It’s been a year of new faces for the boys’ varsity basketball team. After losing six SENIORS last year, including their top scorer Greg Phelia, ‘19, the team has not failed to fill the spots of the missing players.
After 15 games this season, the team has a winning record of 10-5. Last year after 15 games, the team had the exact same record of 10-5.
Last season, it was Phelia leading the team to their 10-5 record but this year it has been SENIOR Nic Smith who averages a team leading 15.4 points per game (PPG).
“The SENIORS this year really care a lot and try to do all that they can to get the team to succeed,” Smith said about why he thinks the team has been able to find the same success as they had last year. “We all want to do well so it’s really helping us get to where we need to be.”
However, the story this year hasn’t been all SENIORS and upperclassmen. The team’s second most consistent scorer has been none other than Owen Murray, ’22. Murray has started every game this season and is averaging 11.7 PPG.
“Last year I thought I would be like the seventh man on the team this year, but now I’ve started every game which has been a huge surprise,” Murray said, “If you told me last year that I’d be starting every game, I wouldn’t have believed you but now it’s just the norm.”
Last year, as a freshman, Murray got quite a bit of playing time on varsity but because of his age, he was never able to develop into the player he is now. After a long offseason of training with the coaching staff and getting more comfortable on the court, Murray has settled into a crucial role on the team as a three point shooter, who is on the court making plays all game long.
“My teammates, they’re great. They’re really encouraging and welcoming to all ages. So it’s been very helpful and it’s just great to have such a supportive group of guys around me,” Murray said.
My teammates, they’re great. They’re really encouraging and welcoming to all ages. It’s just great to have such a supportive group of guys around me.”
— Owen Murray, ‘22
However, Murray hasn’t been the only underclassman that has made an impact on the varsity team. Max Poynter, ‘22, known for his game-winning, buzzer-beater against Loveland, is averaging 4.5 PPG as a sophomore.
The only freshman on the team is Aaron Odum, ‘23, who does not get much playing time, but has definitely made an impression on his coaches and teammates.
Other impact players include Brody Foley, ‘22, who averages almost three rebounds per game off the bench.
“[The sophomores have] obviously been very good. Everyone knows their role on the team now and everyone is scoring so there’s been a lot of development,” Smith said.
Other players, who have been very good on varsity this year include Collin Miller, ‘21, and Trent “Big Sauce” Borgmann, ’21, who both lead the team, behind Smith, averaging around three rebouds per game (RPG). As well as well as SENIOR Ed Abernathy, who averages 7.0 PPG and SENIOR Mike Grant, who averages 9.4 PPG.
So far, this season the team sits at fourth place in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) and looks to improve going into the last part of the season. Along with the women’s team, over Thanksgiving break, they won a national basketball tournament in Tennessee.
After being ECC champions in two of the last three years the team looks to get a third title in the 2020 season.