Indian Creek boys basketball preview

A shooter’s chance at a seventh winning record in eight years is all Indian Creek basketball coach Drew Glentzer is seeking.

It turns out he has just the shooter in mind.

Senior southpaw Javan Crouch, a proven commodity whether driving the ball inside or roaming the perimeter, is the focal point of what the Braves hope to accomplish this season.

A 2 guard, Crouch, who scored 12 points a game last season and was second among Indian Creek players with 30 made 3-pointers, is the most experienced player returning from a squad that advanced to the championship game of the Class 3A sectional at Beech Grove.

“Javan is a guy who might miss nine in a row, and then hit the next 11. He’s a shooter, and shooters shoot. It seems like every lefty is one of those guys,” said Glentzer, now in his fifth year. “He is a very good shooter, and has pretty much played varsity minutes since he was a freshman.

“Now we’re needing his role to be a little more than what it’s been. We need him to get half a dozen rebounds and to guard somebody. Now we need him to be a little more complete.”

Indian Creek opens its season Tuesday night at Franklin.

Crouch looks forward to the challenges ahead, knowing he’ll have to expand not only his overall game, but his role as a leader.

“I think it’s going to be different when it comes to leading the team and making sure everyone is doing the right thing,” Crouch said. “It’s something I have to work on a little bit. The older I’ve gotten, I’ve had to be more of a leader. It shows the younger players they can do it, too.

“We all like each other, have each other’s backs and play hard. I think we’ll have a good season.”

Indian Creek’s starting lineup is expected, at least initially, to include two other seniors — wing Braxton Christie (4 ppg) and guard Bryce Armstrong. The 6-foot-2 Christie started the Braves’ three sectional contests; the 5-10 Armstrong was expected to contribute last season, but his court time was limited after sustaining back and wrist injuries.

Aidan Pemberton, a 5-9 junior, is slotted for point guard duties, while the tallest Indian Creek player, 6-3 freshman Landon Sichting, is versatile enough to play as many as four different positions during the course of a game. First off the Braves bench are seniors Aidan Neathery, Ethan Garriott and Brandon Murray along with 5-9 sophomore guard Carter Modlin.

Glentzer, whose 10-15 squad last winter actually outscored opponents by an average of 55.8 to 55.4, looks forward to the challenge of attempting to mold this group into a viable contender once sectional play opens at Speedway.

“Our strengths are our camaraderie and that we don’t have a lot of (skill) differences between our kids. They play hard and have a pretty good understanding of what it takes for us to be successful,” Glentzer said. “We don’t have a lot of size, so rebounding is an area we’ll need to improve as the season goes on.”

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Mike Beas is the Daily Journal's veteran sports reporter. He has been to more than 200 Indiana high schools, including 1990s visits to Zionsville to profile current Boston Celtics GM Brad Stevens, Gary Roosevelt to play eventual Purdue All-American Glenn Robinson in HORSE (didn’t end well) and Seeger to visit the old gym in which Stephanie White, later the coach of the Indiana Fever, honed her skills in pickup games involving her dad and his friends. He can be reached at [email protected]