In this day of NBA analytics, where nobody posts up anymore and the 3-pointer is the best shot one can take on the basketball court, Mount Carmel senior Tommy Reisinger made an interesting choice about his game.
He eschewed the 3-point shot for the most part, and went back to the kind of post game that made an old-school center like his coach, John Lazicki, proud.
“We know he’s going to be better than most in the post. He’s a tough cover,” Lazicki said. “When he gets into the post, he’s 220 pounds and he knows how to use his body to his advantage.”
Reisinger’s performance this year earned him The Daily Item Boys Basketball Player of the Year. A four-year starter, he averaged 18.5 points and 8.8 rebounds this season for a Mount Carmel team that won its third straight Heartland Athletic Conference-Division III title.
After three consecutive years of Lourdes Regional standout Thomas Schultz picking up the honor, this year’s selection was much closer. Reisinger was chosen over Millersburg junior Christian Bingaman and Northumberland Christian senior Aaron Knauss.
The Red Tornadoes might have been expected to take a step back with loss of all-time leading scorer Donovan James — who just concluded his freshman season with Lycoming College — but Reisinger picked up the scoring slack.
Part of that success came with a variety of post moves on the blocks that allowed Reisinger to take advantage of strong lower body — built in the Mount Carmel weight room while training for football and his future college career as a right-handed pitcher for East Stroudsburg University.
“In the paint is the strongest point of my game. I’m an OK shooter, but I didn’t look to shoot (outside) that much this year,” Reisinger said. “I really wanted to stay in the paint and use my height and my weight to my advantage to score inside.
“I couldn’t do without my teammates, who do a great job of getting me the ball in good spots.”
Reisinger shot nearly 66.9 percent on two-point shots this season (192-of-287), a testament to the kind of good looks he had.
He also had his best games of the season in Mount Carmel’s biggest games. Against Hughesville, Reisinger had a career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds. The regular-season matchup with rival Shamokin saw him put up 27 points and 16 boards (nine on the offensive glass), which caused Indians coach Chris Zimmerman to say this.
“I thought we defended Tommy well,” Indians coach Chris Zimmerman after the game. “Reisinger just kept coming and kept coming. He’s so strong, and he got us underneath the rim, got himself some opportunities on the offensive glass.”
Mount Carmel rolled to the HAC-III title, but the season didn’t end the way the Red Tornadoes wanted. They lost to Loyalsock in the HAC Tournament at Shikellamy, before falling to eventual state qualifier Warrior Run at home in the opening round of districts.