Giants hoping for strong start



Raelynn Hughes, staff writer

Just when the Ben Davis boys basketball team was rolling last season, the season was over.

Coach Don Carlisle and he Giants overcome a sluggish start last season and had won eight of 10 days before falling to state finalist Lawrence North 58-44 in the first game of the regional. This came after an inspired performance in sectionals ended with a thrilling 68-56 sectional championship win over Pike.

Carlisle is hoping that trend continues.

“I  am looking forward to competing,” Carlisle said as the Giants prepare to host Fishers in tonight’s season opener. “I believe we have enough to compete at a high level with anyone in the state.  We have a great group of guys that have grown together.  We should be a fun group to watch.”

The Giants return seven players with extensive varsity experience, including sophomore guard KJ Windham, junior center Zane Doughty and junior guards Sheridan Sharpe and Clay Butler. Carlisle also is excited about the potential of 6-foot-5 junior forward Shaun Arnold.

Carlisle also likes his senior class of Ghakel Weathers, Shawn Footman, Tionne Spates, Raheim Twyman and Kenny Troutman and 6-6 junior forward Jesse Faires. Most of all, he likes the work done during the offseason.

“Strength and confidence — we spent a good portion of the off season getting stronger with an emphasis on the weight room,” he said. “These guys have done a a good job of committing to the vision and it’s paying off. They had a year to grow on the court together so they have grown in confidence as well.

” We’ve had a productive pre-season, with the help of coach Vanderbush our guys are in shape and primed for a successful campaign.”

After tonight’s opener with Fishers, the Giants host Zionsville for a 1:30 p.m. tip on Saturday.

“My expectations always include playing hard, giving excellent effort, conducting themselves as gentlemen and being excellent representatives of Ben Davis and Wayne Township,” Carlisle said.

In other winter sports, our swim team hosts its home opener tonight at 6 p.m. and our girls basketball team plays at Lawrence Central Saturday. Our wrestling team wrestles at Edgewood tomorrow.