It's not like football. Not even close.
But if new coach Matt McCullough has his way, basketball at Kenton High School will some day be a lot more than simply an activity that takes place after that most important of all sports in the fall.
The Wildcats, who lost twice to Columbian last year, including one challenge for a Division II sectional championship, turned the table on the Tornadoes with a 51-41 win Saturday night.
"I saw a lot of good things in the summer, but it's tough because so much centers on football," said McCullough, who last year coached at Riverdale before taking on the Kenton challenge. "All these guys are football players.
"If we can just get them to gel a little more, really, the sky's the limit," he said. "They're very athletic and they believe. That's a big part of it. They're playing really hard, they're executing and they're playing unselfish. I think we can really put something together."
What the Wildcats have right now is a 5-0 record. A miner's cap might be required gear for one to complete the archival search for the last time that happened.
Aside from a season-opening 74-48 romp over Indian Lake, the path to victory has been somewhat of a plodding experience. But it has been successful.
Behind junior posts Grant Sherman and Noah Furbush, who combined for 20 points and 16 rebounds, the Wildcats had a power game that overcame their early failures from the perimeter. Kenton guards missed their first nine shots from 3-point range.
Aside from hair color and the fact that Sherman was a 4,000-yard passer this past fall, the two are hard to separate. Both stand 6-foot-4 and they are wide bodies.
"They're men. That's for sure," Columbian coach Bill Beaston said after his club fell to 1-3. "Their bigs are juniors and seniors and ours (6-foot-5 Derek Dryfuse and 6-foot-4 Cody Daniel) are sophomores.
"We're hoping our bigs develop into men like theirs one day," he said. "We battled but we're just undersized a little bit and we got thrown around some. It's good to have that experience because we're eventually going to be better because of that."
The Tornadoes stuck with the Wildcats through the midway point of the second period. Kenton led 13-12 at the quarter break and couldn't shake Columbian early in the second period as 3-pointers by Donovan Walker and Josh Flint helped the Tornadoes draw even at 16-16 and 19-19.
But Flint's shot, with 4:28 left, was Columbian's last score of the half. Matt Bahr and Colyn Blackford each hit 3-pointers as the Wildcats eased ahead 26-19.
The Tornadoes never recovered.
"For some reason, we've been having some sets where we just can't score," Beaston said. "A lot of it is shot selection. We tend to have a lot of one-on-one stuff right now, a lot of individual stuff and a lot of standing around.
"There's no question we're young and going through some growing pains," he said. "On the other hand, I'm a little disappointed in some of the guys who have more experience. We're not getting a lot of leadership right now. As a group, we're playing a little more selfish and we need to get to playing team basketball."
Blackford had a pair of 3-pointers in leading Kenton scorers with 13. Furbush added 12 and Sherman eight.
But where the offense was average, the defense provided an edge.
"Our goal is to hold the opponent to 40 or less, so those last couple of free throws they got (Walker with six seconds left), the guys were a little upset about that," McCullough said.
Daniel and Walker each had nine points to pace the Tornadoes. Flint and Bryce Lonsway each added eight.
"We've just got to get into more of a team approach where everybody's contributing and we're setting screens to set up shooters as opposed to this one-on-one stuff," he said. "I think once we get there, we can be a lot better and we'll see results. But right now"
Right now, Kenton has game, and an unexpected one at that.