Pictured clockwise, from top left, Madison coach Pat King, Shawe coach Matt Traylor, Switzerland County coach B.J. McAlister and Southwestern coach Andy Firth. (Courier file photos)
Pictured clockwise, from top left, Madison coach Pat King, Shawe coach Matt Traylor, Switzerland County coach B.J. McAlister and Southwestern coach Andy Firth. (Courier file photos)
All four area boys high school basketball teams in Indiana tip off this week with high expectations for the coming season. From added experience to new-found depth, each has a reason to be excited.

Shawe and Switzerland County kick off the 2012-13 season with games tonight. The Class A 16th-ranked Hilltoppers host No. 14 Hauser in a rematch of last year's sectional final while Switzerland heads to Oldenburg Academy.

Then on Wednesday, Madison and Southwestern square off in the annual Turkey Shootout. The Cubs won the game a year ago 61-59 on a Matt Woolard shot at the buzzer.

None of the four teams posted winning records a year ago but there is every reason to believe that could change this season.

Pat King enters his second season at the helm of Madison. The Cubs went 9-12 last year and even the coach wasn't sure what to expect from his young team from game-to-game.

But that group has grown up. While Madison will start only two seniors, it returns four starters.

"We do have quite a bit of players back and that was part of the plan last year," King said. "We went through the growing pains last year but even though we only have two seniors, we have an experienced bunch. Will this be our year? Who knows. But I really believe we're going to be better than last year."

Junior guard Landon Perry had a breakout year for the Cubs last year, averaging 14.6 points per game and was named the Courier's boys Player of the Year. The 5-foot-9 Perry is still the team's go-to player but he won't have to do it alone.

Nick Macon, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, had a strong freshman campaign last year and will be expected to expand his game this year. Senior Ryan Thurston, a 6-foot-2 sharpshooter, provides the team with a deadly buty streaky outside presence.

While the guards will carry Madison, King expects big things from his frontcourt. Woolard, a 6-foot-2 senior, has shed pounds and looked more athletic during the Cubs' scrimmage and should pay off on offense. Junior Tyler Manaugh sprouted up to 6-foot-6 over the summer and, while still a work in progress, he should give Madison some much-needed height inside.

"(Perry, Macon and Thurston) will provide the bulk of the scoring and anything we can get from Matt and Tyler inside will be a bonus for us," King said. "I think one of the surprises will be Tyler. He's grown three or four inches since last year. He's still trying to figure out what a kid 6-6 is supposed to do. There will be some awkward moments and it will take time, but he could surprise."

There should be little surprise when it comes to Shawe. The Hilltoppers got better as the season wore on last year and nearly knocked off Hauser in a bid to win their third-straight sectional crown.

Second-year coach Matt Traylor has four starters back from that 8-15 team and will have a roster full of seniors including all five in the starting lineup.

Like Madison, the Hilltoppers will rely on their guards for scoring. Luke Higgins (8.6 point per game), David Grote (8.4) and Joey Mingione (7.8) are all prolific scorers and each is capable of getting the ball to the basket.

"I think what we do best is no secret. We have pretty gritty kids, guards that get after it defensively, a couple of guys that can get to the basket and a couple of kids that can shoot it," Traylor said. "There are some things that are difficult for us to do because of our size but I think we've learned to compensate for that."

Six-foot-three senior Taylor Rhoten, who is recovering from a knee injury, will be the team's primary inside weapon and Shawe's biggest player while Eamon Fry and Alex Reuss, a pair of 6-foot-2 seniors, will be called upon to provide minutes inside.

But Shawe's strength will still come from its guards. Traylor, himself a deadly outside shooter when he was at Southwestern High School and Taylor University, doesn't plan to rely on the 3-pointer.

"We have a couple of kids that shoot it pretty well and we'll approach the game like that but we've never prepared for a game plan that we need an 'x' amount of threes to win the game," Traylor said. "But we also have a couple of guys that get to the offensive glass pretty well and we need to get them going.

"At the end of the day we can compete with anybody we play with. It's just going to come down to at what point do we understand our roles better than we do now," Traylor said. "We're still trying to feel each other out and decide who does what better."

Southwestern went 7-15 a year ago and graduated most of its roster, forcing coach Andy Firth to essentially start over this season. Not only did Firth have to replace four starters and much of his bench but his entire coaching staff as well after top assistant Brian Crank left for Carroll County.

What is left is an incredibly young and inexperienced group but a talented roster that could surprise once it gels.

"We have one kid with substantial varsity experience, a brand-new coaching staff, a brand-new offense, a brand-new everything. I almost feel like it's my first year," said Firth, who is in his third year at his alma mater. "It is exciting when you go and revamp your entire program. And it makes it very scary because you know that teams you are going up against have been established for a long time."

