By Kenny Hetzler Kokomo Tribune
---- — PERU — Peru’s boys basketball team will need to reload following the losses of three key players from a 10-11 squad.
The Tigers lost Joe Comerford (12.6 points, 7.9 rebounds per game) and Brodie Brooks (7 ppg) to graduation. And, KT second-team All-Area player Logan Primerano (15 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals per game) is ineligible to play this season, according to coach Jim Metcalfe.
“How do you replace a player like Comerford? He works hard every day so how do you replace that? We do it by committee,” Metcalfe said.
Players returning who saw regular time on last year’s team are 6-0 senior guard Eddie Childers (7 ppg, 3.2 rpg), 6-10 junior center Seth Adelsperger (6.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 blocks per game) and 6-3 junior Michael Richardson (3.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg).
Moving up are 6-1 junior guard Kreighton Ray, 6-4 junior forward Paul Huneryager and 5-10 sophomore guard Tyler Murphy. Other newcomers to the team are Cooper Blankenship, Austin Finicle, Nolan Brimbury, Jack Zven, Cameron Beauchamp, Chase Ogle and Kordell Prescott.
With only three returning players, Metcalfe wants his players to make progress each week and to grow as a team.
“We had a good summer and fall, but we are still searching for our identity. We have a good group of guys in the locker room. They have done a lot of good work during the offseason, but they have to get used to playing varsity basketball. We have to be patient and keep working hard,” he said.
Metcalfe likes his squad’s size and athleticism.
“We have a little more depth this year,” he added. “Defensively, we got a chance to mix things up, playing more man-to-man. Offensively, play a little more fast tempo, but under control.”
Turnovers really hurt the Tigers last year as they turned it over 353 times.
“We have to get better with decision making with the ball,” Metcalfe said. “We also have to tighten up defensively. In the first couple of weeks, we made some strides.”
Peru scrimmaged Triton on Thursday, and Metcalfe noticed the progression of his team.
“We did some things well and it gave us a chance to see where we are at. We are watching for consistent effort on the floor in every game this year.”
In the Mid-Indiana Conference, Peru is considered to be in the upper part of the conference after finishing in a three-way tie for second place last season.
“All the teams compete every night,” Metcalfe said of the league.
Metcalfe expects a competitive field once again in Class 3A Sectional 20 at Twin Lakes.
BENGAL TIGERS' SCHEDULE Wednesday at Logansport Dec. 6 Wabash Dec. 13 at Plymouth Dec. 17 at Tipp. Valley Dec. 20 Eastern Dec. 21 Southwood Dec. 27-28 Miami Co. Tourney Jan. 4 at Kokomo Jan. 10 Oak Hill Jan. 11 at Huntington North Jan. 17 at Maconaquah Jan. 24 at Taylor Jan. 31 Western Feb. 7 at Cass Feb. 8 Manchester Feb. 13 Northwestern Feb. 21 Rochester Feb. 25 at North Miami Feb. 28 at Hamilton Heights