GREENFIELD – Greenfield-Central’s hopes for the 2022-23 season center around two guys entering their fourth year with the program — head coach Luke Meredith and senior guard Dylan Moles.
Since the hiring of Meredith four years ago, the Cougars have seen an improvement in the win column from season-to-season.
In 2019-20 G-C won 12 games, jumped up to 14 the next year, and then last season finished 15-8.
But eluding Meredith and the Cougars over that stretch has been postseason success.
“I really would just love to have some postseason success. It’s one of those things where we toughened up our schedule this season, so our record may not show some of the improvements, but that’s intended,” Meredith said. “We dropped some schools and picked up the Avon’s and Decatur Central’s of the world, just trying to give us a better look at what we could potentially see from the heavy hitters in our sectional with Anderson, New Pal and Mt. Vernon.”
If Greenfield-Central is to get over that hump, it will be on the shoulders of Moles.
“It’s been great. Dylan and I have kind of been tied together. He was a freshman when I got the job. He was a day one starter four years ago at Beech Grove, and it’s kind of crazy to think how it’s come full circle now,” Meredith said. “He and I think a lot alike, and we’re going to go as far as he will take us. This is going to be his program, his team, and he’ll lead us.”
A four-year starter and Marian University recruit, he’s led the Cougars in scoring the last two seasons, including last year’s mark of 19.2 points per game.
“He should be an Indiana All-Star, and I think he has the opportunity to be on that team, and to be one of the greatest players in Greenfield-Central history,” Meredith said. “He’s already eclipsed the 1,000 career-point mark, so we’re going to go as far as he can take us.”
Being in year four, Meredith knows the Cougars won’t be able to surprise anyone, and led by Moles, will have to knock down shots.
“We’ve got to shoot the ball well, that’s what we hang our hat on. Everybody knows what we’re going to do now in year four of the program. We’re going to play some zone, and we’ve got to be able to hit 3s. That’s who we are, and that’s kind of our identity,” he added. “When we think of Greenfield-Central basketball, it’s become synonymous with ”juice”. So playing hard, sticking shots, and staying healthy.”
Even with the loss of four seniors, Greenfield-Central will still trot out a well-rounded group of pieces to assist Moles in making that happen.
Sophomore Braylon Mullins (11.2 points) returns with added experience and a new-found confidence.
“It’s great for him to help take some pressure off of Dylan. Sometimes we get lost in the fact of how much different it is from eighth grade to playing against 18-year-old men. It was a huge adjustment for him, and towards the end of the season we saw a change, and I saw a huge difference in him over the summer. This June, Dylan was hurt, so he [Braylon] was that guy,” Meredith said. “He’s coming into his own this year, and just playing with more confidence. He maybe didn’t understand just how good he was, and there was maybe some added pressure with his dad being on the staff and how great he was. He’s really starting to come into his own and figure things out.”
Rounding out the starting five for Meredith’s squad in game one will be senior Tyler Kerkhof (4.4 points), and two guys who saw very limited to no varsity time last season — senior Will DeJarnett and sophomore Cameron Stump. Senior Owen Anderson (1.7 points) is also in line to play major minutes once he returns from an injury suffered during the football season.
“Braylon and Dylan will be our key guys, but then we have Tyler, who will be a starter and captain for us,” Meredith said. “Will is another guy who played limited minutes at the varsity level last season, but he’s going to be a day one starter for us this year, and once Owen comes back he’s going to play a major role in what we do too.”
“Cameron’s a kid that we didn’t know what to expect from. He’s long, lengthy, and played limited JV minutes for us last year, but he’s got a chance to play major varsity minutes for us this season,” Meredith added. “He can shoot, works hard and has been a big surprise for us.”
Contributing for the Cougars will also be juniors Jake Hinton and Braden Robertson, along with sophomore Boston Willard.
“Jake will bring toughness and be a role player along with Braden and Boston,” Meredith said. “Those guys as a collective group will help us get where we need to be.”
Greenfield-Central opens up the season at home today at 7:30 p.m. against the defending 3A state champions, Beech Grove.
“Braylon and Tyler will be role players that can hit some shots for us, but what are we going to get from the guys we don’t know too much about? We don’t know, and here we are opening up (today) at our place against the defending state champions,” Meredith said. “I’m just ready to go and find out.”
2022-23 Greenfield-Central Boys Basketball Schedule
Nov. 22;vs. Beech Grove;7:30 pm
Dec. 3;vs. Northeastern;7:30 pm
Dec. 6;vs. Decatur Central;7:30 pm
Dec. 9;vs. New Palestine;7:30 pm
Dec. 10;at Speedway;7:30 pm
Dec. 16;at Yorktown;7:30 pm
Dec. 17;vs. Lawrenceburg;7:30 pm
Dec. 21;vs. Rushville;7:30 pm
Jan. 6;at Mt. Vernon;7:30 pm
Jan. 13;at New Castle;7:30 pm
Jan. 14;at Eastern Hancock;7:30 pm
Jan. 17;at Indianapolis Shortridge;7:30 pm
Jan. 21;vs. Shelbyville;7:30 pm
Jan. 27;vs. Pendleton Heights;7:30 pm
Jan. 28;at Muncie Central Tourney;TBD
Feb. 2;vs. Delta;7:30 pm
Feb. 4;vs. Greenwood;1:30 pm
Feb. 10;at Franklin County;7:30 pm
Feb. 11;at Avon;7:30 pm
Feb. 18;vs. Martinsville;7:30 pm
Feb. 22;at Plainfield;7:30 pm