If Waite's boys’ basketball team wins the City League championship this season, the Indians' reserve players will have played a huge role.
Coach Dave Pitsenbarger's squad has already overcome a big hurdle in league play, knocking off preseason CL favorite St. John's Jesuit.
Heading into Friday's showdown against Rogers, the team that currently shares the league lead with Waite — both have 4-0 CL marks — the Indians (8-1) have a chance to control their own destiny in securing the No. 1 seed for the league's final four playoffs.
Pitsenbarger knows the depth of his squad will be crucial toward reaching that goal. Waite has not won a CL championship since 1953, when it tied for the title with Central Catholic and Woodward.
"We're a team," Pitsenbarger said. "It's not the coach or the player, it's us. It's a family. One night some guy's going to perform defensively, or offensively, or give us a two-minute contribution. If we can mix it in together and not be selfish, we're going to have a great season."
The last two games, including last Friday's thrilling 65-60 win over rival Clay, Waite's starting lineup included seniors Darius Glover and Dave Butte, junior Antonio Allen and sophomores Dishon Harris and Ke-sean Harris.
Evan Bauer, a 6-1 junior captain, started the first five games at guard/small forward and has since been replaced by Glover in the starting lineup.
"Bauer is a solid, fundamental player," Pitsenbarger said. "He is very dependable and he knows the system. He plays sound defense and he runs our offense and stays within the offense. When he does have an open shot, he has a good-looking shot. We don't feel hesitant to go to him.
Luke Murphy, a 6-5 junior, comes off the bench to replace Allen around the midway point of the first quarter. Allen is averaging 10 points and seven rebounds a game, and Murphy chips in four points and four rebounds.
"Luke's pretty physical and solid," Pitsenbarger said. "He matches up very well against some teams, and it's nice to have that option on the bench. He matched up well against St. John's; he was huge. He had 11 points and he has played a key role in two or three games this year."
Anthony Perrin, a physical 6-0 junior forward, usually comes in for Dishon Harris to give the talented sophomore a breather. Perrin averages 3.5 points a game.
"We don't drop a whole lot bringing Anthony in the game," Pitsenbarger said. "He's almost identical to Dishon with his fundamentals and post moves. When he plays hard, other teams have a hard time matching up with him. He has some great inside post moves and he's really quick."
Pitsenbarger has hope that Dominique Roundtree, a 6-1 sophomore, can contribute the rest of the season. Henry Newson, a 6-5 sophomore, is working his way back after an offseason ankle injury. He played three quarters in Waite's junior varsity game against Clay.
"We were hoping to go 11-12 deep and we started out that way, but a couple guys got hurt," Pitsenbarger said. "Tim Morehead, a point guard, hurt his back and has been playing two or three quarters of junior varsity ball the past two games and he seems to be coming back."
If the Indians manage to get to full strength, it should make for an interesting 2008-09 season in East Toledo.
"We just keep preaching that it's a team thing," Pitsenbarger said. "Everybody's going to shine. We tell them that if you don't execute something we want to do for a minute or two, that could mean the dif