21, 2007 12:07 am
BOYS BASKETBALL: Feathers
turns GI into a contender
By Nate Beutelemail@example.com
Greater Niagara Newspapers
His last name might portray something
different, but in actuality 6-foot-5 sophomore Greg
Feathers has turned the Grand Island Vikings into a
heavyweight contender in the Niagara Frontier League
and Class A-1.
With a roster full of guards, it’s easy to see why
Feathers has become such an integral part of the
Vikings squad, which finished .500 overall,
including a pair of wins over AA Lockport.
But to think that Feathers played less than one year
on the junior varsity and was pushed into the heat
of varsity competition is even more impressive.
“He’s probably our most improved player from
last year,” GI coach Chris Simpson said. “He
played some minutes here and there last year after
we called him up, but he really struggled especially
with the man-to-man defense. He didn’t like
sitting, though, so he got better defensively and
that’s why he’s playing so well now.”
Feathers, who averages almost 11 points per game on
60 percent shooting, said a lot of his development
has to do with his increased work in the summer with
his AAU team, which is coached by former NT and
current Vikings’ JV coach Greg Ross.
“We’d practice a few times a week and go to five
or six tournaments over the summer, so it was good
experience and helped me get used to playing good
competition,” he said.
Yet even with all his hard work in the offseason and
the Vikings off to a hot start to begin the year,
Feathers felt he wasn’t playing to his full
“I was still a little inexperienced and I didn’t
have a lot of games under my belt, so I think I was
still getting used to the game,” he said.
Since then, Feathers — for lack of a better term
— has taken off. According to Simpson, his
emergence helped the entire team, even if the
team’s play was sporadic.
“By him just going inside and battling, it opens
things up for the guards because if one guy has to
go down and help, that leaves the guards open on the
perimeter,” the coach said.
Feathers also provides a great addition on the
defensive end of the floor as he averages almost
three blocks a contest. The Vikings as a team have
routinely held opponents to under 60 points a game
“Defensively, I’m a pretty good post defender
and I’m pretty good at blocking shots,” Feathers
That defense will certainly be needed at 7 p.m.
today when Feathers and the Vikings host Hutch Tech
in a Section VI Class A-1 pre-quarterfinals. The
Engineers — like most Yale Cup teams — will be
looking to push the ball, so Feathers knows his team
will have to limit the turnovers and try to play
their slow-down style.
“We need to get our chemistry back together to
where it was during our winning streak,” he said.
“It’s been a combination of turnovers and bad
shooting in our losses, so we have to do better with
both of them to be successful.”