Edinburgh boys basketball coach Keith Witty plans to start a four-guard lineup, at least on paper, when it plays the morning semifinal in the Loogootee Regional on Saturday.
But two of the four, seniors Parker Bryant and Justin Fosskuhl, will be called on to take on some un-guard-like responsibilities like they have all season long for the Lancers.
They are the so-called “glue guys” all basketball teams need in order to succeed.
“We basically do the dirty work,” said Bryant, whose defense, rebounding and occasional drive to the basket for a layup were integral parts of the Lancers winning the program’s first sectional title in six years.
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“Basically, I guard the other team’s best player,” Bryant added. “You don’t get as much credit, but I love the role I have.”
Similarities and differences exist in the roles performed by the 6-foot-1 Bryant and 5-10 Fosskuhl, who both average a shade under eight points a contest.
The 160-pound Bryant possesses excellent leaping ability, which contributes to him being Edinburgh’s second-leading rebounder. His 1.8 steals per game are tops on the team, and he is second in assists with 75.
Most of Bryant’s points are on drives to the basket or putbacks. Fosskuhl, who transferred to Edinburgh from Franklin before the start of his freshman year, is able to step up with the timely perimeter shot when needed.
Fosskuhl trails only junior guard Coltan Henderson in 3-pointers made with 30. He’s made two or more triples in nine of Edinburgh’s games this season, including a pair early in the Lancers’ 71-59 defeat of Trinity Lutheran in the sectional championship game.
“On offense, I just take what’s given to me,” said Fosskuhl, who has scored in double figures in five of the past eight games. “If I’m hitting, then Coltan might be more open, but (against Trinity) both of us were hitting.
“I think if everyone on the team plays hard and stays within themselves, there’s no reason we can’t advance.”
Witty’s thoughts exactly.
The first-year coach’s emphasis on an in-your-jersey brand of man-to-man defense, coupled with every player adding what he does best offensively, has the Lancers sitting at 17-8 — the program’s most victories since the 2011-12 semistate qualifier.
Bryant and Fosskuhl are embodiments of this philosophy.
“Justin, I’m pretty sure, leads our team in charges taken. It seems at least once a game he dives on the floor for a ball and gets a timeout,” Witty said. “Parker, a lot of the time, guards the other team’s best player. Sometimes he has to guard someone who is taller than him, but he takes on that challenge.
“They’re the guys who have the energy plays for us.”
Class A Loogootee Regional
Edinburgh (17-8) vs. Christian Academy (17-9), 10 a.m.
Springs Valley (19-6) vs. Barr-Reeve (22-4), noon
Championship, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $7 each session, $10 for full day