Manlius Pebble Hill changing basketball culture, racking up wins
It’s been a bit of a bumpy stretch of late for the Manlius Pebble Hill boys basketball team.
The Trojans have lost three of their last four games. On Wednesday, a day so cold that pretty much the entire area called off school, MPH held classes.
That did not stop members of the basketball team from having a spirited, enthusiastic practice at the end of the day.
It’s one more reason why MPH is one of the surprise Class C teams in Section III. The Trojans are 8-5 and have qualified for the sectional playoffs.
MPH was scheduled to host No. 18 state-ranked Fabius Pompey on Wednesday. Because arctic weather FP classes were cancelled on Wednesday from cold weather, the basketball game was postponed.
Jeff Ike is in his second season as head coach at Manlius Pebble Hill and said there’s been a culture change in the program that is now correlating to success.
It also helps that MPH has one of the top players in the OHSL Patriot American League in Dan Byrnes, who averages 20.6 points per game and has scored more than 30 points three times this season. Byrnes is the son of former Syracuse basketball player Marty Byrnes. Ike said Dan Byrnes has committed to play college basketball next season at St. Lawrence University.
Next up for MPH is a Monday contest at home against Blessed Virgin Mary. The game against Fabius Pompey will be rescheduled.
“The season’s been going real well so far,” said Ike. “The boys have been putting in a lot of hard work. They come to the gym every single day. They do what I ask them to do. On game nights, they really put forth a great effort. And I can’t ask any more that that from them. They’ve been playing some very good basketball.”