McLouth boys settle in at home
McLouth High boys basketball players haven't been away from their own gym for some time.
Since playing Dec. 14 in Atchison in the Delaware Valley League Tournament, McLouth has been at home, either for games or winter break practices.
And the Bulldogs will remain in the comfort of their home court for several more games. After Tuesday's DVL contest against Kansas City Christian, the Bulldogs will again be at home for Friday's game against Highland. A week later, Troy comes to town, and on Jan. 21, the McLouth Invitational gets started.
On Jan. 31, the Bulldogs will be on the road for the first time in six weeks when they're back in Atchison to take on Maur Hill.
MHS coach Chad Brown doesn't mind the extended homestand.
"We're trying to get a new program going," Brown said. "The less you have to travel and the more you can be at your own place, it would be nice to start the break that way.
"It puts us on the road toward the end of the season, but by then they feel better playing with each other."
McLouth finished the winter break on a high note. After defeating Lawrence's Bishop Seabury by 20 on Dec. 17, the team entered the holidays with a 3-2 record, equaling last season's win total.
Brown would have welcomed more practice time during the break, but with the Kansas State High School Activities Association's mandatory five-day winter break, players were out of the gym for some time.
Still, the first-year coach was pleased with the holiday break practices.
Conditioning got the players back into form, and a few more schemes were added to the playbook, Brown said.
The Bulldogs have started the season off with balance. Junior Isaac Gardner leads the team averaging 19 points, while Tyler Trackwell averages 14 and Terence Fixico chips in 11 a game. The Bulldogs usually have four players in double figures each game, as Cody Strange, Nathan Subelka, Travis Stuffey and Casey Hochard all have produced in double figures at some point.
Equally important, McLouth hasn't dealt with any injuries.
"We still have all 27 out and still have 27 that can play, so injury-wise we're good to go," Brown said.