Gunnar Henry, a 6-foot-2 senior wing, will lead the team after averaging 9.9 points a game a year ago. Junior point guard Michael Perry saw his share of varsity minutes last year and averaged 3.1 points per game.

But the rest of the team played only sparingly or not at all. Tyler Jones, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, missed essentially the entire season with a knee injury. Nick Wyne, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, will get his first taste of extensive varsity action.

Despite the inexperience, Firth is confident his team will come together.

"We're still learning. Who knows when it will happen but we're pressing to get all of this stuff learned," Firth said. "We're trying to get these kids motivated to play hard on the defensive end and to buy into concepts. But sometimes the hardest thing as a coach is to get players to buy into what you want to do. We're starting to see that now."

Arguably the most polished team of the group will be a Switzerland County squad that returns a wealth of size and experience from an 11-11 team a year ago.

Junior Austin Clark, already one of the best players in the area after averaging 13.8 points per game last season, added inches to his frame and now stands 6-foot-6. He's only one of a handful of tall players that the Pacers will run at teams.

Alex Curran, the Pacers' athletic center, stands 6-foot-5. Juniors T.J. White and Bob Tressler have both shot up to 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-5, respectively. Braden Burk stands "only" 6-foot-3 but is long and rangy and difficult to stop around the basket.

Six-footers Trevor Smith and Clint Swanson will be the team's top guards and while neither are skyscrapers, both are very strong penetrators as well as shooters.

"We're really excited about this season," said Switzerland coach B.J. McAlister. "This is year three of us as a coaching staff and the guys that are seniors have all started or played on the varsity level for three years and most of our juniors have been playing at the junior varsity level or above since they were freshmen. We've been able to start right away with practices because of how experienced they are. It's been exciting and a very comforting feeling."

What McAlister likes most about his group is the unselfishness that they have shown. The team communicates well on the floor, is always looking for the open man, and cheers each other after every play.

It is a mentality that McAlister has drilled into his team. He has even made them watch the "All Access" documentary series about the Kentucky basketball team on ESPN.

"One of the things that (John) Calipari was saying was that if you're coming to Kentucky to be a one-man army you need to walk out the door," McAlister said. "The No. 1 draft pick last year was Anthony Davis and he took the fifth-most shots. The No. 2 pick was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and he took the fourth-most shots. And that team won the national championship. We're trying to spread the ball all over and we've got a lot of weapons. We want to use them."

Head Coach: Pat King (2nd year, 9-12, 216-244 overall)

2011-12 Record: 9-12, 1-6 HHC

Tournament Run: Sectional - lost to Lawrenceburg 53-51.



G-4-Nick Macon-So.-5-11-7.8

G-11-Landon Perry-Jr.-5-9-14.6

F-20-Ryan Thurston-Sr.-6-2-8.7

F-14-Matt Woolard-Sr.-6-2-4.8

C-40-Tyler Manaugh-Jr.-6-6-FS


G-10-Willie Huffman-So.-5-10-3.6

G-21-Kyle Tucker-So.-5-10-FS

F-24-Carson Wattenbarger-Jr.-6-3- FS

F-30-Kevin Stewart-So.-6-0-FS

F-33-Scott King-Jr.-6-1-0.2

G-34-Tanner Sauley-Jr.-5-11-0.3

C-42-Clark Vaughn-Jr.-6-4-0.4

FS - First Season

Assistant Coaches: Burton Chambers, Larry Wynn


2012-13 Schedule

(Home games in CAPS)

Nov. 21-SOUTHWESTERN-8 p.m.

Nov. 30-JENNINGS CO.*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 1-at Providence-8 p.m.

Dec. 7-at South Dearborn-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8-JEFFERSONVILLE*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14-at Bedford N.L.*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15-AUSTIN-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 28-at Salem-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 4-SCOTTSBURG-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11-at New Albany*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12-CHARLESTOWN-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18-COLUMBUS NORTH-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19-at Floyd Central*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25-SILVER CREEK-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26-at North Harrison-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1-SEYMOUR*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7-at Rock Creek-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15-COLUMBUS EAST*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19-at South Ripley-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22-SWITZERLAND CO.-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26-Class 3A Sectional-TBA

*-HHC Games


Head Coach: Matt Traylor (2nd year, 8-15)

2011-12 Record: 8-15, 1-5 ORVC

Tournament Run: Sectional - beat Rising Sun 48-46; beat Jac-Cen-Del 59-55; lost to Hauser 79-67.



G-32-Luke Higgins-Sr.-6-0-8.6

G-10-David Grote-Sr.-6-0-8.4

F-21-Joey Mingione-Sr.-6-0-7.8

F-23-Jesse Ball-Sr.-6-0-4.7

C-25-Taylor Rhoten-Sr.-6-3-7.2


G-15-Whit Grote-So.-5-10-FS

G-22-Aczael Rios-Garcia-Sr.-5-8-1.3

F-31-Eamon Fry-Sr.-6-2-0.6

F-34-Alex Reuss-Sr.-6-2-FS

G-41-Chase Heaton-So.-5-11-FS

FS - First Season

Assistant Coaches: Mike Gosman, Blake Deuser, Drew Kring


2012-13 Schedule

(Home games in CAPS)

Nov. 20-HAUSER-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 30-SOUTHWESTERN*-8 p.m.

