Eagles ready to compete for MBC championship

12/15/2011

Veteran MCS bunch is battled tested with big expectations.
MIDDLETOWN — The summer work has been put in and the expectations are pretty high for the Middletown Christian High School boys varsity basketball team this season.

A longtime member of the Kingdom Center leagues during the summer months, Middletown Christian coach Luke Gibson challenged his team a bit by entering them in the Salvation Army League against the likes of Dunbar, Marshall, Northmont and Centerville, among others, at the Kroc Center in Dayton.

“We wanted to play bigger schools, to get a gauge on how we measured up, and I think it was very beneficial for us,” Gibson said. “I got the job roughly 3-4 weeks before the start of last season, and to see where this team has come in that year’s time is remarkable. We’ve really grown as a team, no question.”

Five seniors, three juniors and a sophomore make up the Eagles this season. While Gibson said all five of his primary starters from last season’s 9-12 squad are back, a starting five hasn’t been named. Four players who averaged double figures last season head the list of returnees.

Senior Zach Wise, expected to be the team’s point guard, averaged 16.1 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season.

Second-team Metro Buckeye Conference selections — senior guard Josh Hutson (11.8 ppg) and senior power forward Zach Henderson (11.0 ppg, 6.5 rebounds per game) — are back, as is senior guard Garrett Cobb, who averaged just under 10.9 points per game last season. Another senior guard, Drew King, put in a lot of hard work in the summer, Gibson said. King averaged 8 rebounds per game last season.

“The expectations are high around here,” Gibson said. “We expect to contend for the conference title and we expect to make a good tournament run.”