Coach Bruce Miles and his Hillsboro Indians have high expectations for this season, looking to several returning juniors and top scorer Phillip Mycroft for a strong start against familiar rivals.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that got experience as sophomores last year, so we have that going for us,” Miles said. “But we still play in an extremely difficult conference, so we know that each night we don’t have any easy games in our league.”
Miles said Mycroft, a junior, has stepped into the leadership role that was left by DJ Brown, a three-year starter for the Indians.
“Losing his leadership was hard,” Miles said. “We’re looking to Mycroft because he’s our leading scorer and rebounder, he’s one of our harder workers, and he gets the guys moving.”
Miles said he’s also watching two promising sophomores, Ethan Watson and Josh Keets.
“Keets played some minutes for me last year as a freshman, and Watson is a talented scorer, so we’re looking for great contributions from him,” Miles said.
Miles said point guard Marshall Ward is recovering from an off-season surgery from baseball season, as well as an injured shoulder from a soccer injury.
“We’re trying to get him back to work slowly,” Miles said. “He progressed a lot last year. Throughout the season he just got better and better.”
Matthew Ryan looks to be the best defender and Cameron Reed is a talented shooter despite battling injuries last year, Miles said.
Miles said the team needs better defense and less turnovers.
“Limiting the turnovers is something we struggled with last year,” Miles said, “along with rebounding the basketball. We’ve got to shoot it better. We did not shoot well as a team last year, so shooting the basketball better, defending and limiting our turnovers have absolutely got to get better each time we practice. We need to see all of what we’ve put into practice come out in the games.”
And, Miles said, the games will not be easy.
“Every night is going to be a tough matchup for us,” he said. “Wilmington is a strong team that we’ll face, Washington Court House, Miami Trace, Greenfield will be improved in its second year with coach Mitchell, and East Clinton’s always tough.”
Miles said community support has been a key to success.
“I think the support from our hometown has been great,” he said. “Our student section is probably one of the best student sections in the league. They do a really great job of livening up the games and just being wild and crazy. We feed off them. So we’re looking for continued support from the community, and we’re looking forward to another great season of high school basketball.”
David Wright is the sports editor for the Times-Gazette. He can be reached at 937-402-2570.