ALTAMONT INDIANS
BY JACK BULLOCK
The Altamont Indians have had more than their share of highs and lows in the past five seasons under the tutelage of head coach Jon Niebrugge.
Altamont has a fine 89-26 record in that run with some hardware to go along with it.
However the big prize of postseason hardware has eluded the program in its history.
ABV thinks that could all change this season.
Coming off of a heart-wrenching 65-63 loss to Patoka in the title game of the 1A St. Elmo Regional last February, the Tribe rightfully should be thinking about taking that next step.
Coach Niebrugge has some good ones coming back to make a run at an extended stay in the postseason along with having a good opportunity to win every tournament they are involved in.
Ryan Armstrong (17.4 p.p.g.) is a four-year starter when this season begins and he has the credentials to ink his name on all area teams.
At 5-foot-10 this senior plays well above his height and is a dangerous offensive threat.
He also leads this club by example and surpassed 1,000-points as a junior last winter (1,189).
Armstrong should shatter the school scoring record this season (1,449).
His injury in the regional title game last season hurt Altamont's chances at winning a regional title.
“ Ryan is one of the better pull-up jump shooters I have seen in awhile. Anything around 15-feet, he is deadly. Defensively, he led us in steals and deflections, as Ryan is always around the ball. As the NTC MVP last year, we are now looking for Ryan to make the next step in leadership to carry this team along,” said Coach Niebrugge.
Three other players, who logged a lot of minutes for Altamont in 2015-16 return from the club that finished 23-6 overall and 6-1 in the National Trail Conference.
Six-foot-three senior forward Adam Mayhaus was a strong around the basket for Coach Niebrugge, grabbing 4.3 rebounds and netting 9.4 points a night.
Klaiton Wolff, a 6-foot senior forward, added 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds while back-court player Brandon Hosick, a 5-foot-11 senior, added 9.3 points, 4.1 boards and pilfered a couple of steals a game for a team that won the Vandalia Holiday Tournament.
Six-foot-five senior Evan Cornett played a lot of minutes for the Indians the past two seasons and he has been a mainstay in the middle.
He will help bolster and already solid rebounding team.
According to Coach Niebrugge, 6-foot-4 senior Sam Childerson has worked his way into the mix of players for Altamont, as has 5-foot-9 senior Drake Williams.
Six-foot-three senior Wyatt Stone, 5-foot-9 senior guard Jesus Flores and 5-foot-10 junior Mitchell Stevenson add to an already deep bench.
Look for Nate Brown to step in and help out. Brown missed half off the season as a sophomore but is healthy for his junior season, which will add to the depth.
Five-foot-eight sophomore Alek Biggs also missed part of last winter with a hand injury and Coach Niebrugge expects him to also contribute as a sophomore.
“We have a good mixture this year of experience and youth, youth that could step and help what we lost in graduation. Speaking of which, we did lose 30 points (our second, third and fourth leading scorers) and 13 rebounds a game (our top three). That’s a lot to make up. With Ryan and Evan as our lone returning starters, some big shoes are to be filled from a 23-win team. Saying that, I feel we have the players to do that with and be a very deep team. We will look to play 9-10 players a night and ride the hot combination,” said Coach Niebrugge. “Our defense and rebounding will determine if we win championships or just be a very good team again. The time when we concentrate on that side of the floor will be the time we hold a plaque they haven’t in four years.”
2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE

N20-25

Toledo Cumberland Turkey Tourney J16 @ Cowden-Herrick-Beecher City
D1 Vandalia J19 Patoka
D5 Newton J22-27 NTC Tournament @ Altamont
D8 Farina South Central J30 Flora
D19 @ Toledo Cumberland F6 Neoga
D22 @ Shelbyville F9 St. Elmo-Brownstown
D27-29 Effingham/T-Town Holiday Tournament F10 NTC/LOVE Shootout @ Cumberland
J5 @ Dieterich F13 @ Effingham St. Anthony
J6 @ Woodlawn F16 Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg
J12 @ Louisville North Clay F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD