|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Newport Central Catholic post Ben Weyer (44) goes in for a score in a recent game against Newport. Weyer is a Kentucky Mr. Basketball candidate averaging a double-double of 22.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.|
Fort Thomas native Ben Weyer has recently been nominated to become the third. The Newport Central Catholic senior is averaging a double-double of 22.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as the Thoroughbreds own a 12-2 record. This includes 23 three-pointers on the season.
"It means a lot. Individual awards don't mean that much if we don't get anywhere (as a team)," Weyer said. "I'd rather win the region than win that, but it's pretty cool."
Weyer has helped the Thoroughbreds to three consecutive All "A" State championships and three straight 36th District Tournament crowns. NewCath has won the 36th District Tournament seven years in a row.
Kentucky has had the award since 1956. The last winner from the 9th was 2003 Highlands graduate Ross Neltner and the only other one from the 9th was Covington Holmes' Doug Schloemer in 1978.
"A lot goes into it. I certainly feel Ben is as good of a candidate as there is," said Ron Dawn, NewCath Head Coach. "It's nice when your best player works as hard as he does. It rubs off on the other guys. He's something special."
NewCath is once again in the mix for its first 9th Region crown since 2000. The Thoroughbreds lost to Holmes in the region quarterfinals last year and three years ago and lost to eventual state champion Covington Catholic two years in the region semifinals.
NewCath graduated four players off last year's team in post Drew McDonald, point guard Zack Pangallo and guards Seth Freppon and Grant Moeves. But junior guard Luke Moeves and sophomore guard Brennan Hall have stepped forward averaging 14.9 and 10.8 points per game respectively. NewCath has outscored opponents, 999-736 on the season.
"Especially in the last couple games, we've been playing great defense," Weyer said. "If we keep that up, I think we might be the best team in the region. The only way we get knocked out is if we hurt ourselves if we don't come out playing hard and don't play defense."
NewCath built its game around the post with tall players like Weyer, Drew McDonald and Jake Schulte in the past couple years. But they press and try to run up and down the floor more this year.
The Thoroughbreds take on Covington Catholic in the Bluegrass Classic at the BB&T Center at Northern Kentucky University on Friday. Game time is 8:30 p.m.
"It's pretty fun because we're a small school but everyone is pretty hyped up for the game," Weyer said. "It adds to it and makes it a lot more fun. It makes us want to play well. I'm excited about it."
Weyer comes from an athletic family. His older sister Maria played forward for the Highlands Ladybirds soccer team. The 2012 Highlands graduate helped the Ladybirds to their last region crown as a junior in 2010.