CARLISLE — It’s going to be a new-look season for Carlisle High School’s boys basketball team.
Coming off an 11-12 campaign, the Indians lost two-time Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division Player of the Year Justin Flor and point guard Jake Moore to graduation. Yet fourth-year coach Don Ridinger is hopeful about his 2018-19 crew.
“I do like this team,” he said. “I like the improvement that we’ve made over the last three weeks. They’re listening to us. Call it a family unit, a team unit, all the cliches you can think of, but they’ve been buying into that.
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“It’s going to be tough at times with our youth and inexperience. Do we fold under game pressure, situational pressure, or do we step up and take the challenge on? With a youthful team, that’s the wild card.”
Carlisle does have some returning experience, but 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Nolan Burney is the only full-time starter back. He averaged 5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.
“I feel like we have some good athletes, and we’ve got a little bit of size. We have some length to attack and defend the basket. It’s a nice mix,” Ridinger said. “But our kids have to grow up, and that’s not just the sophomores. We’ve got some seniors that have to grow up and step up.”
Joe Gay, a 6-1 senior guard, started some games last year. So did 6-0 senior guard Dane Flatter, 5-10 junior guard Cash Ridinger and 6-2 senior forward Zach Jewell. But they return less than 10 points per game between them.
Isaiah Dean, a 6-1 sophomore, figures to be the starting point guard. Gay, Ridinger, 5-10 sophomore Jesse Rutherford and 6-0 senior Austin Redavide are wings, while Burney, Jewell, 6-2 senior Logan Gross and 6-5 sophomore Jack Bell head the post corps.
Also in the mix as forwards are 6-1 junior Dylan Steinbrugge, 6-1 sophomore Micah Gross, 6-2 sophomore Levi Woodson and 5-11 sophomore Sam Rawlins.
“We’ve got some quick guards, so we want to try to get up and down a little bit,” Don Ridinger said. “It’s not going to be Justin Flor getting 25 and everybody else getting 8. I think it’s going to be more balanced scoring, which is good. The more balanced scoring you have, the more options you have. We could go nine or 10 deep.”
Gay shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range last year and figures to lead the way beyond the arc.
Five of the Indians’ first seven games will be on the road. Carlisle will open the year against Dayton Christian at Miamisburg Middle School on Nov. 30.
Coach: Don Ridinger (fourth season)
2017-18 Record: 11-12 overall, 7-5 SWBL Buckeye (third place, tied)
OHSAA Classification: Division III
Schedule: Nov. 30 — at Dayton Christian, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 1 — at Brookville, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 8 — at Middletown Christian, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 11 — Milton-Union, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 14 — at Madison, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 21 — Preble Shawnee, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 22 — at Tri-County North, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 29 — Monroe, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 4 — Northridge, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 8 — Dixie, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 11 — at Waynesville, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 12 — at Valley View, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 15 — at Milton-Union, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 18 — Madison, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 22 — Franklin, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 25 — at Preble Shawnee, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 26 — Clinton-Massie, 7:15 p.m.; Jan. 31 — at Legacy Christian, 7 p.m.; Feb. 1 — at Northridge, 7:15 p.m.; Feb. 5 — Waynesville, 7:15 p.m.; Feb. 8 — at Dixie, 7:15 p.m.; Feb. 12 — at Twin Valley South, 7:15 p.m.