Point guard Jahmeir Springfield’s transfer to Chester was an unexpected wrinkle.
Though young talent waits in the wings, acclimating them to the rigors of varsity ball requires time.
Harrar understands his task on and off the court. Last year, he served as a support scorer, one of several options in the post as the Panthers efficiently operated inside-out. With less proven shooters than Alex Ischiropoulos and Jayvon Green-Springfield, the spotlight is on Harrar to provide a larger share of the offense.