The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

Woodmen boys basketball take on Center Grove in season opener

Following a long offseason highlighted with the hiring of a new head coach, Woodmen basketball looks to flip around the narrative covering their program the past couple of seasons. 

Under the helm of new coach, Mr. Kieth Witty, the Woodmen will take on Center Grove (CG) in the season opener. Center Grove enters the season ranked in the Top 10, according to MaxPreps.

“They are a really talented team with a lot of depth,” senior Jake Mosemann, point guard, said. “They’re something like No. 5 in the preseason state rankings and just outside the national Top 25. The upperclassmen over there have a lot of talent and the younger guys fill out their bench. It’ll be a challenge for us in the first game of the season.”


The Trojans boasted a 22-3 record last season ending in the Sectional championship game against Bloomington North. CG returns three of five starters from that team.

“When a team of that caliber can return most of their starters, they are already set up pretty nicely,” Mosemann said. “They get back three guys who all played meaningful minutes in the starting rotation. We bring back some varsity experience as well so I really think that helps us against them and throughout the season.”

Highlighting the talented group of returning players is 6 ‘7 forward Will Spellman. Spellman was the starting big man on last season’s team and is expected to have an even better senior campaign. The tallest rostered player for the Woodmen is 6 ‘3.

“Our biggest problem is lack of height,” junior Ethan King, guard, said. “Our biggest guy is really the height of a 2 guard or even a small forward. We don’t really have a true big man. With that lack of height, it kind of forces us into playing small ball and relying on perimeter shooting and getting solid mid range buckets.”

With this lack of height, the Woodmen have resorted to playing at a quicker pace, something that has not been a custom of the program under the reign of former coaching. The offense is utilizing more shooting and offense rather than physicality and defense.

“Under Coach (Bradburn) last year, we played at a slower pace and kept the game that way with our defense,” King said. “We are doing a lot more with our offensive scheme with Witty and have focused more on that in practice. We’re playing a lot faster pace and much more tempo on offense without a big man.”

Under direction of Coach Zach Hahn, the Trojans have been a Central Indiana basketball powerhouse winning four of the last six Sectional 13 titles and compiling an overall record of 141-91 since Hahn took over  in 2014

“They just do everything the right way and play hard,” senior John Ollanketo, guard, said. “They don’t turn the ball over, and they don’t miss a bunch of shots. If we can force them into making bad decisions and put pressure on them, we can come out on top. We just have to play hard on the defensive end and make our shots that open up and not force tough looks.”

The Trojan backcourt consists of seniors Joey Schmitz and Jalen Bundy. Both spent time as starters and played quality minutes last season for Coach Hahn. Schmitz is one of the quicker and shiftier guards in the county while Bundy has one of the better 3-point percentages.

“Their guard play kind of goes unnoticed with how good Spellman and their big men are,” Mosemann said. “If they (Schmitz and Bundy) can get going and play well, then the rest of their offense runs smoothly. Joey is a really good player, and he creates space off the dribble so it’ll be challenging to contain him but also keep a hand up on Bundy. We can’t focus too much on those guys though because it creates too much space down low for those guys.”

With a lack of height and CG’s excess of height, the outcome of the game will rely on whether or not the Woodmen can control the perimeter and hit 3-point shots.

“If we can play to our strengths and shoot more 3’s and keep the pace up, we can win,” King said. “Obviously, ball movement and scoring in the transition will be big for us, but the biggest factor will be shooting the ball effectively. We don’t have the size down low so we need to play fast and push the ball down the court.”

Starting off the season on a high note under a new head coach is important for how the rest of the season will be played. Not necessarily needing a win but needing a well played game and hard fought battle will start the season with a step in the right direction.

“We really want to win obviously,” Ollanketo said. “But if we can just battle with them and play a complete game, we’ll be happy. They’re one of the better teams in the state and fighting for a close game will start us off on the right note and keep the ball rolling in the right direction. A win would do even better for us.”

GHS will take on the Trojans at home tonight at 7:30 p.m.

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