By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — With the future looking positive for the North Decatur boys basketball team, North is aiming for a return to the sectional championship game and a shot to return to championship status.
Head coach Kyle Nobbe said the coaching staff looks forward to working with a younger but eager group of players.
“We’re pretty excited about the kids we have,” said Nobbe.
Nobbe said the coaches are “really confident” with the juniors that are going to contribute at the JV and varsity level.
“Hopefully it bodes well for the next three years, not just this year,” said Nobbe. “It’s been a positive because all 18 of those kids have really been competing hard and fighting for minutes and positions, whether it’s playing on the JV team, or trying to get minutes with the varsity team. That’s going to be important that we have that all season long. We constantly tell the kids, ‘don’t relax because you feel like you’ve made this roster, or you’ve cracked in the starting lineup. That needs to be the beginning of the work and the effort that you have to put in.”
Depth will be important to North’s bench, especially the first few games.
“ You can run as much as you want in practice, but it’s hard to simulate that intensity that they’re going to have on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Nobbe. “It’s imperative that we do have depth, and that the kids who either are starting or coming off the bench are going to be kids that can contribute. We’re really confident as a group that we can do that.”
Junior Eric Moorman will play wing or post, while junior Austin Brown will play guard.
Sophomore Dayne Lecher started a majority of varsity games last season at point guard, and will play point “quite a bit” this season, according to Nobbe.
“We expect a lot out of him as far as leadership, as far as being able to score the basketball for us,” said Nobbe of Lecher.
Nobbe touted sophomore Luke Badgley’s versatility, which he showed while playing significant varsity minutes as a freshman.
“We feel comfortable playing him one through five, and that’s hard to come by,” said Nobbe. “That’s a tribute to him and his work ethic and his ability to adjust and play different spots on the floor.”
Sophomore Andrew Hocker, who played significant varsity minutes at guard the second half of the season, is one of North’s better on-the-ball defenders.
“He’s a heady player,” said Nobbe. “He understands the game. We expect a lot out of him as well on both ends of the floor.”
Sophomores Donovan Meyer (guard/forward) and Evan Wallpe played the majority of time on JV, but contributed in the three sectional games.
“That was great to see that that moment wasn’t too big for them,” said Nobbe. “They handled that great. All the kids have handled that jump up to the varsity level all summer, and have really competed hard this preseason, and this early part of practice.”
Nobbe said 6-foot-4 Evan Wallpe will be counted on to give the Chargers size and anchor the team inside. After missing six weeks with a hamstring pull in football, Wallpe hopes to return to 100 percent soon.
Coaches have been pleased with Meyer’s grit and toughness.
“His ability to get to the rim and defend, whether it’s at the guard position or someone who plays on the block, is going to be significant for us as well,” said Nobbe.
Sophomore Arek Holloway will transition from a JV player to contributing more on varsity this season.
“He gives us some quickness, and his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter is something that we’re going to rely upon as well,” said Nobbe. “He’s worked extremely hard to put himself in this position, and that’s always a great credit to him and to all of our kids. He’s worked extremely hard to get to this position as a sophomore at this stage in his career.”
North also will have five freshmen at its disposal.
“With five freshmen, we’re going to be young at the JV level as well,” said Nobbe, “but we’re excited about the growth that this team potentially has – both groups – by the end of the season.”
Joining Nobbe for another year coaching is JV coach Ryan Brattain and ninth grade coach P.J. Metz.
“It’s always important to have that consistency throughout the program, and I’ve been very lucky to have that since I’ve been at North Decatur,” said Nobbe.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.