Balance, depth key Indians

Hononegah's Andrew Tapley looks for an open teammate during a recent practice. Tapley, who was in the finals of the state 3-point contest last season, is among the top shooters in the conference. Photo by Matt Nestor

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

Last season, the Hononegah Indians were so close on several occasions to knocking off the Boylan Titans. With players like Mario Donaldson and Stanley Robinson gone, you may think it would be tough to duplicate those chances.

But the Indians return much of that team, and with a good mix of newcomers, Head Coach Mike Miller thinks his team can move on without skipping a beat.

“Any time you lose a couple of all-conference players, you have to make adjustments,” Miller said. “We’ve got a great mix of returning guys and we have a bunch of new guys, too. I think the mix that is going to be together is a good one.”

Part of the reason for that optimism is the versatility that Hononegah will offer on offense. There is a good mix of athletes like Chase Robinson and Ryan Masters, as well as great spot-up shooters like Andrew Tapley, who made it to the finals of the 3-point contest last season.

“We are versatile. We have a lot of guys who can score in a lot of different ways,” Miller said. “Whoever we put on the floor is going to be dangerous to score.”

The Indians will also feature several players that are 6 feet 4 inches and taller, like senior Coop Lewis. While they are not quite as big as Boylan’s front line, there is enough depth to be one of the top rebounding teams in the league.

“Even though we’re not a huge team, we’re bigger than what we’ve been,” Miller said. “Hopefully, that will help us with our defense and our rebounding.”

Miller feels their versatility and shooting will make them a hard team to match up with. That balance could go a long way to replacing the scoring they lost, which will ultimately determine how well the Indians do this year.

“I don’t think anyone feels like they are totally ready, but we’re going to be ready to go,” Miller said. “It’s a situation where we have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket. We’re going to be much more balanced than we’ve been in the past.”

From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue

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