The Mid-Indiana Conference boys basketball season isn’t structured for a championship game, but it gets one tonight when Hamilton Heights (11-8) invades the Tig-Arena to face Peru (10-9) in a title tilt. Both teams have 5-1 records in loop play and every other team has at least two losses. The winner gets the championship, and a boost heading into sectional play next week.
“Our kids are excited about it. It’s been a while since we’ve been in that kind of position to win a conference,” said first-year Peru coach Jim Metcalfe. The Bengals last won the league in the 2009-10 season. “It has a tournament feel for it where it’s a winner-takes-all mentality.”
Six-foot-6 wing forward Alex Etherington leads Heights in scoring at 18.2 points per game. His favorite spot is the left corner, where he can shoot or line up drives. Sophomore point guard Grant Weatherford adds 9.8 ppg and inside worker Bo O’Laughlin adds 7.9.
“They’re as physical as any team we’ve seen, very talented,” Metcalfe said.“Everyone knows about the Etherington kid. He does quite a lot of things to make them very good. He’s a kid that’s capable of going for 25 a night on you. We have to know where he is at all times and limit his touches as much as possible. Each opportunity that he gets has to be as difficult as we can make it.
“On top of that they have two or three really good guards. The Weatherford kid is tough, athletic, really manages the game well. He’s a drive-first kind of guy. We need to keep him from being able to get tot he rim and create. The [Hunter] Crist kid, the freshman, is very talented.”
Metcalfe noted that Heights puts five kids on the floor who can score, making it harder to give enough attention to the key weapons.