The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Sports

November 14, 2012

Boys Basketball Preview: Lions dream big after last year's title

Liberty Christian raising expectations

ANDERSON, Ind. — Last year, the Liberty Christian boys basketball team made history.

This year, the Lions expect to be even better.

Following a 13-12 season that ended with the school’s first sectional championship in any sport, Liberty Christian returns a deep and experienced team with even higher goals.

“At the end of the season, after we lost to Rockville (in the regional final), the cool thing is our guys believed they could win the whole thing,” coach Jason Chappell said. “When we lost to Rockville, there was devastation. It felt like a funeral. And that tells me they’ve really bought in. We’re not just happy with what we did last year. We want more.”

So far this preseason, Chappell has overseen the best practices of his nine seasons at the Lions’ helm.

He believes his rotation could go 12 players deep, and he has a rapidly rising star in sensational sophomore Chris Nunn.

The ultraquick point guard averaged 18 points, 4.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 steals during a highly successful freshman campaign.

“I think he really could be an incredible ballplayer,” Chappell said. “He definitely has a lot of potential, and he’s a class act as a kid. Plus, he’s got a great set of teammates around him.”

Those teammates include junior Preston Quinn, who averaged 13.9 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds last year, and fellow key returnees Thatcher Rouse, Quincey Hyatt, and Austin Castor.

Top newcomers include Terrence Campbell, a transfer from Anderson, and freshman Franklin Nunn — whose father, Jerome, was a star at Highland.

“As far as picking starters and whatnot, it’s going to be a really difficult task,” Chappell said.

The Lions did suffer one unexpected loss in Grant Bennett, a junior sharpshooter who averaged 15.2 points and shot 38.1 percent from 3-point range last season but is now enrolled at Anderson.

Liberty Christian will use several players in an attempt to replace Bennett’s production, but Quinn likely will play a major role.

He could be the most improved player on the roster.

“Preston has impressed me a lot,” Chappell said. “When he first came to us, all he wanted to do was step outside the arc and shoot 3s. But he’s dedicated himself to changing his game.”

Quinn likely will remain a threat on the perimeter, but he’s added strength and will not be afraid to challenge opponents in the paint.

It’s part of an aggressive way of thinking for the Lions overall.

They will continue their up-tempo style on both offense and defense, and the players are bursting at the seams to get the season started. Liberty Christian has a scrimmage scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today against University, and it will open the regular season Nov. 20 at home against Cowan.

“We’ve been ready to go since the season ended,” Chappell said. “I think we’re just ready to throw the ball up in the air and go play.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014

  • SPT - HB0413 - Horseshoe Classic - 163 Arabians finish third in Horseshoe Classic It wasn't the place they wanted to be playing for, but the Pendleton Heights Arabians won their final game of the day to finish third in the Horseshoe Classic here Saturday.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos