Twin towers Bobby Hain and Grant Pelchen power Jupiter's boys basketball team
Monday, January 16, 2012
by Jeff Greer
A new nickname for Jupiter High basketball's two big men has started circulating throughout the school's hallways in recent weeks.
They call Bobby Hain and Grant Pelchen "the Twin Towers" - and rightfully so. Hain is 6-feet -9; Pelchen 6-10.
No other frontcourt in the area has that size, especially when 6-4 slasher Mike Edgely and 6-5 reserve Angelo Goss are included .
But Jupiter's towers are more than just big - they're also the key reason the Warriors are 12-6, ranked among the top large schools in the county and considered a contender to make a run to Lakeland for the state tournament in March.
Even though the Warriors lost in overtime to rival Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night and to state-ranked Coral Springs Christian on Saturday, there's no doubting the potential of Jupiter, which plays its next game at Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"They change your entire gameplan," Gardens coach Jim Arbogast said before his team upset Jupiter. "You have to figure out ways to work around them."
While most teams usually have one big man Dwyer's 6-11 center Joel James or Wellington's 6-8 center Stephane Beneche, for example many lack a second big guy.
That means teams often put a player much closer to 6 feet on Hain, or they simply switch to zone defenses.
"It's usually a big advantage for us," Hain said. "The goal is to go out and try to intimidate teams."
Hain, a senior who signed a letter of intent to play for Youngstown State next season, is Jupiter's leading scorer with 19 points a game. In recent weeks, he's become dominant, scoring at will, even against Jupiter's very difficult holiday-season schedule.
What sets Hain apart from Pelchen, a junior and a more traditional post player who is averaging 8.5 points a game, is his European style of play.
The shaggy-haired blond plays inside and out, shoots the three-pointer with ruthless efficiency and slashes to the basket. He even played guard for his AAU team, Florida Family, a club based in Fort Lauderdale.
Pelchen, who played on the 10th-grade Florida Family team this summer, is a rapidly improving project.
The change between Pelchen's sophomore and junior years has been dramatic, and Jupiter coach John Andersen has fielded calls about Pelchen from coaches at FAU, Davidson, Elon, Furman and Jacksonville.
He blocked seven shots against Dwyer's James, who signed to play at North Carolina. In the 70-65 loss to Gardens on Friday, Pelchen had 13 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks.
Andersen compares his young center to James, who has turned himself into a legitimate big man during three years of development. Pelchen, who spent much of last year nursing injuries, dunks and looks to score more than he did a year ago.
"It takes a while for it to click with (bigger guys)," Andersen said. "You just have to be patient."
That patience appears to be paying off. Though Jupiter's hit a few bumps along the way - home losses to Gardens and Palm Beach Lakes and a 33-point rout at the hands of state-ranked Lake Wales among them - there's no denying the Warriors' capabilities.
And with the 'Twin Towers' manning the paint, Jupiter has the look of a team built for March.
"That's what we want, and that's what we're working for," Hain said. "We'll be ready for districts and everything after that."