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Each week the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association recognizes outstanding performances from around the state. This week Tye Collins was recognized in District 3 for his accomplishments in the HBA/Stimulus Tipoff Classic. From the IBCA… "Collins averaged 23.0 points and 15.0 rebounds over two games in propelling Loogootee to the championship of the HBA/Stimulus Tipoff Classic. The 6-1 senior opened with 30 points, 20 rebounds, two assists and two steals as the Lions defeated Irvington Prep. Collins followed with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 69-60 triumph over Rock Creek Academy for the championship. In two games, Collins was 17-of-32 from the floor and 12-of-16 on free throws.
This is a very prestigious award. Tye beat out a very impressive group of nominees that I have listed below.
.District 3 boys nominees – Matt Cornett, South Decatur; Schuyler Edwards, Shawe Memorial; Ethan Helton, Eastern Greene; Seth Hobson, Salem; Musa Jallow, Bloomington North; Alex King, Columbus North; Jordan Knoebel, Charlestown; Romeo Langford, New Albany; Hayden Langkabel, Morristown; Michael Light, Owen Valley; Javan Miller, Barr-Reeve; Eric Moenkhaus, Greenwood; Walker Paris, Mt. Vernon (Posey); McCall Ray, Bedford North Lawrence; Braxton Robertson, Henryville; Kolten Sanford, Evansville North; Grant Smith, Connersville; Andrew Welage, Greensburg; Tanner Yeryar, Shakamak.
The Lions will be playing in the BSN Classic at Bismark Henning High School on December 27-29th. I've listed the schedule below. Those of you who plan on traveling with the Lions can get a reduced room rate at the Sleep Inn and Suites =Danville (217) 442-6600. I posted hotel information on an earlier post so you can check there for specific information.
Tuesday, December 27th At Bismarck-Henning
Logootee vs. Watseka 11:30
Bismarck-Henning vs. North Vermillion 1:00
Watseka vs. Fisher 5:00
North Vermillion vs. Logootee 6:30
Fisher vs. Bismarck-Henning 8:00
Wednesday, December 28th at Bismark-Henning
North Vermillion vs. Fisher 11:30
Bismarck-Henning vs. Watseka 1:00
Fisher vs. Logootee 5:00
Watseka vs. North Vermillion 6:30
Logootee vs. Bismarck-Henning 8:00
The first 2 days are "pool play games." These games will be used for seeding for Day 3. We will only play one game vs the corresponding seed from the other pool. Day 3 games will be played at Heritage. Teams playing in the Heritage pool include: Judah Christian, Oakwood. Georgetown-Ridgefarm, Heritage/Villa Grove, and Salt Fork .
December 29, 2016 At Heritage
Heritage 5 th Place vs. Bismarck-Henning 5 th Place 11:30
Heritage 4 th Place vs. Bismarck-Henning 4 th Place 1:00
Heritage 3 rd Place vs. Bismarck-Henning 3 rd Place 4:00
Heritage 2 nd Place vs. Bismarck-Henning 2 nd Place 5:30
Heritage 1 st Place vs. Bismarck-Henning 1 st Place 7:00
*Please note that all times are Central Time.
The Lions will be traveling to Bismark Illinois (just north of Danville, IL) for a tournament on December 27-29. I will be posting more information about the tournament at a later date, but I wanted to forward some hotel info that is time sensitive.
The basketball team will be staying at the Sleep Inn and Suites- Danville. We have secured a group rate at the Sleep Inn for our fans that would like to make the trip. 2 Double bed ($88), 2 Queen Suite ($108) and King suite ($108) rooms are available. The phone number for the Sleep Inn is (217) 442-6600. Mention Loogootee Boys Basketball to get the group rate. You need to make your reservation prior to Monday, November 28th to get the special rate. There are also some other hotels in the area including a Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn, and Best Western.
This Thursday night we will hold our 2nd annual Meet The Lions Night. The evening will begin at 6pm with a taco bar. Following dinner, there will be a short program where I will introduce the players and talk about our upcoming season. At 7pm we will have “open practice.” Open practice will be a great time for our fans to see how hard our guys are working on a daily basis. We host this open practice instead of “Soap and Towel Game.” This will be your only chance to see our team in action prior to our season opener on Saturday, November 26th.
We will be taking donations at the door on Thursday. Feel free to bring soap or towels. Monetary donations will also be accepted. It should be an exciting night. I hope to see you there.
Our varsity and JV parent meeting will be held in the library at 6:30 pm this Wednesday (Nov 9th). Parents should use the main entrance to the school. The meeting is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.
