Veteran laden Raiders squad seeks to end title drought

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Mitch Luckman and his Barker teammates are seeking to earn the Raiders first basketball title in over three decades.

Anchored by a quartet of veteran starters, Barker is off to a red hot 8-0 league, 12-0 overall start to the season as the Raiders take aim at earning their first boys basketball title in over 35 years.

Versatile senior Jacob Haight, who is averaging 18.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.5 steals per game, heads that veteran contingent.

That foursome also includes 6-5 senior center Bryce Moeller (8.6 point, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 blocks) along with the guard tandem of senior Mitch Luckman (15.7 points, 6.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals) and junior Christopher Sweeney (10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals).

“It’s an exciting group to coach and they are certainly well balanced,” said Barker Coach Dave Carson. “They’ve really done the job. And we have a lot of role players who have really embraced that role and they’ve done a real nice job for us.”

“We defend very well,” added Carson. “And we’re tough for other teams to defend with our backcourt set up of Mitch and Christopher on the drive or knocking down the three, with Bryce at 6-5 in the middle who can run the floor, and with Jake who is the most complete player in the league.”

Haight is also on the verge of becoming Barker’s career scoring leader. Currently with 1,187 points, he trails the Raiders all-time leader Bill Beilein (1,197) by just 10.
Barker currently holds a two game lead over runner-up Medina (6-2) just past the halfway point of the N-O campaign. The Raiders are scheduled to face Wilson and CSAT this week before hosting the Mustangs on Feb. 4.

Barker last captured a boys basketball title in 1978 when the Raiders won the Genesee Region League championship. It has been since the 1940’s that Barker has claimed a N-O league title.

“It’s a veteran group and these kids know what they need to do,” said Carson of the Raiders title quest. “They have a high basketball IQ. They really understand the game.”