The Knights should be very good once again with everyone back from its roster that won 22 games last season. Last season, they won the Northeast 8 and a sectional championship. Norwell expects to win both of those again, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they go farther.
With three starters back that averaged double digits during the 2021-22 season, this senior-laden group knows what they have as far as offensive firepower. It’s lead by senior Luke McBride, who averaged 19.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. McBride can score at all three levels and knows how to get his teammates involved. He’s a three-year starter that has seen it all which should help the Knights late in games or during a deep postseason run.
McBride is joined by Lleyton Bailey, who is a hard-nosed point guard and improved as a scorer and passer last season. He upped his scoring to 12 points per game and pushed his assists numbers to 3.2 a contest. Cohen Bailey and Gavin Hoeppner both got experience last season and give the Knights some solid depth in the backcourt.
Jake Parker emerged as a real force in the low post, averaging over 10 points per game last season. He’s joined by Brody Bolyn who returns as the team’s leading rebounder at 5.1 a game. Luke Graft is another option in the frontcourt at 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and has show the ability to put up points in bunches.
Jon Colbert and Ashton Federspiel both showed they were capable of playing quality minutes in the frontcourt and give Norwell more depth.
“We have an experienced group back and we are excited to build on our season from last year. We have a challenging schedule that should help prepare us for the NE8 conference season and the postseason. We have made good progress in the weight room, and we feel we have a group that can compete at a high level this season. We are excited to see how our leadership has grown over the past year,” Norwell head coach Mike McBride said.
The Knights have depth in the frontcourt and backcourt which is something a lot of teams in the conference and area don’t have. With the experience that was gained, there shouldn’t be much drop off when the starters have to leave the court with either foul trouble or rest.
Sophomores Adam McBride and Kaedyn Quintanilla will try to earn their way into the rotation to give the Knights even more options to work with.
The Knights have everyone back from a team that won 22 games last season. They also have one of the area’s top players to lead them. This group has been playing together for the last two seasons and the familiarity they have with each other should show up every night.
WHY NOT HIGHER?
Well, there’s one team that we think is slightly better. The Knights were beaten by some of the area’s better teams last season, so for them to top the rankings, they’ll need to show they can defeat those teams.
Dec. 10 vs. Franklin Central at Southport
The FORUM Tip-off Classic at Southport is always one of the top single-day events every season. Norwell will get to showcase its talents to the rest of the state and present why their a top contender in Class 3A this season. The Flashes will provide great competition for the Knights. Franklin Central plays all the top teams around the Indianapolis area and has been competitive in those matchups.
Luke McBride, senior
No question that he’s the best player for the Knights. The Bethel University commit thrived despite being the No. 1 player for opposing teams to stop. He knows how to play within the offense and can create when Norwell needs a bucket. He stepped up when they needed him in last year’s sectional championship against Oak Hill and will be looked upon to do so once again in those type of settings.