Tigers hope depth and speed leads to success


Greg Kilgore has coached the Crothersville boys basketball team to 15 wins each of the past two seasons.

With a solid nucleus of players returning, he feels like the team has an excellent chance to improve that win total this winter.

“We’ve won 15 games each of the last two seasons, and I really think we should surpass that this year,” he said. “I’m really looking for a 16- to 18-win regular season heading into hopefully another successful postseason.”

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Heading up the veterans is 6-foot-2 senior Josh Thomas, who averaged 14.1 points per game last season and enters this campaign as the Tigers’ career scoring leader with 1,109 points.

“I expect Josh to really lead us this year,” Kilgore said. “He is strong inside, and he will help us on the outside, too. He put on a little muscle this summer and is strong. He really wants to have a successful senior year.”

Kilgore also noted Cable Spall’s progression over the summer.

“Right behind him is Cable Spall,” Kilgore said. “Cable really improved this summer. He played quite a bit of AAU ball. He has really gotten better handling the ball and scoring, so he will be a big asset.”

Spall averaged 9.4 points a game last season.

Timmy Burton, who also started in the sectional last year, averaged 7 points a game.

“Burton and (Quinten) Keasler will both be big for us,” Kilgore said. “Tim was big for us last year when we won two sectional games. He has gained a lot of confidence.”

Kilgore said his junior class will be strong, if not better, than his seniors.

“I’m almost tempted to say my junior class is better than my senior class with (Ethan) Shirley, Burton, Spall and Keasler,” he said.

Seniors in addition to Thomas are Carson Farmer, Kaedon Bright, Jayden Wells and Taylor Tatlock.

Kilgore said three move-ins will be a big help and provide the Tigers with a good amount of depth.

Shirley moved back from Brownstown.

“He was part of our youth program through fifth grade,” Kilgore said. “He has good court awareness.”

Bright and Walls both came from Seymour. Bright will not be eligible for varsity until the fourth game of the season.

“Both of them will be huge assets,” Kilgore said. “Both see the floor well and handle the ball well.”

The Tigers won’t have a whole lot of height to draw from this year, but they hope their athleticism lets them get out in transition for easy buckets.

“We want to get it out and run,” Kilgore said. “We’re not overly blessed with height. Keasler is 6-5, but everyone else is in the 6-foot, 6-1 range. We’ll probably look to press and play more of an up-tempo more so than we have the last two years.”

It’ll be a change after running a lot of sets the last few years.

“The last two years, we had Logan Brewer and we wanted to run some half-court sets,” Kilgore said. “I think getting up and down the floor will be to our advantage. On defense, we’ll run some half-court trap and full-court pressing both zone and man press.”

Kilgore likes the depth of the Tigers.

“We’re going to be nine deep. We really don’t lose a whole lot from one position to another,” he said. “Obviously, Thomas and Spall have to be out there for experience, leadership and scoring ability.”

The Scott County holiday tournament was dropped, so Kilgore added Waldron, Eastern (Pekin) and Hauser to the schedule.

The Tigers will open Tuesday at home against Waldron.

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