Jump to content
Head Coach Openings 2024 ×
  • Current Donation Goals

    • Raised $2,716 of $3,600 target

SWIAC Basketball 2023-2024

Recommended Posts

After watching some really great Seniors filter through the conference last year... this year's conference could be wide open.  Linton, Bloomfield, and North Daviess all had State Championship level teams the last 2 years.  Linton lost by 3 to Providence in 2022 followed by a loss in the State Championship game in 2023.  North Daviess won state in 2022 followed by a strong showing in the 3A tournament in 2023.  Bloomfield lost to Indy Lutheran by 3 in the Regional in 2023.  Those teams lost a huge chunk of their rosters.  This is probably the most wide open the conference has been in a few years.  There is plenty of talent, but it is either young or unproven... or both.

Linton-  Gone is Coach Hart, and a load of outstanding Seniors.  Joey Hart, Logan Webb, Nathan Frady, and Wrigley Franklin along with Jaxon Walker and Hunter Gennicks graduated.  Hart is at Kentucky, while Webb had a very short stay with Vincennes.  Frady is playing baseball at Taylor.  Franklin is at UIndy for football, while Gennicks just finished his 1st season playing sprint football for the Naval Academy.  Walker chose to just attend Purdue, but he could have played baseball somewhere.  Point is... they lost a lot 2, 3, and 4 year dudes who were big and athletic.  Coach Hart is now off to rival North Daviess to wait for his return after a rough winter.  The wake of Coach Hart being let go falls under the "If you don't have anything nice to say... you should say nothing at all".  Lots of rumors and arguing among current and former players made his exit leave a bad taste in people's mouth. Loyalty to a man or loyalty to the program was a touchy subject.  In the wake of all of this... Braden Walters was the only one to leave.   He will suit up for Terre Haute North this season.  I hope the transfer is good for him.  We will have to wait and see if any younger players find their loyalties lie with a man over the program.

Coach Britton inherits a young team with loads of potential.  Sophomore, Paul Oliver, is the lone returning starter.  He split time with Frady and Franklin last season.  He had some really good games, but he was always the 3rd, 4th, or 5th option.  He will have more opportunities to score this season, but he will also be the focal point for most defenses.  At 6'3" 215 pounds and versatile enough to play inside or out... he could have a huge year. Jackson Miller returns to run the PG position after a solid Freshman campaign.  He played a little varsity when the top 6 guys got in foul trouble, or he could be used to exploit another teams lack of speed.  He has great court awareness and his shooting has improved greatly. Conner Daily will look to bring his JV scoring to the Varsity level as a Sophomore.  Senior, Jamison Fields, will bring his instant offense to a full time varsity spot.  He is not afraid of shooting... and can get crazy hot.  Junior, Hayden Feltner will bring his 6'2" in to contribute.  He had a lot of work against last year's Seniors.  I'm looking forward to his move to Varsity.  He brings some of the things Franklin did, but looks to score.  Cooper Smith will rejoin the basketball world after sitting out his Freshman year.  He will bring athleticism to the floor.  Avery Keen (Sr.), Jacob Breedlove (6'7" Sr.), Michael Auberry (So.), Colin Webster (Jr.), and a host of other new faces will be fighting for Varsity time.  Coach Britton not only has to replace 5 of the top 6, but he will deal with coaching comparisons throughout the year.  An experienced coach who can handle that sort of pressure made Coach Britton a great hire for the Miners.  There is enough talent to win the conference... youth and inexperience is what might prevent them from that goal.  Early games vs. Clay City and Shakamak will be important.  This will likely be when the Miners will be at their most vulnerable.  If they get through those 2 early tests, I would favor them to win the conference.

North Daviess- Gone are 3 of the best to ever suit up for the Cougars.  Jaylen Mullen, Lance Wilson, and Logan Wilson helped lead a strong group of older guys last year.  Most of those guys were Seniors... and like Linton... they didn't dip too deep into the bench.  Bishop, Swartzentruber, Lengacher are all familiar names, but they will all by thrust into major roles this season.

Blommfield-  They also lost a strong Senior group of guys.  Peter Combs is now playing at Taylor, while Brett Sherrard is playing baseball at Butler.  They also lose Hank Skomp and Justin Beard along with Brasey Neil. Skomp was a dfensive guy who made some big shots, while Beard was their instant offense guy.  Back is a host of Seniors along with Blake Neil.  He wasn't crazy athletic as a Freshman, which was exposed against really athletic players, but he has a super high BB IQ and can make shots from outside.  It will be interesting to see if he has grown.  He is listed at 6'4", which is taller than he looked last year... along with added muscle... he could be really hard to handle.  I'm not sure who will fill out the rest of the roster.  Seniors... Quentin Ross and James Royal should be returning along with Kellen Luse.  Ross should be the other main scoring option... he has a game similar to his older brother.  A 6'3"+ wing that can hit open shots.  If Royal takes a page out of his older brothers playbook... this will be his best year.  Owen Medina brings size as a 6'6" sophomore... he will have needed to put on some weight to be effective.  A couple solid guards from the JV should round out the roster.

