Southern Indiana Aces begin season

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Southern Indiana Aces AAU boys basketball team finished second in a tournament the weekend of March 26-27 at Bowling Green, Ky.

The Aces won two of three games.

In the first game, the Aces played the Western Nashville Cavaliers and defeated them 58-28.

Bryant Ackerman of Loogootee and Ethan Whitson of Northview led the way with 16 and 18 points.

In the second game, the Southern Indiana Aces played the Kentucky Aces. They trailed by four at the half before losing 56-45 to the eventual tournament champion.

"They were by far the most athletic team in the tournament," said Southern Indiana Aces coach Rick Crynes. "We battled the entire game."

Matt Swartzentruber of Barr-Reeve and Matt Mathies led the way with 12 and 11 points.

In the final game, the Indiana Aces defeated the Hopetown Hoyas 44-37 with Dillon Reynolds of Northview leading the way with 12 points and Ackerman and Swartzentruber both adding 11 points.

"The kids played really hard this weekend, competing for every possession which is what we have lacked over the past couple of years," said Crynes. "This is probably the smallest team I have ever coached, but they are the smartest team that I have ever had in AAU.

"I can make any adjustment and they can adjust without any problems. They are also so basketball smart that I don't even have to make adjustments sometime; they do it on their own. This team is very young having only having three juniors. I received multiple comments about how hard and how well our team played this weekend. All three of the coaches we faced could not believe that talent level of the kids. Some of the coaches that were watching liked our team so well that they wanted us to play more tournaments in that area."

Crynes said he was proud of the way they played.

"These kids love the sport and never accept a loss. My past few teams have really struggled with accepting defeat," he said. "But this one is one that all coaches want to coach, they give 110 percent every game and practice."

The Aces then went to West Lafayette and placed first, winning all three games to raise their season record to 5-1.

The Aces beat Illinois Hustle Elite 47-34 with Matt Swartzentruber leading the way with 14 points and Ben Denker, Ethan Whitson, and Jacob Bledsoe all adding eight points.

In the second game, the Indy Races fell victim to the aces 52-41 as Swartzentruber leading again with 15 points. Johnny Gingerich scored 11 and Ben Denker added 13.

In the title game, the Aces beat the Lafayette Dawgs 53-42 Gingerich leading the way with 14, Ethan Whitson had 13 and Denker added 10.

The Southern Indiana Aces will play this weekend in Evansville.

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