Turning the page: Rotolo, Vanguards look forward to new season

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 10:54 PM

As soon as the final buzzer sounded Wednesday night on Vance-Granville’s 2012-2013 campaign, a new season began for coach Mike Rotolo.

Rotolo wrapped up his first season as Vanguards head coach in an 81-66 loss to Shooting for Greatness Academy at Aycock Rec Center.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow morning because when I wake up tomorrow morning, the next year has officially started,” said Rotolo.

Vance-Granville finished with two wins on the season, which ended abruptly Wednesday after other schools pulled out of scheduled matches.

The Vanguards are not eligible for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Region 10 Tournament, a penalty resulting from VGCC’s cancelation of the 2011-2012 season.

“It wasn’t a perfect year, but it’s a statement that Vance-Granville Community College basketball is back,” said Rotolo.

Rotolo said recruiting is going well. He’s already got some new potential players on campus.

“We have one of the best-kept secrets in the state of North Carolina, the college and basketball included in that,” said Rotolo. “I’m going to be an ambassador and make sure basketball and the community college get a little better reputation around the state — not even reputation — get introduced.”

Vance-Granville’s two wins came over Germanna Community College of Virgina and Bible Baptist College of West Virginia.

Rotolo said he handled the transition from high school to junior college basketball well and he feels confident leading the Vanguards.

“We’re going to get it done,” said Rotolo. “I’m telling you we’re going to get it done at Vance-Granville Community College. I’m the guy for the job and I’m excited they’re giving me that opportunity and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Oxford’s Justin Martin led VGCC with 20 points Wednesday. Shawn Brown, a Northern Vance alum, had 13 points.

The Vanguards trailed 38-29 at halftime and were within 10 points five minutes into the second half before a 14-0 run in a three-minute span gave Shooting for Greatness some separation.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.