Name: Zach Schutta
School: Burlington Central, senior
Sport: Basketball, senior
Why he was selected: Schutta led the Rockets to the championship of the 55th Plano Christmas Classic. The four-time all-tournament selection was named its Most Valuable Player this year, as he averaged 17.5 points over four games.
Schutta caught up with Chronicle sports reporter Jacob Bartelson to discuss his accolades, Burlington Central's upcoming schedule and more. Below is an edited transcript.
Bartelson: The Rockets reached the Plano semis the previous two seasons, and you finally got over the hump. What was the difference this time?
Schutta: Definitely just playing together as a team. I think we're a really close team. We know where we're gonna be on the court at all times. Also, our defense is really good for us. Our defense [gap-man] runs off of our offense.
Bartelson: Looking at the schedule, you have spent a fair amount of time on the road before the tournament. Are you looking forward to defending your home court?
Schutta: I miss playing at home. We've only had one or two home games so far this year. We're gonna have two this week, and then the Martin Luther King Tournament. I love playing at home. The atmosphere is always great for us students and all the fans that come out to watch us.
Bartelson: At this point in the season, have you felt like you guys have hit the stride of where you want to be, or is there a couple areas you're looking to improve these next couple weeks?
Schutta: I really think our [10-2] team right now is in a good spot right now. [Our] offensive execution sort of needs to step up a little for playoffs because during the tournament, we really didn't execute the offense very well and the other teams slowed us down. We couldn't run our transition offense very well.
Bartelson: Have you committed anywhere for college yet?
Schutta: I'm committed to be a student at the University of Missouri. Basketball won't be a part of it. I'm really excited to go there. When I visited, it felt kinda like home. I'm looking to study in the business college.