By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco’s boys basketball team won’t have two of its starters while the regular season comes to a close this month.
“Losing two starters in February is difficult,” Paul said.
Garrett Horn and Brayden Simmons are both injured.
Horn recently underwent shoulder surgery and will not return for the remainder of the basketball season. The star running back is expected to be ready to play football this fall.
Simmons suffered a muscle tear in his foot, and head coach Chris Paul said he will be reevaluated in a few weeks.
“For the immediate future — he is out,” Paul said.
Though Horn and Simmons aren’t offensive leaders for the team, Paul said it has been difficult shifting around personnel defensively.
“Our defensive rotations aren’t the same because our lineup has changed,” Paul said.
The Eagles will have a good opportunity to get repetitions with the new lineup this week, as the team plays four games — three on the road, between Tuesday and Saturday, when ’Busco hosts county-rival Whitko.
“That is helpful — we can only get so much better in practice,” Paul said.
Replacing Horn and Simmons as starters are Carlin Amber and Dean Stanley, who were two first-off-the-bench players for the Eagles.
“Those two have had good minutes this season, but it’s some of the next group of substitutes who haven’t,” Paul said.
Players such as Brayton Bonar, Joey Emenhiser, Eli Foote, Colin Mullins and Dusty Barkley have seen substantially more varsity minutes in the past two games, and will likely gain more experience in this week’s games.
The loss of the two starters didn’t appear to hurt the Eagles’ offense very much, as the team scored 113 points against Hamilton Friday. Both Dakota Barkley and Jalen Paul scored over 30 points apiece.
“I think losing the starters is something Dakota and Jalen notice, and they’re stepping their game up,” Paul said.
Senior night is next Friday when Churubusco hosts Eastside.
The sectional draw will be this Sunday at 5 p.m. The sectional will be held at Woodlan High School in Woodburn and runs Feb. 28-March 4.
For more coverage of Churubusco boys basketball, see pages 8 and 9.