There’s a new kid in town
Colorado transfer impressive in scrimmage
Friday's Late Night With the Bulldogs had the feeling of a laid back, fun atmosphere, but the McLouth High boys basketball team made a serious statement about one of its priorities this season.
The Bulldogs are feeding their new transfer student the ball in the post -- all 6-feet-7-inches of him.
Senior Aaron Roberts, MHS' new center from Colorado Springs, Colo., shined in the 10-minute boys basketball scrimmage. His white team defeated the purple team, 18-12.
"I just hope we come out here and do better than last year," Roberts said of last year's 10-12 team. "I want to go to the playoffs and see how we do from there."
Roberts established position on the block and hit a few layups and jump hooks in the lane.
McLouth coach Jason Schroeder said Friday was the best he'd seen Roberts play all year, offensively. Roberts possesses fundamental skills, but is still a raw talent. Schroeder said Roberts still needed to improve on the defensive end.
"Mainly, we want to see him dominate the paint on defense and own those rebounds," Schroeder, who's in his second year as head coach, said. "The offense is just going to be a plus. I think the upside is great. He has a long way to go, but I think how high he can get is pretty far up there."
Senior forward Ryan Smith and sophomore point guard Cole Batman also played well for the Bulldogs.
"He plays bigger than he is," Schroeder said of Batman. "He gets in the paint and figures out a way to get it to the basket, somehow. You don't know how he does it."
Senior guard Vincent Brown displayed his range, knocking down two three-pointers.
It was a positive sign for Brown, who missed the majority of last year with an ACL injury.
McLouth girls basketball
Sophomore Kylie Shufflebarger stole the show in the girls scrimmage, scoring nine points for the purple team in its 12-9 victory against the white team.
Shufflebarger, a 5-10 post player, stretched the white team's defense on several possessions. The sophomore power forward has range, as evidenced by the three-pointer she knocked down. Shufflebarger can also penetrate to the basket and kept the white team on its heels.
"We're hoping she can do a little more of that this year and step out," McLouth coach Todd Cossman said. "I need someone who can hit the outside shot. Teams like to zone us. We're athletic, but we have to shoot it better from the outside this year."
Senior shooting guard Abby Annis was impressive for the white team. Annis had a few layups and was the lone outlet of scoring for the white team. The senior said she hoped to be more aggressive this year.
"I want to shoot more this season because last season I didn't shoot very much," Annis said. "I know we lost a really good player in Rachael Thompson (to graduation), and she'd always be there to shoot for us. (Sophomore point guard) Missy (Rome) and I definitely need to shoot more."
Late Night With the Bulldogs lasted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Before the boys and girls teams played, McLouth faculty members performed skits on Bulldogs pride. The faculty members dressed up as different Peanuts characters.
McLouth coaches and other school officials then scrimmaged each other for two quarters. Schroeder and Cossman were part of the scrimmage.
The McLouth cheerleaders were introduced in the same fashion the basketball players were introduced. Each cheerleader ran through a tunnel of elevated arms, which the girls and boys basketball teams created.