FORT WAYNE – Despite the prospect of a busy week, it was too good of an opportunity for Northrop to pass up.
To be the first Fort Wayne boys team to play in the Hall of Fame Tournament since 1978, the Bruins had to either skip the chance at a SAC tournament title three-peat or possibly play five games in four days.
The Class 4A No. 9 Bruins (6-1) chose the second option.
So, if Northrop keeps winning in the SAC tournament, it could play games today, Thursday and Saturday. And Friday’s Hall of Fame Tournament will include two games, win or lose, with a first-round game against Indianapolis Tech and either the consolation or championship game.
It’s an unbelievable honor, and we don’t take it for granted, Northrop coach Barak Coolman said.
The chance to play in the Hall of Fame tourney in the nation’s largest high school gym at New Castle gives added exposure to the Bruins’ program in general and the Scott twins – Bryson (Purdue recruit) and Brenton (Indiana State) in particular.
This is an amazing opportunity for us and a great spotlight, Coolman said. It is great chance to show off Brenton and Bryson and also the Northrop players in general, and that we do have other quality players. It gives Brenton and Bryson a better chance at being Indiana All-Stars, and Bryson earn a Mr. Basketball opportunity.
It’s a chance on the season’s second biggest stage, other than the state finals.
A lot of our guys are going to get a lot of looks because we have a good team and good individuals, Bryson Scott said. More importantly we are going to go out there and show what Northrop basketball is all about and represent Fort Wayne to the best of our abilities.
I have been focused on this week for a while now. It is crunch time for me to show what I am all about. I am serious about being a Mr. Basketball candidate and an Indiana All-Star candidate.
Northrop has won the last two SAC tournament titles and was given the chance at a third straight this season when the conference worked in an off day in the tournament schedule. It could, though, make for a long week.
It is a pretty daunting task to try to be able to win that many games in that short amount of time, Coolman said.
You wouldn’t want it any other way. The biggest thing is the potential for all of those games with no practice time in between. We might need to prepare for all the different potential components that you have coming your way. Once you start playing, there’s very little time for preparation.
And the players know the challenges that lie in front of them.
We are trying to keep conditioned as much as possible, Bryson Scott said.
We are going to have to execute and be ready for that 5-game stretch. We have been running countless lines to prepare our legs. We are just trying to bond and get our wind up so we don’t get tired and keep fluids in us.
The SAC tournament is sponsored by SportOne Ortho Northeast.
SAC boys TournamentAt Wayne
No. 1 Northrop vs. No. 8 South Side, 10:15 a.m.
No. 4 Bishop Luers vs. No. 5 Snider, 1:45 p.m.
No. 2 Concordia vs. No. 7 Bishop Dwenger, 5:15 p.m.
No. 3 North Side vs. No. 6 Wayne, 8:45 p.m.
Northrop-South Side winner vs. Bishop Luers-Snider winner, 6:30 p.m.
Concordia-Bishop Dwenger winner vs. North Side-Wayne winner, 8:15 p.m.
Championship, 8:15 p.m.
Hall of Fame tournamentAt New Castle
Indpls. Cathedral vs. Jay County, 11 a.m.
Northrop vs. Indpls. Tech, 12:45 p.m.
Consolation, 6 p.m.
Championship, 7:45 p.m.