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2012-13 Winter Sports Preview: Wolverines have solid foundation returning

Thursday, November 15, 2012

(Photo)
The 2012-13 White River Valley Wolverines varsity boys basketball team includes seniors Cade Hill, Mitch Ingram, Nick Johnson and Luke Mowery. Juniors on the roster include Justin Barnett, Trent Carpenter, Jorden English, Michael Fisher, Trey Gamble, Colten Gregory and Conner Hill. The roster also includes sophomore Jonathan Koenig. (Submitted photo). [Order this photo]
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SWITZ CITY -- J.B. Neill returns for his fourth year at the helm of the White River Valley Wolverines basketball program.

And once again he has a core group of players that he hopes will guide the team to a fourth consecutive winning season under his tutelage.

Returning to the fold are four seniors, a lone sophomore and seven juniors.

"I've got seven kids back with varsity experience from last year and probably two -- Cade Hill and Luke Mowery -- have the most that we're going to lean on a lot," Neill said. "We're probably more comfortable this year than we have been in previous years because we've got seven kids with some experience."

They include seniors Cade Hill, Mitch Ingram, Nick Johnson and Luke Mowery as well as juniors Michael Fisher and Justin Barnett.

"That's not very deep really and that's why I've got some other kids that are going to split time (between varsity and junior varsity)," Neill said. "It's going to be crucial they develop for us. There's going to be some nights where they're going to have to give us something."

He has options when it comes to the line-up and who the Wolverines are facing on a particular night. But he will still look to the four seniors for the majority of the load.

"Our four seniors have really improved this year," he said. "Cade Hill has gotten stronger, Luke Mowery has played a lot of basketball and Mitch Ingram has played well in the preseason so far."

Juniors Fisher and Trey Gamble have also earned a look from the coach while Barnett has benefited from facing Mowery everyday in practice.

"This is a group of kids that were in the eighth grade my first year here," Neill said. "So the majority of them have been with us.

"Now we get the luxury of having the benefits of the fruits of our labor."

One trend that Neill would like to reverse this year comes in the injury department. With a bit of history in mind, Neill hopes that won't be a nagging problem this season.

"Obviously if everybody can stay healthy -- that's been a dagger for us the last couple of years -- it seems like we've had one of our main guys go down at a crucial time," he said. "You get through it but we want everybody healthy in that seven and we feel we can be pretty competitive."

Neill says what he's seen in practice so far has been about what he expected. There's been improvements from several players, there's been some growing by others and overall the team has started to show promise.

"It's pretty much what we expected, with what we can do in the summer and stuff there's no surprises," Neill said. "Everyone's really doing their job."

Scoring is one area that Neill hopes to see the team improve upon. He says the last couple of years have been a case of trying to find consistent points nightly, how he hopes that's on the upswing.

"We hope this year we can be a little bit better at that," he said. "We hope we can have four or five guys on the floor that can score versus one or two like we've been the last couple of years."

As for the important role of playing in the middle, Neill appears to be on track to fill the gaps inside left by graduation.

"With Luke Mowery and Justin Barnett, we've got good size," he said. "So we're expecting a lot out of them."

When you ask Neill if he thinks the personality of the team will be that of a quick team, a grinding team or something else, he quickly responds by saying it could be a little bit of everything.

"I wouldn't say we're going to bust it up and down the floor every possession," he said. "But I think that's left to be decided.

"We've struggled to score the last couple of years. So it's hard to tell in practice what you're up against so we'll see when the season starts.

"We're hoping to find more scoring this year and not have to rely as heavily on our defense."

The season tips off Wednesday when the Jug Rox of Shoals pay a visit at 6 p.m.

White River Valley Wolverines

No. Player Pos. Gr. Ht.

22 Cade Hill G 12 5-7

14 Mitch Ingram G 12 5-9

32 Nick Johnson F 12 6-0

42 Luke Mowery C 12 6-2

44 Justin Barnett C 11 6-4

40 Trent Carpenter F 11 6-0

24 Jorden English G 11 5-8

12 Michael Fisher G 11 6-0

20 Trey Gamble G 11 6-2

34 Colten Gregory F 11 5-9

10 Conner Hill G 11 5-8

30 Jonathan Koenig C 10 6-2

Head coach: J.B. Neill (44-26 three seasons)

Varsity assistant: Stacey Hill.

Volunteer Assistant: Mark McNeal.

Junior varsity

No. Player Pos. Gr. Ht.

44 Cody Ault F 11 6-0

40 Trent Carpenter F 11 6-0

30 Jorden English G 11 5-8

34 Colten Gregory F 11 5-9

20 Trent Myers G 11 5-5

24 Brad Clifford F 10 5-9

12 Austin Frye G 10 5-4

10 Conner Hill G 11 5-8

42 Jonathan Koenig C 10 6-2

14 Bryce Spelts G 10 5-5

Junior varisty coach: Jeff Kail.

Team managers: Ethan Hoffeditz, Makayla Norman, Holly Bough.

WHITE RIVER VALLEY

WOLVERINES

DATEOPPONENT/SITETIME
Nov. 21 Shoals 6 p.m.
Nov. 30 at South Knox 6 p.m.
Dec. 1 at North Central 6 p.m.
Dec. 7 Eminence 6 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Bloomfield 6 p.m.
Dec. 22 at Vincennes Rivet 6 p.m.
Dec. 28 at Bloomington South 6 p.m.
Jan. 2 Greene County InvitationalTBA
Jan. 3 Greene County InvitationalTBA
Jan. 4 Greene County InvitationalTBA
Jan. 5 Greene County InvitationalTBA
Jan. 12 at North Knox 6 p.m.
Jan. 18 Shakamak 6 p.m.
Jan. 19 Sullivan 6 p.m.
Jan. 25 at Loogootee 6 p.m.
Jan. 26 Clay City 6 p.m.
Feb. 1 Eastern Greene 6 p.m.
Feb. 2 at Owen Valley 6 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Linton-Stockton 1 p.m.
Feb. 15 North Daviess 6 p.m.
Feb. 16 Union 6 p.m.
Feb. 19 Barr-Reeve 6 p.m.

Greene County Invitational at WRV



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