Crothersville boys ready for new season

Coach Bryant Layman said he’s pleased to be coaching high school basketball as he begins his first season at Crothersville.

Layman took a season off and has mainly been coaching at the AAU and club level. He was a high school coach with some other sports in the past, but now, he’s ready to tackle the prep season at Crothersville.

“Ideally, I like to play fast. That sells tickets and puts fans in the stands,” the Madison High School graduate said. “This is a very interesting team. It’s a team that can play fast at times. We’re not real deep, so we’ve got to be careful how we play at times.”

Layman said if the Tigers are unable to run a fast break, he is confident they can be a good half-court team.

“We’re very good at executing the play on offense. We’re a good little defensive team, but we break down. We struggle on the rebounding side. We’re working to get better at that, for sure,” he said. “Our average height is 6-foot. We have a lot of guys in the 6-foot range. Our biggest guy is 6-2. A couple of our guys can jump out of the gym. We’ve got some decent ability. We’re pretty athletic, we’re real fresh, but we don’t have enough players.”

Zachary Helt and Matthew Clouse are the only seniors. Helt averaged five points per game and Clouse averaged three points per game last winter. Junior Damian Bowman averaged four points per game last season.

Layman said he plans on playing Helt at the point guard a lot.

“We’re hoping he can transform into that position, so we’re a new basketball team,” he said.

Helt and Clouse said they are looking forward to helping the Tigers have a winning season.

“I’m more of a 3-point shooter,” Clouse said. “Whatever shot is easier for me to get, I’ll take it. Our team is more comfortable playing against a zone defense, like a 1-3-1. I think we’re going to try to play a little bit of both (half-court and run).”

Clouse believes on the defense end, it’ll depend on the makeup of the other team.

“If it’s a more athletic team, we’ll probably play zone,” he said. “If it’s a team we know we can compete with, we’ll play some man.”

As for Helt, he thinks the team is stronger in a zone defense, and he prefers to get out in transition and play fast.

Clouse feels like the Tigers have improved a lot as a team since this summer. Helt agrees.

“I just want us to improve from last year,” Helt said. “We have trust in each other and just play our normal game. I think we can be really good this year. We’re definitely young, but I think we can shoot very well. With the experience we have, we need to be senior leaders.”

Clouse said, “To be a senior leader, we try to teach guys what we know from experience. Sometimes, there is frustration, but we’ve just got to push through it.”

Layman said Clouse and Bowman are two of the best players on the floor.

“They can really shoot the basketball,” he said. “Bowman weighed 140 pounds at the start of the summer. We were able to get him up to 167. We packed a lot of muscle on him, a lot of strength. He had a game this summer of 33 points and probably averaged 20-some points a game. Clouse had a game of 31 and averaged 13 points. Devin Morgan has come out of the woodwork, and he’ll probably average in the mid-teens.”

The Tigers played a total of 25 games in a New Albany league.

“We had a big win over Brown, which is a big Kentucky school,” Layman said. “Then we played at Columbus and we played at Shawe and in a shootout at Rising Sun.”

Crothersville will open its season at home Tuesday night against Waldron.