There isn’t any place Crothersville senior Dakota Mount would rather be during the winter than in the gym preparing for his next basketball game.

And in the spring, he enjoys batting practice with the baseball team.

Mount is in his second season as a starter for the Tigers’ basketball team.

“I like being with my friends, and I just love the game,” Mount said. “You’ve got to go hard in practice because it makes the games go easier. Games are like a reward after you get done practicing all through the week.”

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On the hardwood, he plays either a guard or wing position on offense. No matter what type of defense the opponent is playing, Mount said he likes to take the ball to the hole.

“I’m more of a driver to the basket,” he said. “I can dribble left-handed, but I’m better with my right. If there’s too many defenders, I just kick it out to the open man. I would rather play against a zone.”

Mount’s high-point games have been 16 against South Dearborn and New Washington, and 15 against Rock Creek.

On defense, Mount prefers the full-court press.

“I’m more like the trap guy,” he said. “I’m normally on top or I’m down at the bottom.”

When he is at the front of the press, Mount said he waits for opponents to make the first pass in-bounds and then traps.

“When I’m on the bottom, I find the man that’s open and try to make sure he’s not going to get an open shot,” he said.

Mount listed the Tigers’ strong point as conditioning.

“We can get up and down the court because we run a lot in practice,” he said. “I think that helps us out, especially in the fourth quarter when everybody is tired and we’re still able to go up and down the court just as quick as we did in the first quarter.”

Mount said the Tigers need to keep playing hard in order to win more games.

“We just need to keep pushing the ball up the court and not slow down, don’t let up,” he said.

To help prepare for this season, Mount said it helped that the Tigers played in a league at Pekin.

“It helped me a lot,” he said. “I just worked on driving to the hole. That’s all I did.”

In baseball, Mount has played various positions, from outfield his freshman year to shortstop as a sophomore to behind the plate last spring. This year, he plans to again be the starting catcher.

He said the pitch he calls depends on what the pitcher’s best pitch is that day.

“We should definitely have good pitching this spring,” he said.

Mount said he studies a scouting report before a game.

“I tell our infield what the batter is best at, and I set the defense,” he said.

On offense, Mount said he typically bats in the top five of the lineup.

Like most hitters, he said he likes the ball down the middle. He said he has good patience to let pitches outside the strike zone go by so he can get walks.

“I’ve came close to hitting a couple home runs,’’ he said. “I’ve hit them off the fence.”

For the Tigers to have success this year, he said, “We just need to cut out our errors like we did last year and get a bat on the ball.”

In all athletics contests, Mount said you have to have a good mental approach.

“Just clear your mind, and you’ve either got to catch (a pitch) or make (a shot),” he said. “You’ve got to give it all you’ve got, and in the end, it should turn out good. You have to believe in your teammates 100 percent. If you don’t believe in them, they won’t believe in you. Teamwork is a big part.”

Mount file

Name: Dakota Mount

School: Crothersville High School

Parents: Darby and Sally Deaton

Siblings: Derrick and Matty

Sports: Basketball, four years; baseball, four years

Home games: “I love them. The crowd gets us pumped up, and that’s what we count on.”

Attending CHS: “I’ve enjoyed it here. Everyone is like a family here. Everyone has each other’s back. I’ll remember all the friends I’ve made. Sports have been a lot of fun, and I’ve given them my all every year.”

Plans after high school: Enter the workforce

Favorite away gym: Austin

Favorite food: Buffalo wings

Favorite TV show: “Tosh.0”

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan

Favorite team: Miami Heat

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