Shakamak-  This should be the front runner if we are taking into account talent lost vs. talent returning.  Back are Seniors... JT May and Will Miller at the guard spots.  May can score in bunches when he gets going.  A lot of the crazy athletes that locked him up in conference play graduated... he could have a big year.  He needed to add some muscle/speed to take that next step.  Miller has a solid game... he didn't always handle athletic/physical defenders well.  He is probably excited to never see the Linton 1-3-1 again.  He should have a really good senior year.  Linden Jenkins returns as well... he is built like a Defensive Tackle, but has a solid game.  Jaden Johnson likely takes on a larger role on the varsity.  He is a good distributor and has NBA range shooting.  I'll be interested to see if he has that green light from deep... if so it will spread out the defense and help mitigate his lack of side.  The trio of Johnson, May, and Miller could be really potent if they can learn to coexist and play off each other.  A strong freshman class of Hart Buell, Madden Husband, and Jalen Johnson (Jaden's younger brother) may steal some varsity minutes as the season goes.  I worry a young coach won't be able to wrangle this group in and lead them to their full potential.  I could see them winning the conference and even a sectional title... or linger around .500... who knows?

Clay City- I'm not sure who they have returning... early wins against South Putnam and Barr-Reeve gives this team promise.  An early test against Linton this Friday will be an interesting test for both teams.  Last year's team had a few young guys (Sophomores??) that contributed.  Word is they have an athletic big that swatted some big shots to help in the victory over BR.  Friday night's game vs. Linton will clear up some of the confusion.

Eastern-  This may be the 3rd or 4th consecutive year that I have heard that the T-Birds are rebuilding.  Coach Hudson will have them playing hard, but I just don't know how much size or talent they have.  

North Central- This team lost a few Seniors, but they always seem to be a question mark due to transfers from TH South.  They have had some good athletes and even a few good players decide to head to NC rather than hang around at TH South.

White River Valley- Max Hostetter should be able to dominate as one of the tops guards in the SWIAC and even Southern Indiana.  I just don't know how much talent he has around him.  An early loss to North Knox doesn't bode well for this team.  Levi Hostetter takes over as head coach after a long tenure as the top assistant coach through the last few coaches.  The feeder program has been better as of late, but help may be a year or two away.  A local guy that has proven his commitment to the community and the program was a solid hire.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently, Clay City is better than I previously thought.  3-0 with a nice victory against Barr-Reeve. I may have be a little hungover after watching a lot of the top tier teams last year. I watched CC 2 or 3 times last year... early in the year against BR, Linton, and Bloomfield... all losses. After that... CC quietly had a 17 win season with 4 of their losses coming against  Linton, North Daviess, and Bloomfield(2).  A couple big bodied physical Juniors (Tucker?... Edwards?) lead the way.  This could be their year to win the conference.  Coach Ames always has teams that play hard and physical... problem was in most of his years he has been trying to win with a host sub 6'0" players in a conference full of size.  Now he has size with athletic ability.  Linton can match their athletic ability and physical style... but 1st game with a lot football guys just trying to get in a groove.  I will be interested to see if CC being the more seasoned team(lots of Juniors that have at least a year of varsity experience and their 4th game) might give them a big advantage.  Whoever wins will be the early favorite to win the conference.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pleasant surprise to Miner fans as the Miners won by 15 at Clay City.  After an excusable shaky start in their first game, the Miner defense pretty much shut down CC.  It will be interesting to see how the varsity inexperienced Linton players improve as the season progresses.  Since Linton is a class of mostly sophomores, The future is bright.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.Eastern Greene-  Win over Brown County on Friday night.  I don't know anything about BC, but Eastern isn't exactly loaded.  Mitchell beat them by 20+ on Saturday.  Linton plays Mitchell this Saturday... maybe that game will help gauge where both teams are right now.

North Central- Their victory against WRV puts them atop the SWIAC conference at 2-0.  I've only seen highlights.  WRV seems to be struggling, while Eastern wasn't thought to be a front runner for the conference title.

WRV-  I win against Dugger doesn't really hold much sway these days.  Maybe North Knox and North Central are better than expected.  Rough start for the easier part of the schedule.

