South Carroll senior Jon Strebe knew all along basketball was the game for him.
Having a father who played and coached at the high school level has been a big help. And now the 5-foot-11 shooting guard is putting all he has learned into helping the Cavaliers reach the region playoffs.
"I've been playing since the third or fourth grade. Dad played in high school and introduced me to the game and it just clicked," Strebe said.
"We have a hoop at home and used to go at it pretty hard. In middle school, I beat him once in a while but now I beat him pretty regularly so he kind of shies away. Ask him and he'll probably tell you something totally different, but that's OK. He's really taught me a lot."
After a rebuilding year last year that saw a handful of new faces inserted into the lineup -- including Strebe's -- the Cavaliers (6-8) are looking to put together a strong run at the end of this season to get back into the playoffs.
Strebe's scoring will be a big key. He's among county leaders in scoring at around 15 points a game and the Cavaliers have come to rely on those points.
"He's pretty much our designated scorer," said South Carroll coach Jim Carnes.
"He's not a great jumper, but has a good knack of getting off his shot with head fakes and shoots very well off the dribble."
Strebe worked hard in the off-season to improve his game. He took advantage of access to a gym. And he said getting varsity experience as a junior was a plus in preparing for this season.
"Last year was big in that I got an opportunity to play. I averaged around nine a game and had a couple of good games," Strebe said.
"This year, I feel a lot more confident in my ability and what I can do on the court. I'm mentally tougher and more mature. I'm not thinking about things, I'm just doing them."
And that's fine by Carnes.
"It's been a surprise," he said of Strebe's steady scoring.
"I knew he could score, but wasn't expecting this much from him. The big thing is he's playing with much more confidence this year."
After graduating, Strebe, who carries a 3.6 grade-point average, would like to continue his playing career at a small college and study physical education in hopes of teaching and coaching. He's thought about staying close to home at Western Maryland College.
"I really love working with kids and think I can make an impact with them," he said. "I also love the game of basketball and think it would be a lot of fun coaching."
Coaching Strebe has been a pleasure for Carnes.
"He's the kind of kid that keeps you in coaching," said Carnes. "He's definitely dedicated to the game and enjoys playing in games and practice. He's also very intense."