Football season was not kind to boys basketball coach Eric Ebrens.

Two of his expected starting five, both seniors, received season-ending injuries during the football season.

Clayton Spurlock was expected to be the leading scorer this season. He was during the few games he was able to play his junior season before he went out with an ACL tear during the last basketball season.

He had another ACL tear during football.

Bogan also injured his knee during football. The starting quarterback on the football team, he was also the quarterback on the basketball team by playing point guard.

Because of that and other factors beyond his control, he has three players with extensive varsity experience on his 2019-20 team, and they are two sophomores and a junior: sophomores Bridger Bolos and Chad Cox and junior Lucas Stacy.

Aden Gerrian, a quick sophomore guard who can shoot from outside, is also back but cannot play until January 2020.

With Spurlock and Bogan unable to play, Ebrens has just one senior on the team, Drew Dixon. Dixon lettered on the varsity last season, but his minutes were limited.

“(The injuries) are out of our hands,” Ebrens said.

What the lack of returning starters means is the team is going to struggle with depth, Ebrens said.

However, that is offset by quickness and versatility, Ebrens said.

“We have some versatile guys,” Ebrens said.

During the scrimmage with Winchester, Saturday, Nov. 23, (see related article) Franklin County did a lot of switching on defense.

“You have Lucas (Stacy) who can guard all five positions,” Ebrens said. “You’ve got Chad (Cox). He can guard four positions and Bridger (Bolos). So, we have a lot of versatility in our defense and in our offense. That’s a strength.

“I think we’re going to be fairly balanced with our three guards: (Bolos, Cox and freshman Brant Ertel),” Ebrens said. “They may take turns being leading scorer every other night.

“They will be quick,” he continued. “(Bolos) had a good football year and hopefully, that will carry over into basketball.”

FC’s tallest player is 6-4 sophomore JD Stokes. Cox and Stacy are 6-3. Only one other player, freshman Brant Ertel, is more than 6-0. However, Ebrens said height is not really an issue for his team.

“Height is a little bit of an issue, but that’s also an advantage in our versatility offensively in that we can spread the floor and draw the big guy out,” Ebrens said. 

One concern for Ebrens, with such a young, inexperienced team, is consistency.

During the scrimmage, the team seemed to play well in spurts and then go away in spurts.

“Our lack of consistency is a weakness,” Ebrens said.

According to Ebrens, he is not going just man-to-man or zone this season. Instead, he will base his defense on a game-to-game basis depending on his opponent.

Ebrens is expecting big things out of freshman Brant Ertel.

Brant joins his brother, junior Garrett Ertel, on the varsity roster.

Ebrens said Brant impressed him during Saturday’s scrimmage. 

“Brant Ertel did a nice job, going from playing against eighth graders to varsity competition, he held his own,” Ebrens said. “That was a good sign to see.”
FC begins the regular season by hosting Milan Tuesday night, Nov. 26.

Tipoff is 7:30 for the varsity game, and 6 p.m. for the junior varsity.