Bloomfield-  At this point, anyone local has seen the Shakamak buzzer beater to beat Bloomfield.  Tough loss for the Cardinals.  Neil is going to score a lot of points... a few more Seniors would have made this a team to watch out for.  They are young at a lot of key spots.  I'll be interested to see if they can develop into a sectional contender.

North Daviess-  I don't imagine ND has much size, but they will be well coached and possibly contend for the conference title.  

Shakamak-  As I figured... May, Miller, Johnson, and Jenkins are their dudes.  May is impressive when he gets going.  Not a kid you want to see a couple shots go in early.  Good win against Bloomfield and a close loss to a solid Sullivan team is not a bad weekend.  

Clay City-  This is a team that plays physical for a basketball school.  Edwards does some nice things around the basket.  Johnson is a good lead guard.  Tucker kind of makes plays all over.  A few of them started whining once Linton matched their physical play.  Not a sign of a really physical team.  They don't have a lot of shooters, so zones might take away some of the things Edwards does around the basket.  Good team... They are in the conversation as the sectional favorite.  They will out muscle/hustle most of the conference.  I could see a team that can spread them out and play a stingy zone defense giving them problems.

Linton-  First 4 minutes looked like a bunch of young inexperienced guys playing their 1st game of the year.  After that, Linton looked pretty good.  They made some mistakes, but it wasn't hard to see this team could be really good.  They were unselfish... the ball didn't seem to get stuck in one person's possession.  Miller was really good at the PG position.  He handled the ball well and controlled the game in many ways.  Oliver was good.  He let the game come to him and didn't force bad shots.  Daily and Fields scored well.  Neither forced a lot of shots/drives.  Smith and Feltner will provide some versatility as forwards.  Keen and Breedlove came in a gave some quality minutes.  I think 9 guys touched the floor in the 1st half.  I still think Linton will have some tests... older perimeter players at Shakamak... another young team in Bloomfield... North Daviess and even North Central.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last weekend in SWIAC action...

Linton-  Impressive win over Mitchell on Friday night.  Mitchell has some nice players, but they played like the young team (they weren't young).  Cooper Smith busted out with a 17 point game.  He got a lot of hustle baskets.  Oliver scored 20 to lead the Miners.  That was without Jamison Fields.  Linton is still just scratching their potential, but it they are looking pretty good.  The ball is moving and multiple people are scoring.  They don't have their top guys forcing bad shots.  Saturday night they lost to a solid Cisne team out of Illinois.  Word is they were pretty good, but we didn't play quite as well.  I think Fields was out again for the Miners.

North Daviess- Nice win vs. North Central to keep in the hunt for the conference crown.  Another win Saturday night against Rock Creek brings their record to 5-1.  This ND team may be more methodical in their offensive approach.  They are only scoring 45 ppg, while giving up a conference low of 32 ppg.

Shakamak- The Lakers are 4-1 with their only loss to Sullivan (who should be undefeated).  The Lakers will go as far as May, Miller, Jenkins, and Johnson will take them.  I still have some doubts on how they match up size/athletically with Linton and Clay City.  Will they be disciplined enough to win against North Daviess? 

Clay City-  They had a good weekend with resounding wins over Bloomfield and Monrovia.  This is an early favorite to their Sectional.  The key will be whether or not Shakamak's outside play be better than Clay City's inside play.  

Bloomfield-  Rough weekend with big losses against CC and Edgewood.  This team is young and should improve as the year rolls on, but a few of those older guys choosing not to play leaves the roster too weak.

North Central-  A loss to North Daviess will move toward the middle of the pack in the conference.  I'll be interested to see how they stack up to their sectional opponents.

Eastern-  A close loss to North Knox is hard to gauge.  North Knox is has played a handful of conference teams close.  Does this mean the T-Birds or within 8-10 points of a Shakamak.  Who knows!

WRV- Rough start... I thought they might be a little better than 1-3.  Are they missing any key guys?  Either way... they aren't scoring many points or keeping opponents from scoring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Without the old Greene County Invitational... now might be a good time to go through the SWIAC's holiday games.

Linton-  I think people got a good view of the good, the bad, and the ugly over the last few weeks.  There is talent, but Linton is young.  They struggled to keep good drivers from penetrating, which set up good shooters knocking down shots.  Outside of Oliver... there isn't a physical post defender.  Breedlove may find a role in that singular job if the Miners see much size.  They don't always move well in their rotation on defense... regardless of whether it is man or zone.  The last 10 minutes of the Park Heritage game and the 1st quarter of the Sullivan game was hard to watch.  To be fair the first few quarters of Bloomfield wasn't great.  With that said, with a few tweaks and the experience this team will gain as the season goes on... this is still a dangerous team.   A conference title and a Sectional title are all possibilities.  

