High School Sports

ANDALE BOYS: Defense makes up for a lot

Defense is definitely a focal point for the Andale boys.

"What we're doing defensively, we're doing right," coach Jeff Buchanan said. "We've had great success with our defensive philosophy. Teams know we'll come out and pressure them and be tough. It's shown in the defensive numbers in scoring.

"We've held teams below their scoring average consistently. We've set (team) records in field-goal percentage allowed and points allowed the last two seasons."

Andale gave up 46.8 points last season.

The Indians' pressure defense comes out of necessity, though; Andale doesn't have much height.

"We don't have the big brute that will fill up the lane," Buchanan said. "We're pretty quick, we're athletic, but just because you're athletic doesn't mean you can shoot and make them all. We'll have to work hard for those baskets."

Senior Scott Hermreck (6-foot-3) was the 2008-09 MVP of Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division IV. Buchanan considers Hermreck, who averaged 15 points, 8.1 rebounds with seven double-doubles, a guard/forward.

"He's one of those kids where it doesn't matter if he's on the perimeter, sooner or later he works his way inside. He has good court sense to know where the ball is going to be, and he led the team in assists last year," Buchanan said.

Andale's other returners are seniors Ryan Bergkamp (5-9) and Mitch Schiff (5-11), and juniors Tucker O'Hair (5-10) and Austin Meyer (5-10), who started at point as a sophomore.

"We might have to look at a four-guard look," Buchanan said. "We have more experience at the guard position, and that's a definite strength. It will pay good dividends."