Crusaders struggle, but still promising

By JESSE JOHNSON,

Sacred Heart’s boys basketball team is off to a rocky 4-12 start, but first-year Crusader coach Andrew Little said his young team has promise for years to come.

Only two of the team’s 15 players are seniors. There are four upperclassmen on the varsity lineup. The other 11 are sophomores and younger.

For the first half of the season, the Crusaders didn’t play a fellow 1A team, but instead focused on teams from larger schools in hopes of getting them ready for district play.

The plan must have worked because the Crusaders are now 2-0 in divisional play.

Sophomore Luke Wiest is aaveraging 11 points per game and leads the team in scoring. Junior John McKee is next in line and averages eight points per game. As a whole, the Crusaders team averages just 34 points per game.

“We were very competitive in the majority of our games,” Little said. “As we turn the corner into district, finding a way to win those is what’s matters to us. Moving forward I think we are going to be a great team in future years”

Coach Little, a graduate of nearby Richton High, said he’s looking forward to learning right alongside his young team as they build the program.

“Each game I coach I learn something new,” he said. “What’s special this year is to grow with our kids. I am really looking forward in continuing to learn and help these kids grow as we continue to push forward with our men’s basketball program.”

Little will have the opportunity later this month to show his former school what he has learned thus far when Sacred Heart plays the Rebels.

“I was born and bread in Richton,” Little said. “To have them in the district to compete against makes it that much more important to me. Got to beat my old coach. He has been there for 30-plus years. Its going to be a matchup that I will always remember.”