Summer Breakaway: Southern Boys’ Basketball
A look at off-season notes from various high school basketball programs this summer
SALINEVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – In Aaron Blatch’s first season as the leader of Southern’s basketball program, the Indians defeated rival-Wellsville twice and gave the likes of McDonald and Carrollton all they could handle within the first two months of the season. Southern notched wins in 5 of their final 6 regular season games to enter the post-season as the 6th seed in the Struthers District. There they’d knock off Leetonia (59-46) in the opening round before falling to Lowellville (66-56) in the Sectional Final.
Indians’ Team Information
Head Coach: Aaron Blatch
2015-16 Record: 14-10 (5-3), 2nd Place in ITCL White
“The summer league has been great from the standpoint of giving many underclassmen varsity minutes and seeing how they respond,” indicated Blatch with many players balancing multiple sports. “Our primary focus over the summer is skill development. That’s taken precedence over implementing specific offensive and defensive concepts. Our kids need to stick together and continue to mature. We have seen some subtle improvements from many players already. With continued work, these skills will translate to game situations.”
2015-16 Team Statistics
Scoring Offense: 59.8
Scoring Defense: 55.6
The Indians must replace four of their top five scorers from a year ago including Christian Adkins (15.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 apg) and Troy Holden (15.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.3 apg). Both shot near or above 50% from the floor in 2015-16 (Holden, 52.8%; Adkins, 49.1%). Senior Dakota Wetzel has received praise from his coach for guiding the younger kids along this summer. Wetzel made 33.3% of his three-point tries this past winter while connecting on 69.2% of his free throws to post a 4.3 point per game average. A pair of juniors has also caught the eyes of their coaching staff. Jacob Joiner and Dominic Pugliano have showed signs of their offensive potential as well.