Having already discussed the new look Bloomington South Panthers, today we look at the hungry Bloomington North Cougars. North has seemingly turned the corner last past couple of years after struggling for several seasons prior. Last year, the Cougars finished 12-9, but won eight of 10 games down the stretch while finding a young core of talent that will be called upon to lead the club this year. With the Panthers potentially suffering a down season, this could be the year North rises back up and reclaims the title of best team in Bloomington.
KEY LOSSES: F Kahreem Horsley (9.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg), F D.J. Brown (8.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg), F Brady Bowlen, F George Wyatt
KEY RETURNERS: G Damon Brown (14.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg), F-G Tyler Truesdel (6.2 ppg), G Grant Sims (4.9 ppg), G Saikou Jallow (5.1 ppg).
KEY NEWCOMERS: 44 Lorrell Williams F 6-3 Jr., 50 Burt Bloom F 6-5 Jr.
SEASON OUTLOOK: Everyone who follows Bloomington high school basketball thinks this will be the year North rises again. That may very well be true. The Cougars did lose a solid senior class led by D.J. Brown and Kahreem Horsley, but bring back their best player in senior guard Damon Brown and a teriffic trio of sophomores in Saikou Jallow, Tyler Truesdel, and Grant Sims. Jallow and Truesdel began last year on JV, but quickly worked themselves up to the varsity level where they not only contributed, but thrived even leading the club at times. Sims was a started from the get-go providing steady play for a freshman. With these four players back, the sky is the limit for North. The big issue right off the bat will be the lack of size in the post. Head coach Andy Hodson feels good, though, about the progress of junior center Burt Bloom who he calls the most improved player from the end of last season. Don’t count out junior forward Lorrell Williams either. As the starting quarterback of the football team, we know how tough and athletic he can be. Give him some time and if he can come back from a foot injury, he could become a force down low. It should be an exciting year on the north side and one that could be the breakthrough Cougar fans have been hoping for since the glory days ended nearly a decade ago.
Nov. 23: at Terre Haute South, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26: Bedford North Lawrence, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 2: at Edgewood, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3: at Center Grove, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9: at Perry Meridian, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: at Plainfield, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 16: Southport, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30: Whiteland, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 6: South, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13: at Martinsville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: Owen Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: Northview, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Lawrence Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: Franklin Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: at Columbus East, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3: at Pike, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: Terre Haute North, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: at Decatur Central, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17: Columbus North, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24: New Albany, 7:30 p.m.