North Daviess- It looks like we are back to the old North Daviess way.... slow it down... and make every possession count.  Looks like teams that can score 40+ points will give them trouble.  If it is below that, be ready for a dogfight.

Bloomfield- Consolation bracket winner in the WVT is a nice accomplishment for a young team.  Abner stepped up as another option to Neil.  It will be interesting to see how the regular season matchup against Linton goes next week.  I don't think they can handle Oliver, but it should be a good game.

Clay City- They went 2-2 since mid December, but those 2 losses were close and to get teams.  I still think this team should be favored to win the Sectional... Bloomfield and Shakamak will be lurking with their big outside scorers.

Shakamak- There are some things to like about this team... and some things that seem to cost them dearly.  They have a solid group of perimeter players.  When those guys are on, they are hard to handle.  The problem is they don't always seem to be on the same page.  Too often they seem to run an offense that doesn't fit their strengths.  They have more perimeter talent than some teams, but disciplined teams like North Daviess will give them trouble.  On top of that, they have little to no size.  They couldn't guard Paul Oliver... I doubt they are able to handle Clay City's size.  That puts even more pressure on the guards to play well.  I could see them beating CC, ND, and win a sectional crown.  I also could see them get beat by 20+ in those games and losing in the sectional.

North Central- They are sitting around .500, but they haven't beat a good team.  I don't see this team having much success against the top 4-5 teams in the conference.

Eastern- This is not a very good team.  2 wins... maybe they beat WRV and/or Cloverdale.  There are a couple solid 8th graders (including Coach Hudson's son)... then a couple good looking 5th graders... not much in between.  Is this a program in constant rebuild mode?  Feeder program needs an overhaul.  A couple transfers would help.  Hudson usually has them playing hard, but there just isn't a lot of talent.

WRV- They are in a battle with Eastern for the bottom of the conference.  The feeder program has been improved, but it isn't full of crazy talented kids.  Max Hostetter may go down as one of the better guys to play on bad teams.  He would have been really good on a team with a few scorers.  They have 5 winnable games left on the schedule... I don't know that they are better than Eastern... just a few more weaker teams on the schedule.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Here we are with just a weekend left until Sectionals...

1. Linton 17-4 (6-0)-  With one game left against North Central, Coach Britton has the Miners atop the SWIAC again.  I think that 3 conference titles in a row.  2 years ago they won the tie breaker, won it outright last year... would win the tie breaker even if they would lose Friday night.  More importantly Coach Britton has them playing their best basketball... 9 straight wins is impressive.  In January, I would have had them with little chance in their sectional.  Now, another Sectional crown is a possibility.  I'd still put Sullivan as the favorite, but Linton is as talented as any team in the Sectional.  A 20 win season is still a possibility if they can win their Sectional.  I'm pretty sure the Sectional champ will be on a collision course with Brownstown Central.... tough Regional!

2. Clay City 16-5 (6-1)-  Outside of an early conference loss to Linton and a barn burner at North Daviess and a close game with Eastern... Clay City has rolled through the conference.  I like them to win their Sectional and maybe even make a deep run in the tournament.  Depends on who they have in the Regional.

3. North Daviess 14-8 (5-2)- Disciplined team... if they keep the score low and make some shots... they could sneak up on some teams in their Sectional.

4. Shakamak 12-9 (4-3)-  They beat the teams they should have beaten... there is more talent on this team than their record would indicate.  They don't have great size, which will hurt them against Clay City in the Sectional.  If someone could upset CC, they can beat anyone else. 

5. Bloomfield 11-12 (3-4)- Neil is tough when he is hot... a couple other guys have stepped up to help out.  This teams would have been interesting if all of their Seniors would have played.  They are capable of winning their Sectional... they are on par with Shakamak... I just don't see them able to beat CC without a super human effort by Neil.

6. North Central 10-11 (2-4)-  They get a chance to knock off Linton this Friday.  I don't see it happening.  Their is some offensive talent, but they don't play enough defense to win too many games against solid teams.

7. Eastern 4-17 (1-6)- Eastern played CC and North Daviess close... they have moments... overall they just aren't talented enough to win many games.

8. WRV 7-15 (0-7)-  They play the weakest schedule... a solid 8th grade (that upset Linton to win the 8th Grade SWIAC) will help replace the kids they will lose this year, but it is a slow rebuild at WRV.  There is a little more focus on their feeder program, so the future is much brighter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...