Underclassmen come into their own on this year’s varsity basketball team

By Ellise Shafer, ’17

So far, the boys basketball team has been virtually unstoppable, with a record of 20 wins and only two losses as of Feb. 22. However, there is something different about this year’s team. With only three seniors, underclassmen have become key players, namely junior Dane Goodwin and sophomore Max Martz.

Both Goodwin and Martz played varsity last year, contributing on occasion. But, this year they have really come into their own, often scoring a combined 30 points per game. And, no one can forget Martz’s buzzer beater that led the Bears to defeat reigning state champs Westerville South 68-67 on Jan. 24.

One may think that having two young players as leaders of the team can cause animosity, but senior captain Andy Hummer has found that their presence has improved the overall team dynamic.

“I don’t think having Max and Dane being big time contributors hurts our team dynamic at all. I think it even makes it better,” Hummer said. “We all know our roles and what needs to happen for us to win and having them play well and score a lot is what we need a majority of the time. It’s great having them.”

Goodwin, who verbally committed to play for the Ohio State University at the beginning of last year, thinks that being named a captain has helped him to hone his skills and become a key player on the team.

“I’ve had to expand my role a little bit and kind of be a leader of the team,” Goodwin said. “I think I’ve started scoring a little bit more and getting more people involved so I think that’s become my role.”

Even as a sophomore, Martz has begun to make plays and score regularly.

“I think I bring a little mix of everything to the table,” Martz said. “I can score and defend and I really just try to do whatever I can to help the team improve and win as many games as possible.”

As for their tournament run, the odds are looking good for the basketball Bears. At a tournament in Dayton called Flying to the Hoop, they were able to bring home the W against Garfield Heights High School.

“[In Dayton] we played a team that was ranked really highly in the state and we kind of killed them,” Martz said. “We beat them by 30 so that was really cool and me and Dane played really well that game.”

The tournament was also a season highlight for Goodwin.

“It was one of the biggest high school tournaments in the country– and we played really well and had a really big win,” Goodwin said.

Entering into tournament play, the Bears are seeded fourth in the Division I bracket, playing their first game against Watkins Memorial on Feb. 23.