The varsity and JV teams will be playing in the Indiana Wesleyan Shootout on June 11th. It will cost each player $15 (cash) to spend the night in the dorms. Bring your own pillow, sheets, blanket. Players should also bring money for meals. The itinerary is listed below.
Friday, June 10
7:15- 8:45 am Breakfast Club
8:45am-10 am Optional weights
3:30pm-5 pm Practice
5:45 pm Depart for IWU
9:00 pm Arrive at IWU
Saturday, June 11
8:30 am JV vs Fairfield Court 11
10:10 am Varsity vs Indy Homeschool Court 2
11:00 am JV vs South Adams Court 11
11:50 am Varsity vs Eastbrook Court 5
1:30 pm JV vs Heritage Christian Court 10
2:20 pm Varsity vs Wabash Court 5
4:50 pm JV vs Mississinewa Court 11
4:50 pm Varsity vs Manchester Court 4
The Lions split their two games in the Loogootee Classic- Sponsored by Stimulus/HBA. We defeated Irvington Prep out of Indianapolis 46-33 in the morning game and lost to South Spencer 53-34 in the championship game.
We started slow in the opening contest. It took us a about 12 minutes to get acclumated to the speed of the game and our opponent’s quickness. We fell behind early and were down at the first quarter break 14-10. We tightened up a little defensively and were able to take a 20-19 lead into intermission. We opened up things a little more in the 3rd quarter outscoring Irvington 13-6, giving us an 8 point lead heading into the final 8 minutes. The 4th quarter was similar to the 3rd quarter as we outscored Irvington 13-8 to secure a 46-33 victory.
We were definitely not at our best in this game. We committed too many turnovers (12) and we didn’t shoot the ball well (38%). We were pretty stagnant offensively and I thought our spacing was poor. But with all the negatives, there were some positive things to build on. We dominated the glass- we actually had more offensive rebounds (15) than Irvington had defensive rebounds (13), we had 10 steals, and we did hold our opponents to 33 points.
Tye Collins and Jake Blackwell had nice games. In fact, between the two of them, they scored all of our points in the first 3 quarters. For the game Tye scored 23 and Jake finished with 12. They also led us in rebounding. Tye had 13 and Jake 8. Jayden Wagoner scored all 7 of his points in the 4th quarter and he led us in assists with 3. Landon Bell scored both of his baskets in the 4th quarter.
We got off to another slow start in the championship game vs. South Spencer. Again it seemed to be a lid on the basket for us, but our defense kept us in the game during that first quarter. While we were down 9-4 after 8 minutes, but got a little spark in the the 2nd quarter. Tye Collins connected for 8 of his team high 15 points in quarter and Luke Reed connected on a 3 piont shot. We managed to outscore them 12-7 in the period and were tied at 16 at the half.
The beginning of the 3 quarter was pretty good for us as we took an early lead. Things started to unravel in the later parts of the 3rd quarter. We were down 9 heading into the 4th and were outscored 21-11 in the final stanza. The final score was a disappointing 53-34. Tye led us in scoring again with 15 and he also had 4 steals. Jayden Wagoner chipped in with 8 points and Landon Bell had 6 points.
It was a frustrating night in terms of our shooting. We had some good looks at the basket, but were unable to connect on enough of them. I thought there were times where our press looked better in this game, so that is something that hopefully will generate some offense for us in the future.
Overall it was an up and down weekend for a young and inexperienced team. There were some positives on which we can build and there were some things that need to be cleaned up. We will get back on the practice floor this week and get to work. Things don’t get any easier next week. We host a very talented Wood Memorial team on Friday and travel to another tough Blue Chip conference opponent on Saturday at Vincennes Rivet.]]>
A quick check of the calendar shows that we have 7 weeks until the first basketball proactice. After a fruitful summer, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what our guys have been doing since school has started.
As I assessed the program last spring I thought we were weak in our overall skills (especially ballhandling and shooting) and I thought we needed to get stronger. To our kids’ credit, they had a great summer and made significant strides in those areas. But, we are far from a finished product, and there still is work to be done.
Since school started we have tried to step up our efforts in the weight room. I think we have an excellent strength and conditioning program. It is a comprehensive program that works on strength, explosiveness, quickness, agility, and flexibility. I’ve spent a lot of time researching this area and I think some of the things we do are cutting edge. Hopefully I don’t sound like I’m tooting my own horn, because I am not. Everything we do has been taken/borrowed from the leading experts in the field. We have been limited a little bit by our strength training facilities, but we have persevered. The extra space that was added this summer has been a very positive addition, but there are some improvements I would like to make over time. Really, the most important aspect is not the program or the facilities, it’s the effort and consistency with which the players train. To their credit, our players have been consistently giving a great effort in the weight room and they look a lot different than they did 6 weeks ago.
