November 21. Nov. 24. Nov. 28. Dec. 3.
NorthWood. Winamac. The Franciscan Hoops Holiday Classic. A reconfigured Lafayette-school based tournament. Tri-County.
Twin Lakes’ basketball season is anything but inconsistent early. Head coach Kent Adams’ 26th season at the helm opens Friday on the road, and he’s quite pleased with how his group has handled everything in the interim.
“It’s been hard on the kids not being able to practice and being behind and watching everybody else play and get started. That’s been tough,” he said. “But I can’t be happier about how they’ve kept a positive attitude. It’s really kept my spirits up, at least in talking with them even as we’ve been off different times and in different ways. They’re positive, and looking toward the future and thinking of the best.”
The Indians (14-11) return a squad deep on experience and guardplay and short on height. It lost two of its top three rebounders to graduation, and another.
“We’re basically a team of guards; we don’t have a lot of size,” Adams said of a roster that We try to utilize our ballhandling and our shooting and quickness to negate that. It means we’re going to have to play up and down the court a lot.”
Six-foot-2 Noah Johnston (4.4 rebounds per game) and 6-2 Caden Harker (2.0 rpg) are the tallest members, while 6-1 senior Brant Walts provides a little more height. Yet the team’s makeup continues to be an all-for-one effort — of the returnees, five or more grabbed at least two rebounds per game. Clayton Bridwell was just off that mark (1.8).
The same holds true for scoring. Johnston was one of three to average just over 10 points per game, and Bridwell scored nine a game. Kahari Jackson and Gage Businger chipped in a handful per contest and every returnee scored at least a basket per game. Long a staple of reinforcements, the junior varsity provides a group that had its own top statistical producers.
“We have a core of returnees that we feel like we know what they can do and are capable of,” Adams said. “We have a group of smart, young men. I think they’ll be able to adapt and adjust accordingly.
“Everyone will get their chance, and there is going to be a time we need certain people to step up in certain spots.”