NEW FRANKLIN Manchester has its own version of the big three as Nick Beans, Jo Jo France, and Van Wallbrown comprise one the PAC-7 strongest contingents across the board on the hardwood. The trio is averaging nearly 43 points per game this season for the (11-7) Panthers.
France leads the way averaging 17.8 points followed, by Beans at 13.7 and Wallbrown 11.2. All three are seniors on veteran coach Gene Schindewolf's squad.
Beans, a 6-foot-4 post player, has elevated his game to a new level this year as his numbers are way up from a season ago when he tallied just 7.4 points per outing. He is also the team's leading rebounder averaging 6.5 per game, in addition to shooting better then 50 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the line.
"Nick (Beans) really worked hard in the weight room during the off-season, which has helped his overall game," praised head coach Gene Schindewolf. "He has very good post skills both left and right, plus he can hit the three ball. He's a fun kid to be around and is very intense during games, and works hard in practice."
Beans, who is also a football standout at Manchester (first-team all-conference) claims his training regimen during the summer has helped bolster his performance.
"I worked hard in the off-season and received some help from Mark Henninger, who played on the state championship team from Jackson," he said. "I've been able to develop my post-game, and am playing with a lot more confidence."
On the season, Beans has eclipsed the 20 point mark on four occasions and by no coincidence the Panthers are 4-0 in those games. He tallied 21 points against Wayendale (84-74 victory), Coventry (74-60 win), East Palestine (84-68) and Doylestown Chippewa (60-57). He also had a season-high 12 boards against East Palestine.
According to Beans, he believes this year's unit is one of the most talented groups he played on in his career.
"This is the best team I've played on," he said. "We all work together great, and everyone gets along well. This season has been a little disappointing. We lost some games we should've won by making too many mental mistakes."
As the campaign winds down, Beans foresees a strong finish and a nice little post-season run for his club.
"I feel we have an opportunity to play well the rest of the way," he said. "Coach (Schindewolf) has us well prepared for every game. We just have to execute better. The division we are in, and the region (Wooster) are winnable. I think this team can go far."
Upon his graduation, Beans will continue his athletic career at Norte Dame College (South Euclid) and play football for the Falcons of the Mountain East Conference. He plans to major in business administration.