For The Tribune

Daniel Horton said it doesn’t make much difference if he plays down on the block or up at high post.

He just wants to be on the floor contributing to the boys basketball program at Trinity Lutheran.

“I play both, but this year, I’ve played mainly in the post,” Horton said. “It just depends what they’re throwing at me. I’d say my strong point is going to the rim.”

As the Cougars’ biggest scoring threat, Horton faces a lot of double-teams.

“Some teams front me in the post,” Horton said. “Sometimes, I have to step out a little bit, whatever the defense gives me.

“I feel comfortable shooting jump shots. I don’t normally shoot a lot of 3s, but I definitely feel comfortable taking it to the hole. If I get a bigger guy on me, I like to spread it out and try to dribble around him and go to the basket.”

His high game this season was 24 against Salem. He scored 26 last year against Austin and was in the 20s seven other times.

Horton said he prefers facing man-to-man defenses.

“I think it’s easier only having one guy on you,” he said. “Sometimes, they double down, and you have to kick it out.”

Horton, who is 6-foot-5, said he takes a lot of pride in blocking out for rebounds.

He topped the team in rebounds last season.

“It’s getting position, going after it and wanting it more than the other guy,” Horton said. “Jacob Schult, Dylan Maschino and I are the ones that get in there for the rebounds.”

Horton said he prefers to play man-to-man when the Cougars are on defense.

“I probably would rather go man, but I know this year, the zone has worked a couple times,” Horton said. “Against Hauser, it worked pretty well. At Salem, we tried a zone, and they made a lot of 3s.”

Horton said he needs to be more efficient at the free-throw line.

“I definitely started off a lot better last year than I did this year, but it should be coming along,” Horton said. “Since I had to sit out cross-country, I had to miss quite a few basketball workouts, and my shot got a little off, but it’s coming back.”

He also said he would like to get a little tougher on defense and improve his shooting percentage on jumpers.

Horton has been a three-year varsity starter and said he learned a lot from the upperclassmen his sophomore year when he helped the Cougars win a sectional title.

In the fall, Horton said he enjoyed cross-country. He ran to get in shape for basketball.

He was a four-year letterman and filled the No. 3 position his first three years on the squad.

This past fall, he suffered a back injury and was only able to run the first three races of the season.

He said his career-best time was 20 minutes, which he ran as a junior.

Horton said his favorite course was Brown County.

“I definitely like flat courses,” he said. “I usually tried to start somewhere in the middle of the pack and then kind of move up.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Q&A” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Q: What’s it like playing in the Bollinger Athletic Complex?

A: “I definitely like the home games. It’s good to go on the road sometimes and see everybody else’s place. It’s nice how we go every other year so we get to see their place twice, but it’s definitely a good atmosphere at home games when all the fans show up and cheer you.”

Q: Where are your favorite away gyms?

A: “I definitely like the sunken gyms, like Brownstown, West Washington, Orleans, Springs Valley and Edinburgh.”

Q: Have you enjoyed your time at Trinity Lutheran?

A: “I’m really glad I chose Trinity. I like the smaller atmosphere. I’ll definitely remember the victories, the friends and the sectional championship we won my sophomore year.”

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Parents: D.B. and Marie Horton

Sibling: Erika

Sports: Basketball, four years; cross-country, four years

Athletic highlights: In basketball, 2014-15 most improved award, 2014 sectional championship. In cross-country, 2013 and 2014 most improved award

Organizations: Student Ambassador, FFA, 4-H, Zion youth organization

Plans after high school: Attend college

Favorite food: Cinnamon rolls

Favorite musician: Jason Aldean

Favorite movie: “Lawless”

Favorite team: Purdue


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