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Consistency leads to success for top-ranked Class 3A Marauders
February 14, 2013VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Cliff Brunt
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
Steve Lynch couldn't help it.
He kept repeating himself when describing his undefeated Mount Vernon basketball team. Consistency. Maturity. Maturity. Consistency. Lynch said those words so often that he at one point stopped to apologize.
Opponents likely would use the same adjectives, though. Mount Vernon has been those things and more on its way to a perfect 17-0 record that includes wins over Class 3A Hamilton Heights, 4A Pendleton Heights and 4A Hamilton Southeastern. Those qualities have helped the Marauders deal with being the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A.
"We're totally detached from it," Lynch said. "It's a nice ranking, but our kids have been very good about playing in the moment, and when it's done, moving on to the next game, the next practice, the next opponent."
The Marauders will try to maintain that success Friday at New Palestine, when they go for their first Hoosier Heritage Conference crown since 2010.
Junior guard C.J. Coleman leads the Marauders with 19.4 points per game and 55 steals. He is drawing interest from Stetson, Southern Illinois, Loyola (Ill.) and Western Michigan among others.
"C.J.'s really grown and matured as a player," Lynch said. "He's always been pretty talented, but he's developed the work ethic you associate with the very consistent players. He's become a very good leader in our program."
Stephen Turner is a 6-foot-6 senior forward who is attracting interest from NAIA and Division II programs. He is averaging 15.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
"Stephen has to be one of the hardest workers we've had come through the program in the training room, in the weight room, in the gym getting his workouts in," Lynch said.
Another senior, Anthony Burnett, averages 6.6 points and 6.5 assists. Alec Lohman, a junior, has played in every game and sophomores Dan Werner, Zach Spears and Christian Smith also contribute. Werner is the team's No. 3 scorer with 7.7 points per game.
"I think it's been one of our nicer groups of competitors," Lynch said. "It's a very nice collection of competitive kids. They challenge each other, they certainly challenge me, and when it comes time to throw the ball up, they've been very consistent about showing up every night to compete."
The Marauders have allowed no more than 50 points in a game this season.
"I think our discipline and our length – we're able to challenge people," Lynch said. "Our kids have been pretty disciplined in terms of making efforts on every possession. They've done a great job of just buying in and executing what we ask them to do defensively.
Lynch said he hopes the tough schedule helps his team handle a sectional that includes Brebeuf, Guerin Catholic and Bishop Chatard.
"I think just putting the kids in the situations – when you play those guys, you've got to keep consistently trying to find ways to win," Lynch said. "Our kids have done a nice job with that."
Cliff Brunt is the founder and editor of IndySportsLegends.com. He will be contributing to VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana) routinely throughout the year. You can follow him on Twitter @CliffBrunt_ISL