Boys basketball facing unfamiliar foe in Catholic Memorial (WI)

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John Law, Editor

It isn’t often that high school sports teams get to play teams from outside their state. Unless a school is right on a state border, it almost never happens. However, this Saturday the South boys basketball team will go up against the Catholic Memorial Crusaders, from Waukesha, Wisconsin. 

To make it even stranger, Catholic Memorial really isn’t even known as a basketball powerhouse up in Wisconsin. They won state championships in 2004 and 2010, but have fallen into irrelevance since then. In past games against out-of-state foes, usually the team has been one of the best in their respective state, such as when South played Detroit Country Day School back in 2009 or Lexington Catholic in 2010. Of course there are reasons for this matchup, though. 

“We only had eight home games and so that makes number nine, and usually we have ten or eleven,” said head basketball coach J.R. Holmes.

“Second reason is that the head coach there played for me back in the late 90s and he’s been asking all these years to come down and bring his team down to play and I always told him ‘no’ because they wouldn’t bring any fans down. This year I couldn’t find anyone else, though, so I gave into it.”

Holmes had nothing but praise for former player and now Catholic Memorial head basketball coach Jeremy McGlothlin as he described him as a good kid and a hard worker. Along with that, it seems as if his team carries the same traits. The Crusaders don’t have any star basketball players, but they are known as quite the football factory in Wisconsin and bring lots of physicality, according to Holmes. Indeed they do as two Division One linebacker commits from their football team, Cole Dakovich (Wisconsin) and Ben Kreul (Purdue), also compete on the hardwood for them. 

Another strength for the Crusaders could be experience as Holmes said that they have eight or nine seniors. Not to mention that their 4-8 record could be a little bit deceiving considering their football players had a minimal amount of time to transition sports after winning the Division Four state championship. 

Nonetheless, it should be a cool experience for them as Indiana basketball has proven that it is different from other states time and again.

“I think they’re stopping at different places along the way to see stuff and then they’ll come in on Friday night and have a shootaround and stay the night” said Holmes.

Catholic Memorial may not be anything special, but because South is their only game this week, they should be adequately prepared. Moreover, South plays Columbus East on Friday night, so preparation for the Saturday game (which is at 5:30 instead of the usual 7:30 start) will be a little bit more difficult.

“You never know. I have no idea how good they really are…I just hope they don’t get too good” said a joking Holmes.