Boys basketball: Noll’s Larry Crisler seamlessly taking on leadership role
BY RYAN HASKELL Post-Tribune correspondent January 31, 2013 11:32PM
Bishop Noll's Larry Crisler driving into the lane attracts 4 of Marquette Catholic's defense eventually passing it to Tyreon Gates who was waiting under the basket for a layup during the GSSC Championship game at Calumet High School in Gary on January 19, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
For Timeout Boys Basketball stats, standings and top 10, see page 47.
Bishop Noll’s Larry Crisler doesn’t bump his chest every time he makes a big play on the basketball court.
He doesn’t point to the sky or “pop” his jersey, putting the spotlight on himself.
And you won’t see him talking smack with his opponents, even though he’s proven to be one of the top players in Northwest Indiana.
No, Crisler likes to be more subdued on the court and let his game speak for itself.
That’s where he turns the volume to the max.
Crisler is averaging 20.4 points, nine rebounds and four assists per contest for the Class 2A No. 3 Warriors as his 14-1 squad takes on Highland (5-12) tonight at home in nonconference action. Crisler has shown time, and time again that all he’s interested in doing is winning as Noll has recorded 60 wins in 66 contests in his three years on the varsity.
The Warriors have also won three straight Greater South Shore Conference tournament championships and reached the Class 2A state championship game against Park Tudor (which they lost 43-42) since he’s arrived on the scene. The team’s final games against Valparaiso, Andrean and East Chicago should be a good barometer for Noll, heading into the state tournament.
Crisler is interested in exacting some revenge on Bowman Academy (if they meet in sectionals) and making another run at a state title.
The Eagles knocked the Warriors out of the tournament last season with a devastating 77-58 loss.
“I’m looking forward to a rematch because I know a lot of those guys from AAU and (grade) school,” he said. “The goal is to win state. We have the ability to do that. I think defense is the key. Coach (Drew Trost) always says defense is mental.”
Crisler has been a role player for the Warriors over the past two seasons with guys like Adonis Filer (Clemson) and Ronnye Beamon (Youngstown State) leading the way. But Crisler has never been afraid to make a difference on the court. He played vital minutes his first two seasons, averaging double-digits his sophomore season.
“The thing that’s really exciting is that he’s been so accepting of the role player mentality for the first two years though he had more talent... but he deferred to Adonis and Ronnye,” Trost said. “So it’s been fun to watch him have such a huge year and the team has kind of followed him.
“Even more important is the way he’s stepped into the leadership role. He’s a quiet kid but he’s really stepped up on and off the court as a leader.”
Crisler has also taken charge as the team’s point guard after two years as a post player.
“I think something he’s unleashed this year is his ability at the point guard position,” Trost said. “We kind of played him in the post out of necessity but now as a guard if he gets the rebound he’s going to take off with it a lot of times. He’s just incredible in the transition and he’s so hard to stop.”
Add guys like Matt Sandoval and Tyreon Gates in the mix and you’ve got a team poised to do some big things in the post-season.
But the fiery spirit inside Crisler that is going to take the Warriors to the promised land of that first state championship.
“I can’t stress enough just how much a competitor and winner he is,” Trost said. “He never played a second on the JV. Since he’s been at Noll, we’ve gone 60-6 and you see that in practice and in the offseason workouts that he just hates to lose. He’s a special player and special teams have one kid like that and it rubs off on the rest of the team.”