Local Sports

Morristown readies for season debut with inexperienced roster, first-time coach

The 2021-2022 boys basketball season at Morristown was its first without any remnant of the 2018 state basketball championship squad.

Quinton Batton’s battle with leukemia did not make the season any easier.

The Yellow Jackets struggled to a 3-18 record in Collin McCartt’s only season as head coach. McCartt is now the athletic director at Morristown and rookie head coach Cory Kreiger stands firmly in control.


For more on Kreiger's background, https://shelbycountypost.com/sports/633656


“We want to be competitive starting out (the season),” said Kreiger, who was an assistant coach with the Brownsburg boys basketball program last season. “Our main goal is running our race and playing our best basketball come tournament time at the end of the year.”

Kreiger will start with a fresh slate with the graduation of Nick Stidham (12 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists as a senior) and the departure of Nolan Laster (16.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 apg).

What Kreiger has back is Batton, who will serve as an assistant coach with the program this season after missing his entire senior year.

“It’s good to have him around for us,” said Kreiger. “I’ve gotten to know ‘Q’ the last five to six months and he brings something to the staff that is good for our guys.”

The coaching staff’s top task is to find offensive production. Cade Mahin (4.4 ppg) and Chase Theobald (2.5 ppg) are the program’s two leading returning scorers.

“Chase battled through injuries last year so we’re excited to have him back out,” said Kreiger. “He is great in that leadership role.”

Mahin is a six-foot, four-inch junior forward.

“He is a high energy guy that has stepped into leadership very naturally,” said Kreiger. “I can’t say enough good things about his intangibles.”

The loss of Laster could be tempered by the transfer of 6-3 forward Jameson Palmer from Triton Central.

“We are excited to have him. He played in some big games last year for Triton Central,” said Kreiger. “His ability to be in a leadership role for us (is key). He brings that presence.”

Joining Theobald, Palmer and Mahin in the early-season starting lineup will be juniors Wyatt Marcum and Mathew Carlton.

Junior Noah Garthwaite adds experience to the bench. He will be joined by seniors Kamdyn Gaines and Trey Gooding and sophomores Jacob Hawk and Colin Kieninger in the sub rotation.

Morristown will need to be solid defensively and avoid shootouts.

“We’ve got height this year and I like our athleticism,” said Kreiger of Mahin, Kieninger (6-4 forward), Palmer (6-3) and Gaines (6-3) on the front line.

Offensively, the team will not rely on one or two guys to score most of the points.

“I like the motion guys making plays for others,” said Kreiger.

Morristown opens the season Wednesday at Triton Central, where Palmer was part of the Tigers’ sectional championship team in 2022.

“He is excited for the opportunity,” said Kreiger. “It will be a special night for him.”

For Kreiger, too.

“I’m not too nervous. I’m excited to get going. It’s been a long offseason through the summer and fall,” he said.

Morristown is the host site for the 2023 Shelby County Basketball Tournament in early January.

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