For The Tribune

Working the post isn’t the most glamorous position. You have to be physical, especially with a height disadvantage, and get down and dirty.

At 6-foot-3, Seymour’s Isaiah Thomas guards taller players in a majority of his team’s Class 4A games.

“I use my strength,” Thomas said. “I love physicality. I like getting physical, and it’s my kind of game. Basketball is a physical game, and I like it pretty much.”

Whether Thomas plays in front of or behind the player he is guarding depends on the strengths of his opponent.

“It doesn’t necessarily depend on their height; it depends on who it is and how they play,” Thomas said. “If you have a soft, six-foot-eight kid, then I’ll play behind him and let him try to score with a jump shot, but if they have a really good 6-4 or 6-5 kid, then I’ll have to play in front of him and try to deny him the ball. I personally like playing man-to-man.”

No matter the defense — man or zone — Thomas said he will play inside to protect the rim.

On the hardwood, Thomas prefers an up-tempo game where the Owls get out and running.

“I just run the floor and hope to get a tip in or something like that,” Thomas said.

Thomas said it is important to go over the scouting report in practice and work against the other teams’ plays.

“We had a four-game winning streak (Jan. 3 to 16), and the weeks before those games were probably the best practices we’ve had,” Thomas said. “I think the effort the team, as a whole, puts in at practice determines whether or not we play well on Friday and Saturday nights.”

The senior began playing basketball in fifth grade but got injured that year.

Thomas sat out two years and returned to his favorite sport in eighth grade. He played on the junior varsity as a freshman, then sat out his sophomore year and has been a varsity starter the past two seasons in the post.

Where Thomas plays on offense, on the block or high post, depends on the opposition’s defense.

“It depends on how they play,” Thomas said. “This year I’ve been getting double-teamed down on the block, so if I’m playing high post they can’t really do that.”

Even though he’s often under the basket, Thomas isn’t afraid to step back and hit mid-range jump shots.

“I feel pretty comfortable shooting probably 15 feet in,” Thomas said. “My free-throw shooting started off patchy, but I don’t think I’ve missed a free throw in the last five or six games.”

This season, Thomas’ high-point games were 14 against Bedford North Lawrence and 13 against Charlestown.

During last year’s campaign, Thomas scored 15 against Eminence and Austin.

In the summer, the Owls work together toward the upcoming season.

On the side, Thomas also played travel ball.

“We played a lot of games during the summer, and that helped us because we played a lot of good teams, too,” Thomas said. “We learned our plays and sets and stuff during the summer, and that way during the first day of practice the coaches didn’t have to re-teach everything.”

This spring, Thomas plans on joining the track team.

One of his goals is to beat the school record in the long jump held by his father, Jay.

“I’ve thought about throwing (shot put and discus) and attempting to break my dad’s long-jump record,” Thomas said. “I did some long-jumping back in middle school, but I haven’t done any since then.”

Throughout his career, Thomas has enjoyed participating as a multisport athlete.

“My freshman year I knew I wanted to be in sports because I was told sports make your high school career go by a lot smoother, and it really does, and I encourage anybody who doesn’t play sports to play sports in high school because it makes it a lot more fun and you meet a lot more people,” Thomas said.

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Parents: Tamara and Frederick Bailey

Siblings: Keighana, Serena, Elizabeth and Madison

Sports: Basketball, three years; football, three years; track and field, one year

Home games: “I love playing here. We have the big gym. We have a lot of people. That’s one thing I’m going to miss about high school, the basketball games.”

Favorite away gyms: Columbus East, Whiteland

Leadership role: “I just to use encouragement, and I know the younger teammates look up to be as an older brother and stuff like that. I just try to make sure they realize that they enjoy the time that they have on the team.”

Schedule: “Some of the teams we play are some of the best teams I’ve ever seen. New Albany is a very good team, and they have some Division 1 athletes that aren’t even seniors. I love tough competition. It will only make us better.”

Sectional at Seymour: “I think it’s a big advantage because we’re used to playing there and we practice there all the time.”

Attending SHS: “I’ve pretty much enjoyed it for the most part. I like the bigger school. The teachers here do their job, but they are also cool with you in other situations. You’ve got people from all different kinds of backgrounds and different styles and stuff like that.”

Plans after high school: U.S. Marines Corps

Favorite food: Fried chicken

Favorite TV shows: “Cops”

Favorite musician: Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa

Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”

Favorite books: “Rot and Ruin” series

Favorite athlete: Blake Griffin

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

Favorite book: Brotherhood

Favorite quote: “It’s not the knockdowns that define us.”  — Rocky

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Greensburg (16-3) at Seymour (7-11)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Seymour def. Salem 53-38, Greensburg def. Franklin County 42-27.

Series past 30 years: Seymour 15-7

Most recent meeting: Seymour won 58-50 on Feb. 17, 2006.

Trinity Lutheran (15-5) at Southwestern (Hanover) (2-17)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. New Washington 72-61, Southwestern lost to Rising Sun 41-36.

Series past 30 years: Trinity Lutheran 5-3

Most recent meeting: Trinity Lutheran won 88-36 on Feb. 18, 2014.


Eastern (Pekin) (10-8) at Brownstown Central (15-3)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Eastern def. henryville 69-51, Columbus East def. Brownstown Central 60-53.

Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 21-10

Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 67-40 on Feb. 21, 2014.

Seymour (7-11) at Austin (5-13)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Seymour def. Salem 53-38, Corydon Central def. Austin 63-41.

Series past 30 years: Seymour 8-3

Most recent meeting: Austin won 66-59 on Feb. 21, 2014.

Trinity Lutheran (15-5) at Oldenburg Academy (16-4)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. New Washington 72-61, Oldenburg Academy def. Southwestern (Shelbyville) 60-52.

Series past 30 years: Trinity Lutheran 6-5

Most recent meeting: Trinity lutheran won 68-63 on Feb. 21, 2014.

Crothersville (6-15) at Lanesville (8-12)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Crothersville def. Medora 68-51, Rock Creek Academy def. Lanesville 63-45.

Series past 30 years: Lanesville won 33-9

Most recent meeting: Lanesville won 71-57 on Feb. 21, 2014.


Medora (6-15) at Washington Catholic (7-10)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: New Washington def. Medora 78-52, Wasahington Catholic def. Bloomingtno Lighthouse 53-44.

Series past 30 years: Medora 3-2

Most recent meeting: Medora won 74-57 on Feb. 22, 2014


Brownstown Central (15-3) at Providence (7-10)


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