Mr. Fundamental

For The Tribune

On the hardwood, Austin Fish acts as Medora’s utility player.

Wherever Hornets coach Michael Leitzman asks Fish to play, he fulfills his duties.

“I rebound, block out and help get other people open,” said Fish, who has started throughout the season.

Story continues below gallery

This season marks Fish’s third year playing for the Hornets after attending Seymour his freshman year.

At 6-foot-4, Fish is the tallest member of the Hornets team.

“I rebound on both ends and try to fill my role on both ends of the floor,” he said. “I just try to do the fundamentals.”

He said the key to getting a rebound, if he doesn’t have the inside position, is to jump straight up and grab the ball without going over the opponents’ shoulders and getting called for an over-the-back foul.

On offense, Fish typically plays the high post and block.

“Mainly, it depends on what kind of defense the other team is in,” Fish said. “If they’re in a 2-3 (defense), I would rather be in the high post, and if they’re man, I would rather be on the block.”

For Fish, using that strategy is easier for him to get open for a jump shot or a layup.

“If I’m on the block, I would rather be on the left side of the lane,” said Fish, a lefty. “In the high post, it doesn’t matter.”

Whether it be zone or man defense, Fish pursues points with aggression.

“You get more looks in a zone, but either way, we have an offense that we can attack both of them,” Fish said.

This season, Fish’s high-point games were 13 against Indianapolis Manual and 10 against Union (Dugger). His high-point game last winter was 12 against Crothersville.

On defense, Fish prefers to play tight in a full-court press.

“The more we can pressure the ball, the better it is because the more likely they are to turn it over,” Fish said.

The Hornets play both man and zone defenses.

“I feel like I’m better in a zone. I’m in the middle in our 2-3 zone,” Fish said.

All of the Hornets’ successes start after school in practice.

“The more time you spend in the gym working on everything, the more improved you will be and likely you’ll be to win,” Fish said. “I mainly work on rebounding and defense and making other people better so that can translate into the game so everybody is getting better, not just a few people.”

Transferring to a much smaller community, in Medora, Fish has enjoyed playing on the court the past three years and attending the small school.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to play with friends and being able to come in and start over and make friends and get to know everybody and meet a lot of new people,” Fish said.

Fish said all athletes, including basketball players, have to believe in their ability.

“Basketball is 80 percent mental, at least,” Fish said. “If you turn the ball over, you can’t hang your head and get down. If you miss a shot, you can’t hang your head. You always have to keep your head in it. If you hang your head, you’re going to constantly keep thinking bad things, then you’re not going to get any good out of it.”

On the hardwood

Name: Austin Fish

School: Medora High School

Parents: Judd Fish and Amy Blair

Siblings: Bryant and Judd II

Sports: Basketball, three years; golf, one year

Home games: “I like home games a lot better than road games. I like the home environment, and we’re more used to the gym, and we have more fans.”

Schedule: “We play a lot of higher-caliber teams that are sectional material that we could see in the sectional, so that helps come sectional time.”

Attending MHS: “I like the small-school environment a lot. I’ve enjoyed all of it. Everybody knows everybody. It’s gone by a lot faster than what I thought. I’ll remember all the friends I’ve made and all the new people I’ve met. I’m going to miss it all. It’s been fun, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I’d do it all over again.”

Plans after high school: Enter the workforce

Favorite away gym: Orleans

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”

Favorite singer: Luke Bryan

Favorite movie: “8 Seconds”

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan

Favorite team: Chicago Bears

Favorite quote: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Upcoming boys basketball

Friday

Seymour (5-11) at Madison (9-5)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Floyd Central def. Seymour 58-51, Madison def. North Harrison 77-49.

Series past 30 years: Seymour 17-13

Most recent meeting: Madison won 61-58 on Feb. 7, 2014

Christian Academy (15-4) at Trinity Lutheran (14-4)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. Paoli 82-64, Christian Academy def. Providence 52-46

Series past 30 years: Christian Academy 8-3

Most recent meeting: Christian Academy won 56-49 on Feb. 7, 2014.

Clarksville (2-14) at Brownstown Central (14-2)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Brownstown Central def. Corydon Central 53-36, Clarksville def. Southwestern (Hanover) 51-42.

Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 26-7

Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 56-48 on Feb. 10, 2014.

Crothersville (5-14) at Henryville (7-8)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. Crothersville 78-55, South Central (Elizabeth) def. Henryville 50-48.

Series past 30 years: Henryville 26-16

Most recent meeting: Henryville won 57-44 on Dec. 23.

Medora (6-12) at Indiana Deaf (12-4)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Medora def. Cannelton 58-40, Indiana Deaf def. Indiana Math and Science 75-68.

Series past 30 years: Indiana Deaf 3-2

Most recent meeting: Medora won 60-59 (OT) on Feb. 21, 2014.

Saturday

Medora (6-12) at Crothersville (5-14)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Medora def. Cannelton 58-40, Trinity Lutheran def. Crothersville 78-55.

Series past 30 years: Crothersville 54-13

Most recent meeting: Medora won 62-41 on Dec. 5.

Trinity Lutheran (14-4) at New Washington (7-10)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. Paoli 82-64, New Washington def. Switzerland County 68-60.

Series past 30 years: New Washington 5-4

Most recent meeting: Trinity Lutheran won 74-53 on Feb. 8, 2014

Salem (7-9) at Seymour (5-11)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Floyd Central def. Seymour 58-51, Salem def. Eastern (Pekin) 74-58.

Series past 30 years: Seymour 15-6

Most recent meeting: Seymour won 66-64 (2OT) on Feb. 8, 2014.

Upcoming girls basketball

Today

Seymour (17-5) at Bedford North Lawrence (20-0)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Austin def. Seymour 73-71, BNL def. Bloomington North 87-22.

Series past 10 years: BNL 8-6

Most recent meeting: BNL won 68-38 on Feb. 8, 2014.

Saturday

Crothersville (13-10) at Clarksville (4-17)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Crothersville def. Rock Creek Academy 69-36, Charlestown def. Clarksville 68-20.

Series past 10 years: Crothersville 3-0

Most recent meeting: Crothersville won 47-28 on Nov. 15, 2014.

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