By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
To mitigate the hunger of a fan base starved for more Kronum League action, we’ll be bringing brief weekly updates of current adult rec league action, in addition to a weekly question-and-answer session. For further Kronum information, you can check out the league’s official website at www.kronum.com.
After one season with the Nimble Jacks, Joe Petrino moved to the expansion Evergreens last season, going on to finish 4th in the league in scoring. Petrino helped lead his new club to the semifinals, where they lost in a shootout to the eventual champion Night Owls. Joe sat down with me to discuss the transition to a new club and the finer points of high-level offensive Kronum.
With the Jacks, you had spent a lot more time playing on the outside in the flex zone. Then, you come to the Evergreens and run through the middle much more and attempt a high number of shots from the cross zone. What was that transition like for you?
It wasn’t too bad a transition, I feel like I still took a decent amount shots from the cross with the Nimble Jacks, but it was still nice to be down in the corner and rip twos from the flex. There are a higher number of guys at the point guarding you and getting in your face to make it a more difficult shot, but you just have to adjust.
I think most people would credit your presence on the Evergreens as one of the biggest factors for the new faceguarding defense that swept through the league last season. I remember the Jacks manned up both you and teammate Ryan Maley during a game. What sort of adjustments do you make in-game when you see someone is manning you up versus playing the more traditional zone defense?
When they do that, it forces both myself and Maley into the cross because you need a ton of space to move and make a pass or take that quick four. It’s definitely different being generally open and then having a guy come toward you rather than on you all the time.
Do you feel any sense of urgency in those situations to get yourself involved more since you are working harder to get open than you normally would need to?
It’s a situation where when you do have that one chance to get open, you do kind of expect the ball in a sense, because that’s probably going to be the best look you get and you have to take advantage and make the shot.
You led the league by far in most penalty shots made last season (hitting 22 of 36). Is there any sort of secret to your strategy when you step up to the point in those situations?
I’m not going to give my secrets away (laughing), but I do try to mix it up, whether that’s left, right, high, low. I won’t say exactly what I do but I kind of have my own little pattern and it’s good to mix it up because then it makes it hard for the goalie to get a read on you and know where you’re going to go with the ball.
Do you have an idea of where you’re going before you shoot or is it reacting to the goalie at all?
No, I know in my mind where I’m going to go.
My standard question with the rec league currently going on (Joe is currently playing on the Dirty Mike and the Boys squad), is there any aspect of your game you take the time to work on while you’re out there?
So for the Nimble Jacks, I was almost straight ring shots, and then with the Evergreens, I really didn’t get to take as many as I wanted to. It showed, I didn’t make as many. So I work on my ring shots here and definitely try to work on my foot skills as well. It is the rec league so I can take those chances and get that practice in a little bit. (Pause) And work on my passing a little bit.
With the Evergreens coming as close as you can possibly get in the semifinals, losing in a shootout to the eventual champion Night Owls, is there any one area you could pinpoint for you guys to take that next step?
There were a few of those rookie mistakes toward the end, whether that be a bad turnover or pass. Personally, I should have shot better in that game, I think I was about 5 of 20 maybe. I was getting faceguarded but I have to take better shots and make sure I make them when I get my chances. As a team, our offense just really struggled in that game.
This interview was slightly edited for conciseness and clarity.
Adult Rec League Week 3 Action
(3-0) The Prospectors 70 , (1-2) Bronum 48
The Prospectors have struck it rich in the early part of the season as a late first half surge helped them stay undefeated with a win over Bronum. The rifle arm of Dan Geiger powered the Prospectors early on from the cross zone (and he even flashed a bright orange boot for a kick score in the wedge zone). Bronum tried to go to the ring game midway through the second half but found the crown an unyielding target, allowing the Prospectors to cement their advantage and cruise to victory.
(2-2) Farris Wheels 72, (2-1) nWo 58
The Wheels came out strong, jumping out to an 8-1 lead, and controlling the action the rest of the way. Steve Botta and Jim Oakes paced the scoring attack with Lou Martin having a field day in the wedge zone. Kevin Casero hit a late 6-point penalty shot for nWo to make things interesting down the stretch, but it wasn’t nearly enough to complete a comeback.
(2-1) Twerk Horses 99, (0-3) Ole Miss Alum 72
Scott Salvatore and George Price each sank an 8-point kronum for their respective squads in what was a high-scoring, closely-contested first half. After the break, the Horses kept up the offensive onslaught as Brian Concio and Kyle McGrath did damage from the perimeter, while Matt Urglavitch and Matt Thornton played a game of tic-tac-toe all night in the wedge zone. Ole Miss had no answer defensively as the Horses pulled away for a runaway win.
(2-1) Dirty Mike and the Boys 114, (0-4) Ole Miss Alum 80
For the Boys, TJ Kane sank a kronum in the first half and Ryan Liberty connected on an 8-pointer of his own in the second, while their teammates scored in every other way imaginable in-between. (Editor’s Note: League sources have corrected me that it was Joe Petrino and Liberty who hit the two kronums). A tired and discombobulated Ole Miss team allowed the highest point total of this rec league season in a game that wasn’t close for the final 15 minutes of play. Clean victory for Dirty Mike and the Boys.
(2-2) Air Pops 66, Urban Legends (1-2) 62
With the game tied at 62 and 2 minutes remaining, the steady hand of veteran Matt Parsons took the reins for the Pops, assisting on the next two scores to help his club to a 4-point advantage. Out of timeouts in the closing seconds, the Legends were unable to wrest the ball away from a Pops team playing keep-away, as their one possession lead proved to be enough for the win.