Being thrown into an vital position as a sophomore level guard on the varsity crew can be intimidating for a lot of youngsters.
Not Andrew’s Athan Berchos, who is kind of snug being a significant participant for the Thunderbolts.
“There’s no stress,” Berchos stated. “It’s all enjoyable. We’ve obtained nice crew chemistry. Everybody likes one another round right here. All of them belief me, in order that makes it straightforward for me.”
Berchos has shortly develop into reliable on either side of the court docket.
He confirmed that Wednesday night time, scoring six factors, allotting 4 assists and serving to host Andrew power 25 turnovers in a 60-41 victory over crosstown rival Tinley Park.
Austin Kulig knocked down seven 3-pointers and completed with 24 factors to steer the Thunderbolts (5-4). Nathan LaPlant added 18 factors and 6 rebounds.
Indion Aurel scored 12 factors and Kendric Berry contributed six factors and 7 rebounds for Tinley Park (4-5).
Though Berchos is younger and experiencing his first varsity season, he’s already like one other coach on the ground, in response to coach Dave Wilson.
“Athan’s my right-hand man,” Wilson stated. “You want some extent guard that may go. He can go. He’s aggressive. He’s not intimidated. He’s obtained a world of confidence.
“It’s a luxurious at the highschool degree to have some extent guard who can go like he can. He works laborious, performs laborious. I like him to demise.”
Berchos got here off the bench however entered the sport simply two minutes in as Wilson utilized two models of 5 gamers, subbing incessantly in a mode much like a line change in hockey.
All through a lot of the second half, Berchos performed starters’ minutes, regardless of being in a reserve position.
“Every part Athan does impresses me,” Kulig stated. “This child is superb. He does every thing for us. He’s on the highest of our protection, urgent the entire recreation. He brings the ball up and will get us into our offense.
“He does a lot for us and he’s solely a sophomore, so he’s solely going to get higher.”
Andrew’s press rattled the Titans all night time. Berchos was usually the one wreaking probably the most havoc.
“Protection is every thing,” Berchos stated. “On our crew, all of us play collectively and we’re all unselfish.”
Wilson knew he had a particular participant when Berchos first obtained to Andrew however selected to let him get expertise on the decrease ranges final season because the Thunderbolts had a veteran crew that completed 20-8.
“I toyed round with utilizing him when he was a freshman, however I didn’t need to rush him,” Wilson stated. “I knew going into this summer season that he was our level guard.”
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Kulig, in the meantime, had the recent hand offensively Wednesday. He hit two 3-pointers within the first quarter and by no means regarded again, going 7-for-8 on threes.
“They have been falling,” Kulig stated. “I felt it in warm-ups. I used to be taking pictures fairly effectively. I obtained just a little trigger-happy, however I solely missed one.”
Main 28-22 at halftime, Andrew pulled away within the third quarter behind 10 factors from LaPlant and 6 from Kulig.
On the similar time, Berchos was thrilled to assist the Thunderbolts beat Tinley Park. And he’s discovered his residence on the basketball court docket.
“I’ve performed basketball since I used to be 5 or 6 years previous, since I can bear in mind,” Berchos stated. “My dad (Peter) performed. We each know an excellent quantity concerning the recreation, so it’s enjoyable sharing that collectively.
“I performed baseball after I was little, however ever since I got here to Andrew, I’ve targeted on the basketball program. I like taking part in basketball for this crew. It’s lots of enjoyable.”
Steve Millar is a contract reporter for the Each day Southtown.
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