Boys Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
In Brent Chitty’s first nine years as Columbus East boys basketball coach, the Olympians averaged 13 wins per season.
So last year’s 4-19 record was a bit of an anomaly for East. The Olympians’ four wins came by a combined total of eight points.
"I truly believe we never got to our potential last year," Chitty said. "It’s just something we have to correct. We just need to prepare every day knowing what we’re up against."
In the first week of practice last week was any indication, Chitty thinks his team will be much improved.
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"We had a really good first week of practice," Chitty said. "I’m very pleased. Our guys put a lot of work in. I think in practice, they’re starting to see some of the hard work they put in in the offseason."
Tyler Boyer, a 6-foot-3 senior, is back for his fourth year of varsity basketball and his third year as a starter. Boyer led the Olympians with 12.8 points and 4.3 rebounds and added 2.1 assists a game last season.
Daniel Murphy, a 6-3 senior, averaged 10.0 points and led the Olympians with 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season. Jacob Pierce, a 6-0 senior has been a starter the past two seasons, and 5-10 senior Ben Major returns at point guard.
Crase Bergman, a 6-2 senior, was a part-time starter, and 6-4 senior Casey Bartholomew, 5-11 junior Will Rieckers, 5-8 junior Weston Romine and 5-8 junior J.T. Kuhlman saw varsity action last year.
"They all played a bunch of minutes, whether it be JV or varsity," Chitty said. "The X factor is, ‘How hard did our kids work in the offseason?’ We gave them a really good plan to follow since we weren’t able to meet with them (because of COVID-19). Hopefully, their offseason work pays off."
Chitty also noted three sophomores — 6-3 sophomore Julius Dailey, 6-0 Ben Sylva and 6-5 Pete Coriden — have shown big improvements.
"I think we have some experience, and some of our young kids are really playing well," Chitty said. "We have some young kids that stepped up and had great offseasons."
East lost its tallest player, 6-7 Seth Chandler, to graduation, but still has a little size.
"With our team, we want more than size," Chitty said. "We want guys that can handle the ball, pass the ball. We don’t care of you’re 5-8 or 6-6. We just want to be fundamental."
The Olympians will face possibly their toughest test in their season opener. Silver Creek, which won the Class 3A state title in 2019 and was favored to repeat last season before the tournament was halted, visits on Nov. 25. The Dragons feature Purdue recruit and Mr. Basketball favorite Trey Kaufmann-Renn.
"We open up against a very good team in Silver Creek, so we’re going to find out a lot about ourselves," Chitty said. "We have to find out what we have to do to be able to compete at that high level. We have to prepare that way in practice every night and hope we play that way every night."
Jeffersonville, New Albany and Floyd Central appear to be the frontrunners once again in the Hoosier Hills Conference. East went 1-6 in the conference last season.
"You definitely would have to say the teams on the river have been the teams to beat year-in-and-year-out," Chitty said. "What we’re going to focus on one conference game at a time. Our conference is so competitive, you can’t focus on two or three teams. You have to focus on everybody."
Chitty and the Olympians have put last season in the rearview mirror.
"It’s a new year, so we don’t think about last year," Chitty said. "You learn a lot of valuable lessons and move on. What this team has to prepare for is a lot different than what last year’s team had to prepare for. We want to go out and compete every night and try to win every game."
If you go
The 2020-21 Columbus East boys basketball schedule:
Nov. 25;Silver Creek;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28;at Noblesville;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Southwestern (Hanover);7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11;Bedford North Lawrence;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18;at Columbus North;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30;Evansville Central;2:30 p.m.
Jan. 2;Greensburg;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5;Martinsville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8;Perry Meridian;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12;at Shelbyville;7;30 p.m.
Jan. 15;at Bloomington South;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16;at Seymour;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19; at Mooresville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23;Jeffersonville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29;East Central;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4;Brownstown Central;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6;New Albany;2 p.m.
Feb. 12;at Jennings County;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13;at Franklin;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19;at Madison;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24;Floyd Central;7:30 p.m.