There will be talent on the Zionsville boys basketball team this winter.
The Eagles return six players from last year’s varsity squad, which struggled through a difficult schedule last year and finished with a 4-17 record. But despite the team’s season, there was a foundation on which Zionsville can build for the 2006-07 season.
There will be a new coach on the sidelines this year. Sean Busick, who completed one year of coaching at Crown Point High School before coming to Zionsville. Busick replaced Dave Ferrell, who resigned after four seasons to devote more time to his family.
“He made some real positive strides, and we’re trying to pick up from where he left off,” Busick said of Ferrell. One of those strides involved setting up a complete basketball program that involves all grades of Zionsville Community Schools, not just high school.
“We’re working hard with our kindergartners,” Busick said. “We’ve got three teams each in third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grades.”
High school will be the main focus, of course. Zionsville will be led by a core of three seniors (Lucas Reiff, Matt Miller and Greg McCormick) and one junior (Sean Haseley). All of those boys had the capability of having big games last season, and each had different styles of play.
The 6-foot-3 Reiff is a strong shooter and was consistently the Eagles’ leading scorer in games. Miller, who added an inch over the year to now stand at 6-foot-6, grew into his role as a post player last year. The 5-foot-9 McCormick and 6-foot-3 Haseley are scrappy players who provide a strong supporting cast.
“All four of them have been doing positive things all summer,” Busick said.
Two other letter-winners are also back. Six-foot-four junior Michael Tucker and 6-foot-2 sophomore David Smith, both of whom got to play some varsity last year.
The remaining three varsity players are freshmen. Jack Isenbarger is a 6-foot-1 wing who is the son of assistant coach and former Indiana University player Phil Isenbarger. Chris Roberts, a 5-foot-7 point guard, and Blake Lueders, a 6-foot-4 post player who started for the Eagles’ football team this fall, will split time between varsity and junior varsity.
“Jack certainly is a very outstanding freshman prospect at the guard position,” Busick said. The coach said Roberts was “very quick,” “a great shooter” and had “a very good feel for the game.”
The Eagles scrimmaged against Lawrence North, the three-time Class 4A state champion Wednesday, Nov. 15. While no official score is kept at a scrimmage, Busick said the Eagles played well against such a storied team.
“I couldn’t believe the size they had,” Busick said. “But we competed, and were toe-to-toe with them and really held our own.”
The scrimmage against Lawrence North is just the beginning of what will be a tough schedule for the Eagles. Zionsville begins its season tonight, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, against Brebeuf Jesuit. The Braves are ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press’ Class 3A pre-season poll.
Other top teams that Zionsville will play include most of its Hoosier Crossroads Conference rivals. Brownsburg and Noblesville figure to be the top squads there. The Eagles will also play Carmel in the regular season, and could face Class 4A No. 2-ranked Pike in the sectional.
Zionsville ended last year’s season with the 19th-toughest schedule in the state, according to the Jeff Sagarin Indiana High School Boys Basketball ratings.
“Our schedule’s outstanding,” Busick said. “I don’t know if we’re going to be the favorite one time this year in any of our games. We’re going to embrace that underdog role.”
The Eagles are not going to focus on wins and losses, but to be as competitive as possible throughout the season.
“All the way through my coaching career, that’s all I’ve ever preached to my kids is just getting to be our best,” Busick said.
There will be talent on the Zionsville boys basketball team this winter.
- DeCoursey makes history at state swimming meet Zionsville junior Kyle DeCoursey made history Saturday, March 1, at the IHSAA Boys State Swimming Finals at the IUPUI Natatorium. DeCoursey became the first male state champion in Zionsville swimming history, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 20.59.
- Eagles falter in season finale There wasn’t a whole lot that went right for the Zionsville Eagles boys basketball team Friday, Feb. 28, night at McCutcheon. The Eagles started 1 of 13 from the field, fell behind 18-2 and never recovered in a 51-34 loss to the Mavericks.
- Aven, Warner end season at State Meet It wasn't the ending that Zionsville seniors Jacob Aven and Christian Warner were looking for Friday, Feb. 21 at the IHSAA State Wrestling Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. At 195 pounds, Jacob Aven lost 5-3 to Kanez Omar of Fort Wayne Wayne and at 220 pounds, Christian Warner was pinned by Seth Meyer of West Lafayette Harrison, ending both of their seasons in the opening round of state.
- Eagles swim past competition to win sectional Last season, despite winning their third-sectional championship in a row, the Zionsville boys swimming and diving team didn't accomplish the point total they wanted to. There was no such problem this year. The Eagles scored 500.5 point, beating second-place Harrison by 123.5, to win their fourth-straight sectional title on Saturday, Feb. 22.
- Eagles gets bounce back win against Braves After Friday, Feb. 21's game against Indianapolis Tech didn't go the way the Zionsville boys basketball team wanted it to, they needed a bounce back win. Luckily for the Eagles, they didn't have to wait long to get it. Less than 24 hours after losing to Tech 63-47, Zionsville faced one of the top teams in 3A, Brebeuf Jesuit, and defeated the Braves 58-56.
- Eagles place fifth at state meet Last week after the sectional, Zionsville head swimming coach Scott Kubly said that his girls had the goal of placing in the top-5 at the state meet. The Eagles did just that Feb. 14-15, placing fifth at the state championships at IUPUI with a team score of 137 points.
- Alex Cleveland wins Mental Attitude Award Zionsville senior Alex Cleveland was heading back toward the Zionsville team seating area Saturday, Feb. 15, when she stopped to listen to the IHSAA announce the 2013-14 winner of the Mental Attitude Award in girls swimming. A look of shock came upon her face a short time later, when it was announced she was the recipient of the award, the first female swimmer to earn the honor for Zionsville and the 12th in any sport.
- Aven, Warner earn berths to state The wrestling season will continue for two Zionsville wrestlers. Zionsville seniors Jacob Aven and Christian Warner both placed third on Feb. 15 at the New Castle Semi-State, earning them berths in the state finals at Banker's Life Fieldhouse on Feb. 21-22.
- Fishers ends Zionsville's season, 67-29 In the opening game of the IHSAA Class 4A Girls Basketball sectional at North Central Zionsville ran into a buzz saw. Fishers, who doubled up Zionsville 64-32 during a regular season meeting in December, performed even better the second time around.
- Eagles hold off Tigers' surge For three quarters, the Zionsville Eagles boys basketball team appeared like they were going to cruise to a victory against county rival Lebanon on Thursday, Feb. 13. But the Tigers made them work for it in the fourth quarter. Lebanon cut a 17-point deficit down to 3, but the Eagles ultimately held on for a 42-34 win.
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