BOUNCE: Drafting my Northeast Indiana basketball All-Grit team

bounceinset_21I require toughness. Essentially at all times, it feeds my fandom of sport, but particularly basketball and especially on the high school level.

There are great scorers. There are guys who do finesse so fine that they don’t need to dabble in the world of physicality. And I like that too, don’t get me wrong. But there is something special about a player on the high school level in the year 2020 that looks like their style could fit in with the Detroit Pistons ‘bad boy’ teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

So with that, I am making a little personal draft this week and putting together my eight-player ‘All-Grit’ team. Eight guys – and no, not the only eight in the area – that just have that tenacity about them that impresses me nightly down in the trenches and doing intangible things.

In no particular order:

Michael Sievers, Columbia City

Is he built like a football player or like RoboCop? Sievers has about the most solid, muscled form you will see in a basketball jersey. He works a unique part of the court that allows him to be most efficient, not just in his team’s game play but in the sport’s weak spots. Sievers has the physical stature to just rip the ball away and his facial expressions, or lack thereof in game, make you want to avoid challenging him.

Isaac Farnsworth, Snider

Give me almost any player to guard and I’m going to send Farnsworth, the recent Rose-Hulman commit, to handle it. Will it always work out? Maybe, maybe not. But you won’t get anything less that 100 percent commitment from Farnsworth in the attempt. He can score, he can rebound, he can shoot, he can pass but Farnsworth is a stellar on-ball defender because he just puts his head down and does it. Ask the kid to run through a wall. He will probably do that too.

Will Geiger, Norwell

Where does one even start here? Have you ever seen Will Geiger play? Farm-boy tough doesn’t even begin to describe how he uses his semi-hulking frame at the basket. The area’s best example of a double-double threat, it is near impossible to stop Geiger from scoring when he is at the rim, either going up strong or curling underneath from some pretty impossible angles. There is zero quit in Will Geiger.

Jake Boyer, Blackhawk Christian

Boyer showed flashes of a special future last season and has had good hype around him. While his time for that is still to come, he has found an important role as a solid bodied role player for the Braves. He is going to get rebounds, find open teammates and play steady defense that prevents opponents from penetrating to the rim.

Konner Norman, Bluffton

This gritty senior guard spent his junior year at Woodlan and I immediately took a liking to how he got after loose balls and threw his smaller frame around. He is a pace setter, the first guy to get after that loose ball and a tenacious defender. He has developed from just plain feisty to becoming a steady hand for the ACAC champions. But don’t worry, he will still dive into the front row or over the bench to chase down a ball that has escaped the hands of someone on the court.

Luke McClure, Churubusco

There are a lot of guys who can dig deep at ‘Busco, but McClure is the guy you call in when you need someone to just work their tail off to change the pace and circumstance of a game. McClure is feisty and that has been his bread and butter every season. When he is at his best offensively, it is often because he is scoring on the break off his own defensive work.

Richie Gross, Carroll

Late in the season, Gross emerged as a quality scoring threat for the Chargers as they contended down the stretch for a SAC title. But in his roots, Gross has made his bacon on the varsity level as an in-your-face defender with a penchant for getting his hand(s) on the basketball. Gross will body up to you.

Kreigh Roush, Southern Wells

Not much mainstream attention for the Raiders in this area may make you unfamiliar with Roush, but get familiar here before the playoffs start. Roush has been through the wringer in a stout varsity career and knows how to handle business. At 6-foot-5 and a solid 215 (that is how he is listed, I’d give him 230), Roush is a heavy footed presence that looks to have a killer work ethic with how he battles any opposition.

These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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