| Mario Dippel is Player of the Month for the Crusaders.
By Cari Gallagher '93,
The Crusaders basketball team has sprinted out to an 8-3 start to the 2016-17 season, including a thrilling win at 4A Roncalli for the first time in 40 years.
The Crusaders hadn't beaten the Rebels on their home court since 1976. The team also scored victories over conference rivals Beech Grove and Speedway.
Mario Dippel, a Holy Spirit Catholic School product, has been one of the key players on Scecina’s team this year. His recent play led Head Coach Rob New to name him Player of the Month for December.
“Mario is a leader: He keeps the team grounded,” said Jason Kehrer ’88, Scecina’s athletic director. “Every program needs someone on the roster who can inspire the players to do their best, and Mario fills that role.”
“The Scecina basketball program has given me the opportunity to develop, not only as a player, but as a man,” said Mario, who also is a team captain. “I have learned to set goals, and to work my hardest to achieve them.”
This year’s team is benefitting from the experience of several other seniors, as well. Jayron Brooks is a defensive specialist, leading the team in rebounds, while Riley Carter brings speed and agility to the court.
Boys basketball is just one of 20 IHSAA sports at Scecina.
After celebrating the Christmas holiday with friends and family, the Crusaders in late December traveled to Jeffersonville, Ind., to participate in the inaugural Ted Throckmorton Memorial Tournament. Solidifying his place as a team leader, Mario was the Crusaders’ leading scorer and made the all-tournament team in the 16-team boys basketball tournament.
Coach New said Mario’s play at the tournament was one reason why he’s Player of the Month. He added that it’s also “the culmination of two-plus years of dedication and hard work.” Mario, he said, has conditioned himself and honed his craft to be the team’s sharpshooter over the past two seasons.
“During the tournament, which includes top competition from Indiana and Kentucky, Mario put together some tremendous stats for points and rebounds,” New said. “He caught the attention of the South with his seven 3-points against LaPorte on his way to his 23 points in the game.” During the tourney, Mario was 7-of-11 from the three and was just one three-point make from setting the school record.
“Mario is an awesome representative of the Scecina Memorial basketball program,” said New.