While skill work has taken a little bit of a backseat to strength and conditioning, our guys have been putting in extra time in this area as well. We have several regulars at Breakfast Club each morning. Breakfast Club is at 6:15 am each morning before school. Players get together informally and get out the Guns (rebounding device that helps them get up more shots) and play 1 on 1 games. We also have guys who stay after school, come back at night, or get in the gym on Saturdays to put up shots. I always challenge them to “shoot game shots, at game spots, at game speed.” By the number of guys that I have seen in the gym, I can honestly say that, “The ‘Gym Rat’ is no longer an endangered species at Loogootee.”
Most of you that live in Loogootee have known Conner Wittmer a lot longer than I have. Basketball stars like Conner become household names at a young age in small towns like Loogootee. Although I met Conner for the first time just a little over a month ago, I had the opportunity to watch him play in high school on several occasions. Obviously the most memorable time was vs Rockville in the 2012 state championship. Upon meeting Conner for the first time I quickly realized that he loves the game of basketball, he loves Loogootee, and he loves working with kids.
It’s funny how some things just seem to work out. My son and I had just moved to town, it was two days before summer basketball started, and I was still in need of a coach who could help me throughout the summer. I called Conner about his availability and gave him my best sales pitch. I was fully prepared to make a home visit and twist his arm if necessary, but lucky for me I didn’t have to go to that extent. Conner is WAY too big for me to twist his arm! Conner called me back the next day and told me that he was in!
Since then, Coach Wittmer has been a huge asset for our program. He has been a “hands on coach” at all of our high school workouts, he has helped run our summer camps, and he took our 7th and 8th grade teams to a couple of shootouts. His experience as a high school and college player has been a valuable resource for our kids. He certainly has great knowledge of the game at young age. Conner has told me that when his playing days are over, he wants to get into to college coaching. After working with him this summer, I think that is a perfect fit for him. We have been lucky to have him this summer and someday he will be a huge asset to a college coaching staff.
We still have a couple of weeks left of our strength and conditioning program, as well as open gym. Conner is going to help us for the next two weeks, then he will start preparing to head back to school this fall. He just finshed up this past year at Olney Central and will be attending school and playing basketball at Missouri Baptist this year.]]>
The varsity finished the day 3-1 at the Wabash Shootout this past weekend. After a lack luster effort in our first game vs Culver, I thought we played some pretty good basketball the rest of the day. We beat a solid Whitko team who had two talented guards, then we beat South Vermillion, and Muncie Burris to finish the day. The JV finished their day at 2-2. Coach Wade reports that they played well most of the day. Their 2 losses were by by narrow margins. In one of those losses they fell behind by as much as 17 points before forcing the game to go into double overtime.
It has been an extremely busy June for the Lions. We have traveled over 1000 miles round trip to play in 5 different tournaments. Besides that, our kids were in the weight room, on the practice floor, and helped out with our summer camps for our youth program. Our players’ work ethic has been very good and our attendance has been exemplary. I am excited about the direction that our baskeball program is heading.
With that being said, we need to understand that one month of hard work does not turn around a basketball program. This is will be an ongoing process for us. While we have made a major move forward, we still have a long way to go before we can compete for championships. I love the attitude of our players, and I have been blown away by the support of our community. It’s obvious that we all want to see this thing get turned around, and if we can sustain the effort we demonstrated in June, I think we can.
I want to take a second to talk about my high school staff. I have been fortunate over the years to have been blessed with great assistant coaches. After one month at Loogootee it is easy to see that I have another great group of coaches to work with. Mike Wininger (varsity assistant), Bruce Wade (JV), and Noah Callahan (9th grade) have been a big part of what we have been able to accomplish in June. These guys are hard working men of character who want to see Loogootee Basketball be great again. They have already proven to be positive role models who expect excellence from our players. I love the fact that they are Loogootee guys, and that they wear the pride that they have for their school and basketball program on their sleeve. They are the perfect mix of “new blood” and “old school Loogootee Basketball.” I’ve been very impressed with their knowledge, passion, and coaching ability. I think that I’ve hit a home run in hiring these guys.
I will be taking some time off from my daily tweets and weekly blog posts. We are on moratorium for the next two weeks. I am going to spend some time on vacation and moving the rest of my stuff out of my house in Covington. We are fortunate to have accepted an offer on our house this past weekend, so hopefully everthing is full go on that front, and we can start looking for a permanent residence in Loogootee.]]>