The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 4, 2013

PH’s hopes rest on defense

Arabians look to continue surprise run in regional

PENDLETON, Ind. — Brogan Gary walked into an auxiliary room near the gymnasium at Pendleton Heights High School to conduct an interview Monday afternoon. The senior guard was still sporting a white bandage on his chin, a souvenir from a physical battle in the sectional semifinals three days prior against Richmond.

The gash required Gary to leave the floor for several minutes during the fourth quarter Friday, and it’s likely to receive stitches before the end of the week.

It’s also, in many ways, a fitting image for these blue-collar Arabians who hope to continue a surprising postseason run Saturday at the Class 4A Southport Regional.

How has Pendleton Heights (15-9) replaced four starters — including all-time leading scorer Kellen Dunham — and won its third straight sectional championship? With three simple words — defense, defense, defense.

“Everybody’s important,” Arabians coach Brian Hahn said. “They way we defend, we play five-man defense, but Brogan and Levi (Buck) have been doing a great job of taking the other team’s best perimeter scorers, and then Peyton McCardwell is taking the most physical kid inside. Kurt Talbert does a great job of covering up space and denying passes to the interior. It’s just something where everybody has their role and their responsibility, and the kids have done a great job with that.”

For the fourth consecutive season, the Arabians have lowered their defensive average. After allowing a paltry 43.9 points per game during a 23-3 campaign a year ago, Pendleton Heights currently ranks 12th in the state with an average of 43.3 points allowed per contest.

That defense was on prime display in Saturday’s sectional championship game when the Arabians held a dangerous New Castle team to 39.5 percent shooting in a 58-44 victory.

Gary and Buck led the charge, matching up with Trojans stars Korey Ryan and Steven Bennett, respectively. The New Castle duo combined for 50 points during an 80-65 win against Anderson in the opening round but shot just 8-for-26 and managed 23 points against Pendleton Heights.

Though the Arabians have multiple defensive sets — switching to a 3-2 zone with a lead late in games, for instance — the core of its philosophy is built around man-to-man principles.

“I like man-to-man a lot,” Buck said. “I like just competing with the guy that I’m against, just trying to shut him down, get him to not score as many points as he’s supposed to.”

Pendleton Heights prepares for a new challenge Saturday, facing seventh-ranked Cathedral (22-5) in the regional opener at 10 a.m. The Fighting Irish began the season ranked No. 1 in the state and feature a pair of star guards in Jalen Coleman and Garrett Hall.

When the defense really is clicking — as it was against New Castle — the Arabians quickly can transition hustle plays to points.

Pendleton Heights took control of the sectional title game with a 10-0 run in the second quarter, capped by Matt Brown’s deflection to Brogan Gary for a layup to make the score 20-7.

Later in the game, the Trojans appeared to be poised to score on a breakaway when Buck somehow raced downcourt and cleanly knocked the ball away from the would-be shooter. He pulled off a similar feat in the regular-season finale against North Central, sprinting almost the length of the floor to block a shot against the backboard.

“Levi’s just continued to work on being what we call ‘impactful’ defensively,” Hahn said. “He really plays hard, he’s an exceptionally hard worker, but he’s starting to develop a mentality of being more attacking in the way he plays defense and having really good hand activity and being impactful with his hands without fouling. And, again, as he’s continued to improve in that area, we’ve continued to improve.”

The Arabians had four double-figure scorers in the semifinal win against Richmond and topped that with five against New Castle.

That kind of balance obviously will be important going forward — as will the 14 rebounds Talbert pulled down against the Red Devils — but it’s still defense that drives this program.

“We’re always hungry, and there’s always goals to fulfill throughout the whole year,” Gary said. “In that sectional, I wasn’t going to let anybody take it from me. Now we’re just going to keep going and try to get something special fulfilled.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Werner - 319 Werner's progress evident at Colts Camp

    Bjoern Werner's rookie training camp was rather quiet. The German-born outside linebacker went through individual drills and worked hard in full-team sessions, but he was overwhelmed by all the new information he was processing. And it was holding him back. When the season started, Werner was further set back by a foot injury that cost him three games, and he finished the year with just 2.5 sacks. Then the former Florida State star went to work.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • HB0724 _ Teverbaugh mug Rick Teverbaugh: Some folks can't be replaced There were a lot of possible topics as I decided what would lead the list of things that would move me enough to compose today's column.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Corner - HB Colts Notes: Thomas, Hilton hurt in Wednesday's practice After a physical practice Wednesday afternoon at Anderson University, the Indianapolis Colts are hoping they have not lost another starter. Left guard Donald Thomas hit the ground following an 11-on-11 running drill and was visibly upset when he finally was helped to his feet. He threw his mouthguard away in anger and attempted to walk off the injury with trainers away from the rest of his teammates.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Fleener - 206 Colts focusing on situational improvement One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes. The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0730 - Colts recap art 1 Looking back at Week 1 of Colts Camp

    The first week of Indianapolis Colts training camp has ended at Anderson University, and the players received their first day off Tuesday. Practice resumes today with the daily morning walkthrough followed by a public session scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m. With the team's preseason debut at the New York Jets just eight days away, here's a look at three things that have stood out since the Colts hit campus on July 23.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 4.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Tuesday, July 29

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University on Monday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colt Anderson - JC 2 Anderson hopes to make name with Colts

    Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the first person Colt Anderson saw upon reporting to Anderson University last Wednesday. And he couldn't resist making the obvious connection. "Colt Anderson's a Colt ... in Anderson," Manusky said as a way of greeting the new Indianapolis Colts safety to training camp.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Chris Rainey - DK Colts release RB Rainey

    Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning. The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later confirmed by Pagano during an afternoon session with the media.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 1 Luck still learning

    Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University. During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News