Vero Beach Newsweekly (Dec. 15, 2011)
Vero Beach News Weekly Issue 37
BY MICHAEL BIELECKI VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY Heading into the 2011-2012 sea- son,expectations were high for Vero Beach High School Basketball Coach Chuck Loewendick. After 24 years at the helm, it would almost be wrong to expect anything less from a coach with a 489-190 ca- reer record at Vero Beach. e Fighting Indians were 3-1 headinginto play this week with a game against a strong Martin County team. is would be cause for con- cern under most circumstances, but Vero Beach’s loss was to Orlando Christian Prep -- which boasted a pre-season ranking of 41st in ESPN’s Powerade Fab 50 national ranking system. Loewendick’s teams traditionally are built upon superior defense, ball control and pre-season conditioning --andwith a front line that tops out at around 6-foot-3, this team is right inlinewith the teams from the past. Butwhat really stands out about this year’s unit is the senior leadership. “Withalotofseniors on the team this year, there is such a high level of trust between us all,” said senior for- wardLance Roache. “With all of the experience we have playing with one another, every single one of us out thereknows where each other is go- ingto be at all times. Knowing that abouteach other makes us a much better team.” Roache, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound bruiser, and senior forward Dwayne Hoilett, a 6-foot-3 230-pound ath- leticspecimen, played tight end and defensive end respectively on the school’s 9-2 football team. Rounding outthe front line rotation are senior 6-foot-3 center Cedric Mayes and 6-foot-1forward Paul St. Mary. Roache and St. Mary are the unit’s effort players, setting picks, play- ingtough low-post defense and col- lecting offensive rebounds. Mayes and Hoilett provide inside scoring andshot blocking to this undersized groupofpost players. ebackcourt is fast and athletic, boastingtwoofthe football team’s top three receivers in Charlie Miller, 5-foot-11, and Jeremy Bell, 5-foot-10. Miller, who averaged 20 points, four assistsandthree steals per game last year, is the catalyst that sets the tone for the team on both offense and de- fense. “We have the most experience and talentevery time we step onto the floor in district play,” Miller said. “We’re two-time defending district champions and we intend on playing like it all year.” Miller, who shares the point guard duties with Bell, is an excellent ball handler, a good t3--point shooter and candunk to finish off his drives to the basket. In short, he plays about six- inches taller than he is, thanks to the solid-rocket boosters he calls legs. Bell is known for his hounding man-to-man defense. Few players arefaster with the basketball in their handandheruns Loewendick’s team toperfection. It seems no matter howfastheplays, Bell never seems to tire or slow down. JamarioLambert, standing a lanky 6-foot-2, is the team’s swingman. Depending on who is on the floor, he’s athletic enough to play guard and plays above the rim enough to playforward. Lambert has one of the team’s two 20-point games so far this year (Miller has the other) to go along with a handful of rim-rattling, crowd-pleasing dunks. Senior shooting guard Nick Mc- Goye provides 3-point shooting and another ball handler off the bench, with sophomore guards Javonte Bagley, Brandon Shaw and Will Dawkinsall ready to step into the ro- tation in case of an injury. Mostof this team has been play- ing together since middle school, so great team dynamics is a given. They play the fierce man-to-man defense their coach demands of them and they have some very ex- plosive athletes which can some- timesmake their defense seem im- penetrable. Inaweak, three-team district, it is all but a sure thing they will advance past either Treasure Coast or St. Lu- cie West Centennial. e only thing keeping the Fighting Indians from reaching the state’s final four could be it lack of height. ConnorMoore contributed to this story. ^AC?;= VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY ! DECEMBER 15, 2011 ! 34 VBHS boys hoops looking for 3rd consecutive district title PHOTO BY SAM WOLFE Jamario Lambert plays both guard and forward for Vero Beach High School.