Carmel boys basketball coach Scott Heady knows a lot about road trips.
This latest is in a league of
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Tonight’s Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference game at Center Grove signals the end of seven consecutive contests played
away from home by the Class 4A No. 4 Greyhounds.
What began Dec. 6 at Avon was followed up by games either at or against North Central, Pendleton Heights, New Albany, Warren Central and Fishers.
Carmel so far has won five of six — the lone loss being at unbeaten and 4A No. 2 North Central, 66-59.
It’s been business as usual for the ’Hounds (7-1), who are 86-22 (.796) since Heady took over the program in 2010. His 2012 and 2013 ball clubs won 4A state titles.
Heady’s first Greyhounds squad posted a 10-13 record. They are a ridiculous 76-9 since, with sights firmly set on a fourth consecutive 20-plus-victory season.
“The big challenge against Carmel is playing 32 solid minutes. They’ll be consistent, and they’re not going to beat themselves,” first-year Trojans coach Zach Hahn said. “This Carmel team is huge.
“They start four guys 6-foot-5 or taller, which creates some matchup problems for us.”
Senior guard Ryan Cline is a 6-5 sharpshooter who signed in November to play for coach Matt Painter at Purdue University. Keegan Culp, a 6-6 senior forward, is Carmel’s other primary scoring threat.
Heady’s teams are also known for their lockdown defense. The Greyhounds currently permit opponents an average of 46 points a game — five less than Center Grove’s version of stinginess (51.2 ppg).
Carmel owns a three-game winning streak against Center Grove. The Trojans’ most recent triumph in the series came in Heady’s first season, a 41-38 decision at home.
Center Grove is coming off a weekend in which it was able to win at Perry Meridian 66-56 on Friday but lost at home to Cathedral the following night 56-48.
Overall, the Trojans are 7-3. Tonight’s game promises the team’s toughest test to date with the annual Johnson County Tournament scheduled to begin Tuesday.
Heady expressed concern over Center Grove’s ability to produce points from a number of different players.
“(Center Grove guard Michael) Benkert has to be a concern for us because he can put up big numbers. A lot of their guys can catch and shoot, so it’s not like you can play off a couple of people,” Heady said.
“Any of those other guys Center Grove has can hurt you. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Carmel does finally return home Saturday night when it hosts Hamilton County rival Westfield.