Suits reaches 100 wins


Callie Hughes, Sports Writer

With a 71-50 win over the Mount Olive boys basketball team in Mount Olive on February 4, Suits eclipsed 100 wins for his coaching career. He is joining one other coach from Franklin in his accomplishment, Ned Seymour.

Suits first remarked that he had no idea that he was approaching 100 wins. “I hadn’t thought about it. The only reason I knew where I was was because the IHSA asked to send in records and I knew I was at eighty-nine wins at the beginning of the season. As the year went on I forgot about my win total.”

The Mount Olive win for the Vipers was a big conference win. The Vipers finished 4-3 in the MSM with a loss to Lutheran after the Mount Olive game. Suits credited the kids stating, “Their win helped tie in all previous seven years of players who helped put great effort into the program.” Suits also had high praise for his staff, “It’s neat to see that I’ve had lots of good players and assistants with me throughout these 100 games. You can’t win games without good kids and coaches.”

The Vipers have been hitting from all fronts since the Christmas break. The Vipers’ leading scorers are Luke Schumacher and Brenton Duffie. Brenton has been averaging about 18 points a game since the break and Luke has been slightly below with around 12-15 points a game. The two have been shooting at an efficient 50% clip from behind the arc. This high efficiency has led to added post opportunities.

Two other key players for the Vipers are Grant Marshall and Jackson Smith. Suits had nothing but great words for the two. “Grant Marshall has been a huge factor. I expected it, but him not playing much last year, as a freshman, has really surprised me. When he plays well we play well. His distribution of the ball has been key.” As for Smith, his words were the same. “Jackson has been somebody that we count on to get stuff on the stat sheet. If he doesn’t score he still gets assists, rebounds, and plays physical defense.” This kind of diversity is great on a team that is balanced. Any of the starting five can come out and have a deadly scoring night.

The Vipers played the Pawnee Indians in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A Regionals at New Berlin on Tuesday, February 19. They won by a score of 49-33 and were led by Bryce Rickert and Grant Marshall who each scored 15 points. They played the New Berlin Pretzels in the second round and lost 39-25. At the 3-point contest, Jackson Smith advanced to the Okawville sectional game with 9 makes. It takes places on Friday, March 1.