In the Triton Regional semifinals, Canterbury junior Trent Van Horn drew triple teams when he drove the lane to create layup opportunities for teammates. But on the game’s final play, Van Horn was looking to play hero, but the ball was batted away and ended up in the hands of teammate Grant Sinn, who hit the game-winner at the buzzer.
Van Horn wasn’t as quick to share the ball earlier this season, but he is more willing to get his teammates involved as Canterbury plays in its first semistate game Saturday against Rockville.
He had this idea that he had to take on the whole team on his shoulders in the beginning, Canterbury coach Dan Kline said. Since February on, he has realized a good player makes other players good. That’s what he has done.
He still does a lot, but he realized to win he has to make other players good. There are still times he forces things, but good players do that. I realize that, and I can live with that.
Canterbury won the school’s first regional with wins over Pioneer 48-46 and Triton 64-60 in double overtime.
After playing sidekick last year to junior Austin Hatch, who has missed this season recovering from a plane crash in the summer, Van Horn has stepped up for the Cavaliers (19-6). Hatch, a Michigan recruit, averaged 23.1 points and 9.3 rebounds last year.
I knew we had to fill some holes, Van Horn said. Not only with Austin, but also with (the graduated) Michael Wiersma inside.
I just wanted to do what I needed to do to help us win games. Whether it meant scoring and other times distributing the ball and other times getting rebounds, I just wanted to help win games. That was my mindset coming into the year.
Van Horn is averaging 22.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Class A No. 9 Cavaliers.
One thing I noticed with Austin last year, playing alongside him, was just how strong he was and getting those rebounds and going back up strong, Van Horn said. So I worked at Spiece (Fieldhouse) a lot this summer, putting on some weight. I wanted to get as strong as (Hatch) was last year.
Van Horn has made a team-high 199 of 358 shots (56 percent) and 129 of 174 free throws (74 percent).
I tell him to not force himself into the game, let it come to you, Kline said. He gets the rest of the team involved, and he feels good about it. That’s the reason why we have won five games in the tournament, but we aren’t done yet.