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Summer team presents chance to polish skills

Members of Sandy boys basketball team have chance to prove themselves


by: STAFF PHOTO - Sandy Summer LeagueJason Maki told his team that he could care less about the score. After falling to David Douglas, 82-69, the Sandy Pioneers' coach just wanted to see improvement from Thursday's summer league game at David Douglas High School.

That's because this team would be largely foreign to followers of Sandy's 2012 varsity season.

Of the eight-player team, only one saw major minutes on varsity last season - Jacob Groom. The rest of the squad is composed of relative unknowns, seeing more minutes or their first minutes ever against varsity talent.

"We just get a lot of kids experience," Maki said. "We're just trying to get better. You're just getting guys experience and use to varsity speed."

One of those using this summer to campaign for more playing time in the upcoming season is Kevin TenEyck.

As a junior, TenEyck spent much of the regular season coming off the bench, providing a handful of relief minutes for starters. Opportunities to stand out during games were sparse. But on the Pioneers' summer team, he's a starter, giving Maki plenty to evaluate.

"Kevin's been awesome lately," Maki said. "He played real, real well (last Wednesday) against Gresham. (Last) Monday he played real well against Barlow. So just being in an expanded role and getting a lot of shots, a lot of minutes is awesome."

The incoming senior displayed the threat he can provide from beyond the arc against the Scots. TenEyck found his stroke after halftime and hit a pair of three's, which helped cut the Pioneers' deficit from 20 points down to 12 in the first three minutes of the third quarter.

Groom is also expanding his role.

While typically a spot-up shooter, he's using this opportunity to learn how to create his own chances.

Of course, the idea is that TenEyck's success, Groom's expanded repertoire, experience for the younger players will all translate to the 2012-13 regular season.

"Some success, like Kevin's having, will definitely translate," Maki said. "Someone like Jacob, who's known primarily as a shooter, is really putting the ball on the floor. If he can have some success doing that, then it's going to translate."