February 08, 2018 04:24 PM
(ABC 6 News) – As the Minnesota boys basketball season continues to move forward, every team is inching closer to the section playoffs—and behind their “man in the middle,” come postseason, the Stewartville Tigers are dangerous.
The Tigers, who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, have been engineered by the presence of senior center Carter Groski—someone who literally stands among the crowd on the hardwood.
“I think it’s helped since 4th grade that I’ve had 3-4 inches on everybody,” Groski said. “I just kind of developed and it’s come naturally.”
In case anyone is wondering, Groski is 6’7—and that height doesn't go to waste on the floor.
“Every now and then, a post player will get the ball inside and try to score and he’ll block it once, then he’ll go up again and he’ll block it again, just those things like that are stuff that you can’t teach,” Tigers head coach Adam Girtman said. “He’s leading our team in rebounds, assists, averaging five blocks per game, so what he does defensively, there’s nobody else in the section that can dominate the way he can defensively.”
“We have one of the best players on the floor, which helps. He’s kind of like a quarterback out there. His ability to take away the paint, he can dominate. It sometimes puts the rest of our defense at ease, but he’s just a great kid to have.”
Not only do opposing players have to look up to Carter—his teammates look up to the senior as well.
“He’s a good leader,” Girtman said. “He works hard, he’s incredibly intelligent, he knows where everyone should be, what we’re trying to do, and he’s an all-around good person and basketball player.”
“I like to lead vocally,” Groski added. “I like to talk a lot on defense, tell them where they are at, know the defensive scheme really well. Offensively, I like to direct the traffic out there and tell people where to go.”
During the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak, since January 16, the Tigers have won seven of those games by at least 11 points (Stewartville defeated P-E-M on January 25, 67-58), and have held their opponents to 50.9 points per game.
Groski’s defense is a big part of the Tigers’ success, and he hopes his team can keep it going through March.
“I want to finish with only five losses which we have right now, and make a run for it in sections and hopefully come out and go to state,” Groski said.
Following high school graduation, Groski said he doesn’t plan on playing college basketball—he’ll instead turn his focus from the gym to the classroom, where he plans to go into nursing at the University of Minnesota Rochester.
Updated: February 08, 2018 04:24 PM
Created: February 07, 2018 04:50 PM
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