By Ryan Duffy
The men’s varsity basketball team takes on MIC rival North Central tonight. The junior varsity team plays before the varsity game, which will start at 7 p.m at North Central.
Head Coach Mark Galloway said he feels good about the team’s performance so far. “ We are sharing the ball well and we have good balance, but we need to get better defensively and attack a zone defense better,” Galloway said.
Guard and senior John Michael Polley, said he is also pleased with the team so far. “I think we are going to surprise a lot of people. We are a very unselfish team and have a lot of good chemistry on and off the court. A lot of people are doubting us this year, but I know we are going to work harder than anybody we play so we should be all right,” Polley said.
Polley is one of two players who is joining the action late, due to being a football player, which was the State runner up. Along with Polley, is senior forward Morgan Newton, who played quarterback for the State runner up football team.
Galloway said he is happy these guys are returning to the court. “ Both bring many things to the table, and it will improve our depth. Morgan is a proven double-digit scorer,” Galloway said.
Polley said he is glad to be back, and said he thinks he and Newton can really help the team. “Well, obviously we are coming straight out of a winning season with the football team, so we are for sure going to bring a winning mentality to the team,” Polley said. “But overall, I think we are going help be senior leaders and just define our roles so we can get a win and help the team however coach Galloway tells us to so we can continue to win. But it’s not an easy transition for anyone to come straight out of football and perform how you want to on the basketball court. But that’s why we bring it every day in practice, so we can get back to our norm.”
The North Central Panthers are a major MIC rival of our school. Galloway said he is very confident, though, in the team’s ability to win. “North Central is an extremely talented team and it will be a great opportunity to play against a very good MIC opponent on the road, and I think if we defend, rebound and take care of the ball, we’ll be fine,” Galloway said.
Polley said he is also very confident in the team’s chances tonight. “I’m excited to play North Central. Every MIC game is a big one and you always get pumped for conference games. But they bring a good crowd at their place, so I’m just trying to concentrate on what I need to do to help my team get a win, if that’s scoring, defense whatever it takes to get the win,” Polley said. “North Central has a lot of talent and two very good players who are tough to defend. But if we have a good week of practice I think we got a good shot.”