Dec. 1-INDPLS SCECINA-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7-at South Ripley*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8-at Henry Co. (Ky.)-8 p.m.

Dec. 14-CROTHERSVILLE-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 18-SOUTH DECATUR-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22-HORIZON CHRISTIAN-2:30 p.m.

Dec. 28-vs. Princeton @ Bosse-3 p.m.

Jan. 4-OLDENBURG-8 p.m.

Jan. 5-at Providence-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11-at Trinity Lutheran-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12-at New Washington-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18-JAC-CEN-DEL*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19-CHARLESTOWN-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25-RISING SUN*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1-at Switzerland Co.*-8 p.m.

Feb. 7-at Christian Academy-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15-ROCK CREEK-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19-MILAN*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26-Class A Sectional-TBA

*-ORVC Games


Head Coach: Andy Firth (3rd year 14-29; 26-83 overall)

2011-12 Record: 7-15, 3-3 ORVC

Tournament Run: Sectional - lost to South Ripley 61-58.



G-4-Michael Perry-Jr.-5-9-3.1

G-20-Darius Whitson-Spegal-Sr.-6-0-3.4

F-12-Gunnar Henry-Sr.-6-2-9.9

F-5-Tyler Jones-Jr.-6-3-0.0

C-40-Nick Wyne-Sr.-6-4-1.9


G-2-Zach Westerfield-Sr.-5-9-0.2

G-10-Gage Hartman-So.-5-11-FS

G-11-Mackenzy Withered-Sr.-6-1-FS

G-22-Zach Brooks-So.-6-2-0.0

G-30-Steven Howell-Sr.-5-11-0.0

F-50-Stacy Noble-Sr.-6-2-SF

FS - First Season

Assistant Coaches: Ron Couch, Shawn Melton, Marcus El, Taran McZee


2012-13 Schedule

(Home games in CAPS)

Nov. 21-at Southwestern-8 p.m.

Nov. 24-at Switzerland Co.-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 30-SHAWE*-8 p.m.

Dec. 7-at New Washington-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14-at Jac-Cen-Del*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15-HENRYVILLE-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21-MILAN*-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 27-Union Co. Tourn.-TBA

Jan. 5-BROWNSTOWN-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11-SWITZERLAND CO.*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18-OLDENBURG-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19-AUSTIN-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26-at Clarksville-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1-SCOTTSBURG-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 2-at South Ripley*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7-at Rising Sun*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 9-at Christian Academy-1:30 p.m.

Feb. 12-TRINITY LUTHERAN-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16-JENNINGS CO.-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26-Class 2A Sectional-TBA

*-ORVC Games


Head Coach: B.J. McAlister (3rd year, 21-24; 37-52 overall

2011-12 Record: 11-11, 3-3 ORVC

Tournament Run: Sectional - lost to Milan 67-54.



G-11-Trevor Smith-Sr.-6-0-5.3

G-22-Clint Swanson-Sr.-6-0-2.9

F-32-Braden Burk-Jr.-6-3-2.0

F-24-Austin Clark-Jr.-6-6-13.8

C-35-Alex Curran-Sr.-6-6-7.6


G-10-T.J. White-Jr.-6-6-0.8

G-12-Justus Powell-Jr.-6-3-0.8

G-20-Nathan Hunter-Jr.-6-2-0.6

G-21-Ben Curran-So.-6-2-0.0

G-33-Tyler Queen-Sr.-6-0-5.3*

G-34-Chase Ritch-Jr.-6-1-3.2

F-42-Bob Tressler-Jr.-6-5-0.6

*-stats from 2010-11 season

Assistant Coaches: Mark Boggs, Adam Dennis


2012-13 Schedule

(Home games in CAPS)

Nov. 20-at Oldenburg-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 24-SOUTHWESTERN-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 30-TRINITY LUTHERAN-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7-at Rising Sun-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14-at South Dearborn-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15-SOUTH RIPLEY-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21-CHRISTIAN ACADEMY-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22-at South Central-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 3-5-Rivertown Classic @ SD-TBA

Jan. 11-at Southwestern*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18-RISING SUN*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19-at South Ripley*-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25-at New Washington-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26-at Milan*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1-SHAWE*-8 p.m.

Feb. 2-FRANKLIN CO.-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7-GALLATIN CO. (Ky.)-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15-JAC-CEN-DEL*-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22-at Madison-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26-Class 2A Sectional-TBA

*-ORVC Games