November 24, 2005

Tigers Target Turnaround In 2005-06 Basketball Season

It is back to the drawing board for the Scotland County basketball team as first-year Coach Ryan Bergeson is stepping in trying to rebuild the Tigers’ program after a 3-22 record in 2004-05.

SCR-I is scrapping the run and gun offense and Bergesen plans to implement a more traditional game plan to take advantage of post players Lathan Watson, Chris Humes and Cody Musgrove.

“We definitely want to focus on creating an inside game this season,” said Bergeson. “Not only do we have some good post players but we have a couple of guards that are pretty strong and can score from the block as well.”

That doesn’t mean the team won’t continue to utilize an athletic group of perimeter players. Bergeson indicated he still plans to use a full-court press on defense and hopes the pressure defense can generate some easy scoring opportunities for the Tigers so the team will not have to rely as heavily on the three-point shot in 2005-06.

“We are going to press when we can,” Bergeson said. “It’s going to be a lot different style where we will focus on trapping the ball in certain areas as opposed to the ‘all or nothing’ approach like before.”

The Tigers definitely still have the sharpshooters to knock down the shots from behind the arc as SCR-I returns all-conference guards Bryce Blomme and Matt Wickert. They are joined by fellow juniors Grant Blomme, who battled through injuries last season, and Zach McBee, who returns to the program after sitting out last year.

Senior Dustin Roach, junior Chris Holt and sophomore Travis Trueblood round out the back court rotation. Junior Brandon Dale will be called on to give the team added depth at the post position.

Last year the rest of the Tri-Rivers Conference boys basketball teams had a rather large obstacle in the road to the top of the league. That roadblock is gone as North Shelby’s 6’10” center Cody Stoneburner graduated after leading the Raiders to a perfect conference season and on to a state championship.

Stoneburner and fellow first-team all-conference performer Scott Radcliffe have moved on to college, meaning the door is open for the rest of the league to move up in the standings.

Brett Craigmyle and Chris Perry are the lone starters returning from North Shelby’s 31-1 team.

Schuyler County will be in a similar boat with the Raiders. The Rams graduated three of the team’s top performers in Alex Horn, Jonathon Norman and Gaylon Gorman and will have to fill in the holes if the Rams hope to improve on a 16-12 mark and a third place finish in the conference.

Putnam County lost center Ben Brummit and guard Corey Mason but will bring back first-teamer Brandon Thomas as well as Tyson Alexander. The Midgets were second in the league last season and are one of the early pre-season favorites to move up to the top spot after going 19-7 in 2004-05.

Clark County likely would have been the other favorite for the league crown but a number of the Indians’ talented senior class did not come out for basketball this season. The Indians tied for third place in the league last year and were 16-9 overall.

Brookfield, the third team that finished last year with a 4-3 conference mark, will lean on first-team guard Brent Paahlar to try to leap frog the rest of the competition.

Knox County, which went 1-6 and 7-20 overall last year, will have to make some key moves if the Eagles want to move out of the conference cellar. The Eagles will have to replace top scorers Garet Nunan and Kellen Stokes and will look to Brett Hamlin to shoulder much of that load.

Milan is in similar shape. The Wildcats went 1-6 in league play and 5-21 overall and will have to replace all three of the team’s all-conference performers, Chris Dickson, Dirk Van Ingen and Patrick Hatcher.

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