Boys Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Columbus East’s Ben Sylva looks for an opening against Bloomington North in the semifinals of the Bloomington South Sectional, Friday, March 5, 2021. Paige Grider for The Republic Paige Grider | For The Republic
The Columbus East boys basketball team never was at full strength for much of June. Some players were committed to other sports, while some others went on a mission trip and some had family vacations planned.
Like the East girls basketball team, the boys had limited time to practice in the later part of June due to the flood that caused damage to the gyms.
Through all of that, the Olympians managed a way to play a few games during the month of June, when coaches were permitted to work with their teams in practice and game settings.
“We found out a lot about our guys,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do after the season last year, but I’m very optimistic. I’m very optimistic about this group of young men. They’re young. I think they’ll work hard. We’re kind of excited about that. Right now, we’re trying to figure where we’re going to practice.”
The Olympians have a lot of ground to make up and a lot of shoes to fill next year. They lost their top three scorers and six of the top eight to graduation.
The top returning scorers are senior Will Rieckers and junior Ben Sylva. Rieckers averaged 7.8 points per game and Sylva added 5.4 points last year.
Rieckers and Sylva didn’t spend the entire June period with the team, with Rieckers playing travel baseball and Sylva going on a mission trip.
“Will’s been gone on vacation and has been working on baseball because we encourage our kids to play multi sports,” Chitty said.
“Ben Sylva was on a mission trip during a lot of those games, but when he got out there and played, he looked really good.”
Other guys that contributed for the team during the summer include senior Anthony Lloyd and junior Pete Coriden.
“Anthony Lloyd and Pete Coriden did a really good job for us,” Chitty said. “They’re trying to step into some big shoes. I think they’re only going to get better. They’re going to be improving week to week.”
Chitty also was impressed with seniors J.T. Kuhlman and Weston Romine and juniors Julius Dailey and Zane Moravec.
“Julius Dailey looked good all summer. I think he’s relaxing and he’s just playing. Zane Moravec is probably one of the hardest workers in our program, and Zane is looking good,” Chitty said. “I thought when we got our kids back, J.T. Kuhlman and Weston Romine, a lot of guys are going to compete.”
The Olympians will put last season’s 1-18 record behind them and look forward to what is ahead for next year as they look to improve and get better.
“We’re going to be positive, and we’re going to be optimistic and we’re going to go to work. We’ll really work hard in the classroom to be a good student first, and we’re going to get better on the court to get better than last year,” Chitty said. “We’ll see once we get into the season. We’ll see who has really put the work in. A lot of the work has to be done. You’ve got to do the work on your own. We’ll see who those kids are, and we’ll go from there.”