WOLAK: The Missing Piece, boys' edition

At the boys' postseason approaches, Tribune writer takes on the role of Jigsaw Man once again
Nich Wolak
Mar 1, 2014

Perhaps more than any other sport, basketball is a game of chemistry. While it certainly helps to have the five best players on the court, talent can be diminished if certain roles aren’t filled, and if others bleed together. You might say the game is like a puzzle — you want the pieces to fit together as snuggly as possible.

In homage to Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis’ annual Jigsaw Man column, I’ll take a lighthearted look at who each area boys team might like to rent for a strong finish in district play, and attempt to answer the age-old sports question of what if?

The moving players are not necessarily the three best in the area (although unlike Davis’ column which only uses role players, they are certainly in the conversation), but they are just what the doctor ordered to give a boost to our local teams.

Goeglein would be great for Grand Haven

Grand Haven has a firmly entrenched perimeter with Noah Lein, Connor Grimes and Isaak Newhouse.

Lein and Grimes have been the go-to scoring options for the Buccaneers. Both have the ability to hit from the outside and get to the hoop with the best of them, and Lein has the added responsibility of running the show from the point guard spot.

Newhouse puts his football background — the senior will be attending Butler University on a scholarship this fall — to good use on the defensive side of the ball, overwhelming opposing guards with his rare combination of power and speed.

Playing time has not been as stable in the post for Grand Haven. Freshman Ross Koella and juniors Nic Holwerda and Adam Abraham are all serviceable big men who have shown flashes throughout the season, but none has emerged as the clear-cut guy down low, able to consistently turn in double-double performances.

Enter Spring Lake's Nick Goeglein.

The 6-foot-7 senior center does it all in the paint for the Lakers: scoring, rebounding, blocking shots and finding open teammates when double or triple-teamed. He is the area's best anchor on both sides of the ball.

The Bucs' current big man trio all have enough perimeter skills to play along side Goeglein as power forwards, and Grand Haven would also be able to put swingman Korey Searle at the 4 with greater frequency, which increase its team speed and offensive firepower.

Another thing that would help jumpstart the Bucs’ offense is all the attention Goeglein draws inside. A Goeglein-Grimes-Lein trio would be reminiscent of the one the big man has on the other side of the Grand River with Kyle Zietlow and Keegan George.

Grimes is Fruitport's new go-to guy

Grimm makes the rich even richer

Read more of this story in Saturday's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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