COLUMBIA CITY — “We know everything about each other.” A statement that is typically exaggerated is quite realistic for a trio of Columbia City’s boys basketball players.
A group that knows each other so well, in fact, that all three of the Eagles’ leading hoopsters are going to the same college to play basketball. Derek Hinen, Daniel Woll and Drew Benedict have been playing basketball together since they were in third grade — and they aren’t sick of each other yet. All three have signed with Huntington University, just 20 miles south on Ind. 9, to play basketball next season.
Hinen, Woll and Benedict have taken turns as the Eagles’ leading scorers throughout the season, as opponents have struggled to defend the 12-1 team with a variety of offensive threats.
As many fans have said in the past, “Benedict has no range.”
Anyone who’s followed Columbia City’s team in the last three seasons knows that Benedict doesn’t hesitate to take a shot from 8 feet off the 3-point arc — and typically makes them.
Forcing defenders to clear the inside, Hinen and Woll go to work in the paint, with Hinen shooting 90, even 100 percent from the field with lay-ups, and 6-foot-6 Woll cleaning up the boards and dunking the ball.
“I know Drew is going to clear the lane out for me,” Hinen said. “If they don’t go out on him, he’ll put the 3s up.”
The versatility is something fifth-year Huntington Head Coach Ty Platt is looking forward to. “All three are very talented. All three have different parts of their game that we’re looking for and I think they’ll all excel in college,” Platt said.
With nine years — more than half of their lives — spent doing shooting drills, running sprints, winning tournaments, losing tournaments, along with all of the good and bad of the game, all three said they’re excited to endure the next four years together.
For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 8 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition . For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage  and find us on facebook .