Times Sports Editor
Clay City boy's basketball head coach Vance Edmondson is coming off his best season at the helm of a team, a 15-win squad that won a sectional championship. However, the Eels will look much different following the graduation of seven seniors, including three of the top-four scorers. However, the cupboard is far from bare according to the fourth-year head coach of the Eels.
"I don't want to say we're rebuilding, maybe reloading," Edmondson said. "We've got a really strong JV team that is coming up and will have to play a lot of minutes for us. We're not real big, but we can shoot the ball pretty well. We're looking forward to it."
Last year's junior varsity regulars will get their crack at the varsity level following a double-digit win total last year. In fact, eight players from that JV squad are now on the varsity roster.
While the Eels lost plenty of scoring and rebounding via graduation, one of the anchors remains in Blake Cesinger, the lone senior on this squad.
Cesinger did a little bit of everything for the Eels, including a team-high 13.6 ppg., to go with a team-leading 8.4 rebounds per contest, 2.3 steals per game and better than two assists per contest. At 6'3, Cesinger gives Clay City a versatile player with size, but Edmondson believes his intangibles are the most valuable.
"(Blake) brings leadership. The kid has a heck of a motor. He plays hard. I think he plays as hard as anyone I've seen in my 20 years around basketball," Edmondson said. "He's just non-stop. Our kids can learn a lot from him if they just watch him and how hard he plays. He's got to bring that leadership and hopefully the other guys fall into line and learn from him."
Sophomore Logan Cesinger moves up as well and brings solid ball handling and athleticism at 6'1. He'll be joined by sophomore Evan Rogers, a talented 6'0 shooter, and classmate Trevor Singer, who at 6'3, adds more size for the Eels. In the post will be 6'4 junior Josh Miller, who is tasked with replacing the contributions that Brylan Jones brought before graduating.
"We're looking at Josh Miller (in the post). He's 6'4 and 235 pounds, he's not Brylan (Jones) in that he can't step out and shoot it like Brylan, but he does a nice job underneath of rebounding and he plays hard," Edmondson said. "We're looking at him to step in and eat up some of those minutes that Brylan had last year."
Clay City will have a bevy of players that fit the same mold as juniors Joshua Arcenal and Steven Phillips are each 6'1 and sophomores Easton Booe, Logan Cesinger and Kurtis Yocom are all listed at the same height. Sophomore Paiden Myers is also 6'0 with Parker Ames slightly taller at 6'2.
Edmondson believes his squad will be at its best when it is playing at a quick tempo, which fits this type of roster.
"We're going to take advantage of that with the style we're going to play," Edmondson said of having several good shooters. "We're going to get up and down the floor and try and spread some teams out and let the guards penetrate and let our shooters set up on the wing. We either get to the rim and get fouled or we kick it out and hopefully our shooters can make some shots."
With so much versatility at his disposal, Edmondson admitted that his starting lineup will be in flux during the early stages of the season, but that his team has embraced that leading up to tonight's home opener against South Vermillion.
"I know we're the day before a game and I told these guys we may change until we find a rotation that fits," Edmondson said of a starting lineup. "It may depend on who we are playing, but with the exception of Blake (Cesinger) locking down a starting spot, we've got six guys competing for four starting spots. I told them that it doesn't necessarily matter if you start because we're so interchangeable. The guys are okay with it and I think they are just ready to play."
Clay City varsity boy's basketball schedule
|Tonight||vs. S. Vermillion||7:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 30||at Union||8 p.m.|
|Dec. 7||at Bloomfield||8 p.m.|
|Dec. 8||at Eminence||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 15||vs. Cascade||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 27||at Graber Post Classic||TBA|
|At N. Daviess|
|Jan. 5||at Greene County Tourney||TBA|
|Jan. 11||vs. Eastern||8 p.m.|
|Jan. 12||vs. Cloverdale||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 19||vs. Brown County||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 25||at N. Daviess||8 p.m.|
|Jan. 26||at WRV||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 1||at Shakamak||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 7||vs. North Central||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 12||at Linton||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 15||at Northview||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 21||vs. Riverton Parke||7:30 p.m.|