By Brian Bohne
Injuries will hamper the Heritage Hills basketball team for awhile. But “watch out” when those bumps and bruises heal.
The Patriots have a steady, experienced group of seniors and lettermen back that should make for an exciting season.
Coach Steve Merkel feels very good about the players returning for the 94-95 campaign. “We have a little bit of experience back. Seth (Cissna) and Steve (Poehlin) should give us a better inside attack than we had last year and Nathan (Schorr) has two year experience and he averaged 18.1 last year.” He continued “Peter (Jochim) and Matt (Lovell) have been shooting the ball well in practice and their ball handling has improved also. This experience and their attitudes are definitely strengths.”
The Patriots’ weakness may be few and far between. Merkel commented, “I don’t think we are going to have a real deal bench, so if injuries pop up that could hurt.”
Merkel talked about the tough schedule facing the Patriots this year. “South Spencer is going to be very good along with Jasper. Pike Central all be tough in the conference and Forest Park has a good nucleus back with the Flecks.”
The Patriots are scheduled to open against Southridge in the Holiday Tourney on Friday, Nov. 25. Merkel talked about the Raiders. “They lost some key players in Tooley, King and Uppencamp but they have some solid players back. Prior, Ring and Begle all played a lot last year and playing on their home court will be a good test. I look for a good tourney.”
How good could the Patriots be? Listen to coach Merkel. “Overall I am very optimistic. The preseason has been energetic and competitive. These guys are practicing hard and they really like the game of basketball.” He continued, “I think this is going to be an exciting team to watch. If they play well they could have a chance to win almost every game.”