Photos by Holly Mead Photography
Cole Sherwin completes the layup.
The 2020-2021 Karns City Boys basketball team looks to improve on their 2019-2020 performance in which the Gremlins finished 13-9 and 7-3 in the conference. For the 2020-2021 season head coach Chris Bellis is excited to get back on the hardwood as he returns a solid nucleus and maybe even more talent than a year ago.
Guiding the Gremlins on the court is Chase Beighley a 5’10" Sr., point guard. Beighley has been the Gremlin floor general since his freshman year. Beighley currently is the second all-time leading scorer at Karns City high school with 1498 points as of press time. In all probability, Beighley will surpass Tyler Callihan as the all-time leading scorer in school history this season.
Callihan set the mark in 2005 with 1554 career points.
Last year Beighley netted 24 points per game as junior. Beighley has the ability to see the court well and is able to create and make things happen for his teammates. With fourteen games into the 2020-2021 season, the sr. standout guard is averaging 20.2 points per game to go along with nearly four assists and 5 rebounds per game. Beighley finished with a 27 point, 8 rebound and 5 asst. night against Redbank last week in a pivotal match up. Beighley finished with 26 in a blowout win (80-24) over high powered offensive Clarion as Karns City upped their record to 13-1.Clarion was averaging 71 points a game coming into last Thursdays matchup against the Gremlins.
Inside the Gremlins return 6-5" Sr., Nathan Waltman. Last year Waltman averaged 11.2 point per game in nine games of action. Injuries also kept Waltman sidelined last year. Waltman is a solid athlete who can score and control the rebounding underneath. Waltman is currently averaging a consistent 15.0 points per game to go along with an impressive 10.3 rebounds per game thus far this season.
Beighley and Waltman are a big reason why the Gremlins are currently 13-1 overall this year but the seniors are supplemented by a strong underclass group of players. “The key to our success will be the continued development of our younger players. We have six underclassmen in our top eight players. Our success this season will depend on how these players continue to improve. I believe their best basketball days are ahead of them,” stated head coach Chris Bellis.
Also returning for coach Bellis is 6’2", Jr., forward Luke Garing. Garing is the team’s best defender and can play any position if needed.
6’2" Sophomore Micah Rupp who was the District IX “Rookie of the Year” last season has provided additional support this season. Rupp is a talented player who can score and rebound. Rupp averaged 8.4 points per game a season ago. For the 2020-2021 season thus far, Rupp is averaging 7.1 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game in ten games of action.
Seeing plenty of playing time in the rotation for coach Bellis are 5-9" jr., guard, Cole Sherwin, 6-1" sophomore, Eric Booher and 6-3" freshman, Luke Cramer and 5-9" guard, Taite Beighley. Cramer currently averages 10.1 points per game this this season. Cramer knocked down 16 in an impressive win against Redbank Valley (73-45).
For coach Bellis and his team they are thankful just to be on the court. “All teams have had to deal with some adversity due to the pandemic. We need to continue to handle the adversity and rise to each new challenge.”
As far as the upcoming schedule, the Gremlins will travel to Brookville (Feb. 15), Moniteau (Feb. 17), and Brockway (Feb. 19), then they will start the following week with AC Valley (Feb. 22nd) at home. “Many of those teams are playing well. We need to continue to take it one game at a time, and stay focused on improving as a team,” lamented Bellis.