WIERCINSKI ALREADY LOOKING AHEAD TO 2003-04 SEASON

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With a sub-.500 Mountain Valley League record and a long shot, at best, to make the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V boys' basketball playoffs, Tioga High School junior forward Jason Wiercinski has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise trying season for the Timberwolves.

Just don't tell him that.

After scoring 25 points and grabbing 15 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season during the T-Wolves' 91-70 non-MVL win over Stoneridge Christian on Tuesday, Wiercinski, The Union Democrat's Athlete of the Week, followed that up with 26 points and seven boards against Calvary Temple on Friday.

But, despite averaging a double-double on the season (team-leading marks of 18 points per game and 12 rebounds per game), Wiercinski is anything but satisifed with his play this season although he's a virtual lock to earn a spot on the all-MVL for a second straight year.

"I am not pleased with my performance this year," he said. "I think I could have done so much better.

"One of the things I've got to work on is being consistent," he added. "Some of the big games I wanted to play well in, I just didn't show up. Against (Elliot Christian) in Lodi, I had one of my worst games.

"I understand that will happen once in awhile on the basketball court, but it's still frustrating."

Amazingly, Wiercinski's frustrations on the basketball court don't carry over to sports' traditional field of frustration the golf course where he will begin his third year of varsity golf for Tioga in March.

"I have a lot of fun playing the game," Wiercinski said. "My dad got me into it; I've been playing ever since I can remember.

"I like it because I can relax, and I'm not looking to be the so-called big man in golf. Basketball can be very stressful because it's my favorite sport and I want to do well."

As relaxing as an afternoon on Pine Mountain Lake Golf Course can be for the intense senior-to-be, there will be plenty of days this spring and summer when Wiercinski may look like he's lining up a putt, but he'll actually be looking ahead to the 2003-04 basketball season.

"Wait for me next year," he promised. "Then, I'll show you guys something."

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The Union Democrat
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