Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

March 18, 2014

More good than bad for Giants

By Ryan Palencer Flyer Correspondent
Westside Flyer

---- — The Ben Davis boys’ basketball season featured many ups and a few downs. The Giants finished the season 11-9.

“You’re always disappointed when you don’t win at the end of the year,” Ben Davis coach Mark James said. “I think everyone is still grieving from that a little bit. I don’t know if we ever played fully to our potential, and we beat some pretty good teams. Then we lost to some teams that I was surprised that we did. Overall, we were competitive this year.”

The Giants had wins over Southport (15-8), Bowman Academy (19-4), North Central (16-7), and Cathedral (16-7). After defeating Northwest in the sectional opener 64-55, they lost to Pike 52-50 in overtime, ending the season.

James said the down portions of the season were not due to a lack of energy from his squad.

“I thought that the effort that the kids gave us on the floor all year was outstanding,” James said. “I just think that some basketball IQ things got us a couple of times.”

Going into next season, the Giants return leading scorer and first-team MIC player Brennan Gillis.

Senior Michael Beaty was named to the All-MIC third team. Along with Beaty, Ben Davis graduated seniors Jarrett Brewer and Juwan Carpenter.

In addition, the squad also returns contributors DeShon Tate, Stephon Matthews, Ian Deiters, and Jason Solomon. The roster will have five seniors next year.

“We only graduated three seniors, so we have a majority of our team back,” James said. “Beaty will be greatly missed as a senior starter. He played really well for us the last few games. We will adjust getting ready for next year.”

With all of that experience returning, James said he’s looking forward to next season.

“We have seven or eight kids coming back who have played varsity competition,” James said. “We’re really excited about the opportunities next year.”

There is no rest for the weary, however. The Giants get back in the weight room to prepare for next season after spring break, James said. In addition, they’ll start back up with open gyms once the state tournament is over.