By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Chisholm’s success in football (9-2) is having an impact on basketball, according to Longhorns head coach Cody Spurlock.
“It carries over a lot as far as toughness and knowing what it takes to be successful,’’ Spurlock said. “They understood how hard they worked to get there in football and they know they need to do it the same way in basketball.’’
Chisholm, which starts its season tonight at Blackwell, returns three starters — Trevor Galusha, Danner Kiernan and Luke Ball from a 9-18 team that reached the regional consolation bracket finals last season.
However, Ball will be out until after Christmas due to a football injury.
Austin Grieshober, Bryson Rolfe, Dakota Bynum, Shane Reed, Austin Sughru and Brady Kelley should be fighting for playing time as well. Grieshober will be out until next week due to injuries.
“They are a great bunch,’’ Spurlock said. “They work hard and like to play basketball. We’re ready to get it going.’’
The Longhorns will be going through some “growing pains’’ early due to inexperience, Spurlock said. A strong playoff run, though, has made them “hungrier.’’
“We have a bunch of guys that can step it up on a given night,’’ Spurlock said. “We don’t have one person that everyone will key on. The keys for us will be working hard, taking charges, playing defense and diving after loose balls.’’
Chisholm’s opponent, Blackwell, beat Cushing 52-48 in its season opener. The Maroons “are a lot like us and should be a good test for us,” Spurlock said.
While the boys are in a bit of a rebuilding mode, the girls are a proven lot, with six players with starting experience returning from a 13-13 team.
Back are sophomores Kammi Gruber and Nicole Middleton, juniors Megan Galusha and Kaci McCary and seniors Ashley Middleton and Emily Raynor. Drummond transfer Caisha Boedeker adds additional experience.
“We’re finally getting some girls who have been in the program for a few years,’’ said CHS head coach Terry Middleton. “We don’t have to re-teach everything like we have the last couple of years.’’
The Lady Longhorns have a good mix of inside and outside scoring power.
Galusha had two 25-point games last season, including one against Blackwell. Gruber had a season-high 15 against Perry.
Both have been shooting well from outside in the preseason and have been penetrating to the basket well.
“We have a guard that can go one-on-one and handle the man-to-man pressure,’’ coach Middleton said. “We struggled with that at times last season.’’
Nicole Middleton is beginning to develop her turnaround jumper and is going to her right and her left better. Rayner is using both hands better.
“We got a lot of size,’’ said Middleton, noting four freshmen who are 5-foot-9 or taller. “We’ll be pretty balanced.’’
Chisholm swept Blackwell last season, winning at home 60-40 and on the road 54-34. The Lady Maroons opened the season with a 39-38 win over Cushing.