PEEBLES – Tanner Arey’s name can be found among the leaders in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference in most statistical categories from the 2016-2017 season.
Now, entering his senior season, Arey is aiming to have an even bigger impact for the Peebles boys’ basketball team in hopes of making a postseason run.
“I’d like to play in college and obviously I have to do things well to play in college, but my main aspirations are for the team – make it farther than we ever have,” said Arey.
Arey finished his junior season averaging 19 points per game, the fourth best total in the SHAC behind teammate Camron Gordley (21), Lynchburg-Clay’s Eric McLaughlin (20.4) and Fayetteville’s Max Lanham (20). He did it shooting an impressive 46 percent from 3-point range, second only to Manchester’s Jamie Combs in the conference. Combs shot 47 percent from beyond the arc.
The 6-foot guard also shot 74 percent from the free throw line, the sixth-best mark in the conference, and came down with 5.3 rebounds per game, which was tied for the 12th-best total in the conference.
With another offseason of work under his belt, Arey and the team are expecting another strong season, but with Gordley now gone to graduation, he’ll likely have a target on his back.
“He’s been great the first few weeks of practice and he had an extremely good summer. He’s improved and he’s gotten physically stronger. He is beyond what he was last year at this point, so we’re pretty pleased with that,” said Peebles coach Josh Arey. “I think he’s going to have a good year. He worked hard and put a lot of time and effort into it, so we’re excited to see where he can end up.”
Besides being the go-to guy for Peebles, Arey is in another unique position – being coached by his father. While Tanner Arey is entering his fourth season, his father and coach, Josh Arey, is starting his eighth season in charge of the team.
“I enjoy it because we get to spend a lot of time together, but I don’t think he’s any harsher or anything like that with me,” said Tanner Arey.
“He’s told me at the house that he’s coach in the gym and he’s dad at home,” added Arey.
That separation became clear to a bystander, who also happens to be another member of the family, when it came time to take the team photo.
“It’s funny. As I was up in the mezzanine, Tanner yelled, ‘Coach, do you want in the picture?’ So when I came downstairs, my daughter was down there and she said, ‘Dad, he called you coach.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s all he calls me during games or practice,’” said Josh Arey. “I’ve always had a separation with that. I think it helped having my older son too. I don’t look at him any different than any other kid and it comes from experience being here long enough and being able to separate that and also talking to other coaches. [Eastern Brown coach] Rob Beucler has given me some good advice with that several years back.
“I guess from a dad perspective you are proud of your child, but from a coaching perspective it’s the bigger picture of he’s one piece of a larger puzzle that we have to keep trying to put together,” added the father.
Two other pieces of the puzzle will be Bostin Robinson and Weston Browning, who both return this season to join the senior Arey in the backcourt for Peebles. Robinson, a 6-foot-1 senior, and Browning, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, along with Arey, will be key for Peebles early in the season with an inexperienced frontcourt.
“I think we’re going to be pretty quick like we were last year,” said Arey. “Get it up and move a lot up and down.”
Peebles will be aiming for their first sectional title since the 2014-2015 season. That year, they were also able to claim a district title before having their season ended by Canal Winchester Harvest Prep in the regional semifinals, 66-53.
Reaching the regional level is something Arey would like to do his senior season, which will tip off on Friday at home against Whiteoak.
“I’m just looking forward to it,” said Arey.