Area Coaches Try To Find Missing Pieces

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
By Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
With the lull in the action because of the weather, this seemed like a good time to evaluate the Benton County high school basketball programs.
At about the halfway point in the season, coaches are still looking at their teams as a work in progress.
For the smaller schools, two problems are usually always evident with their basketball rosters.
One is a lack of height and the second is a lack of depth. A key player goes down with an injury and it can be critical to their continual success.
So sometimes a coach has to be a magician, a master chess player, and as always, a great motivator. 
He has to access his talent and play accordingly. He also has to be a great teacher of the fundamentals and sometimes he has to do it in a big hurry. 
Also, the willingness of the kids to buy into the system is huge to say the least. They are constantly looking for players to step their games and play up to their full potential. If that happens, then it is all that a coach can ask from his players.
The Lincoln Cardinals, 6-4 so far, got off to slow start because of the lack practices due to their very successful football program.
They recently won the Otterville tournament and looked like they had it figured out. Then, they lost at home to Tipton and so they need to get back on a roll again.
They are missing Levi Betts with a broken hand and Nate Hesse has his foot in a cast. So they have been playing some freshmen, who may be better than first anticipated.
With five all-state football players, they have the athleticism. Tanner Bays at 6’3 is their only true big guy. Jackson Beaman, at 6’2, can rebound, handle the ball and score big.
Bo Kroenke can shoot from Stephen Curry land. The talent is there, they just need to  play. Head Coach Tyler Burke will have his team ready to play by the end of the season. They have struggled in recent years in the playoffs but maybe this is their year.
The Warsaw Wildcats are 10-3. They lost two players last week due to ineligibility and that weakened their already rather thin bench.
The positive side is that Parker Love has stepped up his game and has been their key scorer off the bench. He gives them another scorer, ball handler and is a racehorse.
Trey Palmer found his shooting touch last week and hopefully there is more to come.
Matt Luebbert has been consistent and if they figure out how to post him up down low on a regular basis then he will turn in a 40 point performance some day.
His twin brother, Jake Luebbert is the starting center and is improved over last season. Jake is one of the smartest kids in the area.
When Logan Davis is on his game, he is  probably the best guard in Benton County. We saw it against Versailles.
Freshman Brady Slavens has been starting as of late and is a good athlete.
The layoff due to the weather should help them. Coach Scott Floyd can hopefully pull a rabbit out of his hat and get them to the next level. The Skyline game might just answer some questions in a hurry.
The Cole Camp boys 8-7 haven’t peaked just yet. Cole Camp likes to sneak up on people come playoff time. They have the big man in 6’6  Ruvin Garbuzov and the slick forward in Ethan Ives .Throw in guard Kaden Harms and you have enough to win. They also lost a couple of players early on to injuries. Head Coach Dan Schnell will figured it out come playoff time.
The Cole Camp girls are 10-3. Head Coach Rick Grunden makes good use of his talent and he has the BCE 2018 Athlete of the Year, Lainy Williams and five other seniors to draw from.
The Lincoln girls are 3-8. They have had 5-7 players available at various times. Head Coach Marlon Hammond is a long time veteran coach and has experienced just about everything a coach comes across in his career.
Senior Lyndsey Koll has been their most consistent player and has turned into their top scorer. Chloe Reese has had some big outings as of late. Christina Eckoff is their other senior, and has played very well at times.
Sophomore Jordan Young has battled injuries all season. Freshmen Jenna Vandaveer and Erica Young are both scrappers.
Every team tries to wear them down with the press because of their lack of numbers.
They recently lost to a good Tipton team 73-23 and will have a few days off to regroup.
The Warsaw girls are 6-9. Other than their key player, Aubrie McRoberts, the Lady Wildcats have yet to find another consistent scorer. Several girls including Jessie Glenn, Jordan Plybon, Kamryn Yach, Taylor Howe and Kylee Fajen have all had big games.
 Howe has led their freshmen class  in varsity action. Karlie Jones, their tallest girl at 5’11 has played well.
Coach Cody Morgan,  in his fifth season, is very optimistic about the girls making a run.
We wish all of the teams, players and coaches a safe and enjoyable season the rest of the way.