RICHMOND — If Mt. Vernon is to make a return trip to semistate in 2013-14, they’ll have to do it without four-year varsity cogs Anthony Burnett and Stephen Turner.
Burnett, the county’s leading distributor at 6.2 assists per game, also scored seven points per game and was a heady defender.
Turner was the team’s top rebounder (6.8 rpg) and second-leading scorer (14.3 ppg).
“The seniors were great,” junior guard CJ Coleman said following the Marauders 62-37 loss to Greensburg in the 3A semistate at Richmond Saturday. “If I had to lose with anybody, it would be this team right here.”
Coleman, who led the team in scoring (19.6 ppg), will return for the 2013-14 campaign, as will current sophomores Werner (7.6 ppg) and Zach Spears (5.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg).
Junior Alec Lohman and sophomore Christian Smith, the first two players off the bench this season for MV, are likely headed for increases in court time.
“I think we’re going to be tough again, same as this year,” offered Coleman, who is attracting significant interest from mid-major Division I programs. “Guys will step up and fill in, and we hope to make another run.”
That potential run will come against 4A competition next year.
The IHSAA recently announced classification changes for the next two school years, and Mt. Vernon was bumped from 3A to 4A, where it will be the sixth-smallest boys basketball school with an enrollment of 1,119 students.
Other MV sports bumped to 4A were baseball, girls basketball, softball and volleyball.
Werner expects to rack up the wins again next winter, but knows the challenge will be greater.
“We’ll go to the gym in the offseason, get better and hopefully we can have the same result next year, but it’s going to be a lot harder going up to 4A,” he explained. “It’s going to be a lot tougher.”
Unstoppable force prevails over immovable object
Greensburg’s high-octane, precision-passing offense that averaged 71.6 points per game heading into Saturday’s semistate deconstructed Mt. Vernon’s previously impregnable defense to the tune of 62 points, nearly 22 more than MV’s 3A-best per-game average (40.6).
The Pirates’ plundering of the Marauders’ 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones was noteworthy for three reasons: