SHOOTER: Don’t make the mistake of sleeping on the Angola Hornets again during hoops season

Angola sophomore Dyer Ball shoots a free throw during Tuesday's sectional game against Woodlan at New Haven. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)

If Shooter knows one thing, it is how to learn from the mistakes of others. Angola is good and not just because I don’t want to be dinner.

During the fall, my hammy colleague The Pigskin Prophet was never on team Hornet. Maybe he was afraid of the sting, maybe he doesn’t understand pack mentality and maybe he just isn’t a good prognosticator.

But this frog, he knows good basketball when he sees it. Tuesday was no joke for an Angola team admittedly on a rollercoaster of a season when it comes to wins and losses. Their name was on the tip of all of our tongues last week when they upended a then one-loss East Noble team. Then they went ahead and lost to Lakeland of all people.

Two choices after that for Angola: curl up and die or fight back with that venomous sting.

I bet The Pigskin Prophet can guess what they did. Angola came out swinging on Tuesday like only Hornets can. They pinpointed their attack and swarmed. Shooter has long been a fan of Woodlan’s Aaron Hahn and will remain so into his potential college career. But he had no answers for Angola’s swarm on Tuesday. New Haven’s offense (65.7 points per game) may have no answer for Angola’s defense (38.7 ppg against) Friday night.

Yeah their shorts are a little short for Shooter’s taste and their jerseys a little tight. I worry a little that they may lose circulation.

But it also makes sense that their uniforms look old school because that is what Angola is: a throwback. A throwback to the blue collar, gritty, bust you in the face basketball of yesteryear. Shooter has no problem sounding like an old timer here: I miss that type of a game.

In a world where shooting threes half of the time and flash and flair draw oohs and aahs and mixtapes, either Angola hasn’t caught up to the Instagramed world or it has flat out chosen to be different.

Shooter likes that difference in a way that The Pigskin Prophet never appreciated on the gridiron. One of those football players, Braydon Hart, probably plays a big role in the conversion of that physical game to the winter months.

Shooter was most impressed by this tall, skinny kid who aggressively took the ball to the basket throughout Tuesday’s game. Maybe its because I don’t get out to the NECC as much as I could — I should have learned better during girls season — but I didn’t know who he was.

I didn’t know much about Angola basketball at all.

Then I saw him postgame and I pulled out my trusty roster (shoutout to New Haven assistant principal Becky Christensen for getting one printed minisized just for your boy). I ran my foot down to #24 and what did I see?

The name Ball.

Word is his dad was pretty good on the hardwood no matter what type of sport he was playing. But what has sold Shooter completely on this Angola team is Lloy’s son Dyer, who showed the type of finnesse usually reserved for anywhere but the United States when it comes to a basketball court.

So I won’t make the same mistake as The Pig. I truly do find Angola basketball to be inticing.

Also, I don’t want to end up on the grill during a Steuben County tailgate.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Shooter at nssports@news-sentinel.com.

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