Senior staff writer
Most Southside basketball teams are reloading this season.
Only Center Grove and Beech Grove were ranked in preseason polls. Many teams lost several seniors last year, and most coaches are relying on young players to either shine or take roles.
The Trojans return with Purdue commit Cassidy Hardin for new coach Kevin Stuckmeyer. Beech Grove is back with what could be the state’s top senior duo in Marian University commits Cameron Cardenas and Katie Giller for coach Kristin Raker.
Top returnees also include Perry Meridian forward Sadie Hill, Franklin Central sophomore Rachel Loobie, Roncalli senior Lauren Fey, Greenwood senior Alex Kincaid, Greenwood Christian center Sarah Mangan and Lutheran junior Rylee Morris.
Stuckmeyer, former boys head coach at Plymouth, is among three new coaches on the Southside, including Adam Morelock at Southport and Robert Torgerson at Greenwood. Morelock was 8-39 in two years at Western High School in Russiaville. Torgerson was an assistant boys coach for North Carolina’s 2002 4A champion, Charlotte Vance, and at sectional champion at Fort Wayne Carroll with coach Rob Irwin, now Greenwood athletic director.
Fans will notice a new floor and video scoreboard at historic Southport Fieldhouse.
Beech Grove (2-0), Center Grove (3-1), Greenwood (3-1) and Roncalli are off on winning starts. Manual (3-4) dropped all four games in the Henryville Tourney but bounced back to win its invitational by outscoring three teams 201-51, holding Christel House to only five points. Greenwood Christian (1-1), Lutheran (1-1), Franklin Central (1-2) and Perry Meridian (0-2) also have opened.
Top individual performances: Greenwood’s Alex Kincaid, 33 points against Bloomington South; Beech Grove’s Cameron Cardenas, 31 points against Tri-West; Center Grove’s Cassidy Hardin, 26 points against Warren Central; Southport’s Savannah Edington, 24 points in OT loss at Franklin; Roncalli’s Alana Vinson, 22 points against Perry Meridian; and Lutheran’s Rylee Morris, 21 points against Edinburgh.