Medora’s Tristan Newcomb doesn’t have a preference where he plays when entering a basketball game.

“I play center or power forward,” he said, “I’ll play anywhere. I just want to play. Basketball is something to keep me busy, and I just love the game.”

Newcomb has spent a lot of time in the Medora gym in the past 12 years.

“I started in first grade in Biddy Ball,” Newcomb said.

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This season, the Hornets are playing under first-year coach Michael Leitzman.

Leitzman brings a different mentality and work ethic to

the team.

“Practices are a lot tougher (than in the past),” Newcomb said. “They are just more physical, and I feel like I’m getting better every day.”

He suffered a broken leg his freshman year then played on the junior varsity as a sophomore. Last year he split his time between junior varsity and varsity.

His best scoring performance this season was 10 against Crothersville.

Newcomb said he feels like the Hornets can have success defensively playing both man and zones. On the offensive side of the ball, the senior adapts to the matchups.

“It depends on height and stuff,” Newcomb said. “I’m actually more comfortable shooting a 3-pointer than a layup. Between the top of the key and the right side is my favorite spot. We’re running a motion offense against

man defenses.”

The Hornets switch between man and zone defenses during games.

“I would rather play man,” Newcomb said. “I like playing on the block. If they throw an elbow at me, I’ll throw

one back.”

He said another area he

feels he can help the team

is rebounding.

The Hornets are 3-4 heading into the Edinburgh Holiday Tournament, where they will face Indianapolis Lutheran and Jac-Cen-Del in pool play.

“We want to bring home a trophy,” Newcomb said. “That would be nice.”

The senior says the Hornets are capable of topping their eight-win total from last year and having a winning season.

“I think we need to slow down a little bit and let it come to us. We need teamwork and patience.”

Newcomb is one of four seniors on the varsity team.

“We have pretty good leadership,” Newcomb said. “Kirk (Stewart) is the vocal leader. I show leadership, but I don’t speak out like he does.”

In the spring, Newcomb was a member of the track team for two years, where he threw the shot put and discus.

Newcomb said you have to have a good mental approach to any sport.

“It’s very important. If you lose your head and get mad at yourself, you won’t play good,” he said. “That is what has happened to me in the past. I need to keep calm.”

Attending Medora has been a positive experience, Newcomb said.

“There’s a lot to like here,” he said. “I like the one-on-one you get with the teachers. That is nice, and you know everybody. I’ll remember all the friends I’ve made. That (five-game) winning streak we had last winter was probably most memorable so far.”

On the hardwood

Parents: Jerrielynn Burnett, Chris Newcomb

Sibling: Freedom, Ashton

Sports: Basketball 3 years, track 2 years

Organizations: Student Council, Beta Club, Letter M Club

Home games: “They’re really fun, especially homecoming and the Crothersville game when we have big crowds to play in front of.”

Favorite away gym: Orleans

Attending MHS: “There’s a lot to like here. I like the one-on-one you get with the teachers. That is nice, and you know everybody. I’ll remember all the friends I’ve made. That (five-game) winning streak we had last winter was probably most memorable so far.”

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana State University, study business

Favorite food: Tacos

Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”

Favorite athlete: LeBron James

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

Favorite quote: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.