Bradley Nettles is always talking on the basketball court.

Bradley Nettles is always talking on the basketball court.

The senior on the Westerville North High School boys basketball team isn't getting inside a player's head as much as he's talking about the weather, what's happening at school or just about anything that pops into his head. Nettles is out there having fun, which has been especially easy this season with the Warriors going 12-2 overall and 7-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

"Bradley's kind of like one of those first basemen in baseball who are always chatting with the baserunner," coach Kevin Thuman said. "He can strike up a conversation with anyone at anytime. He's just an outgoing kid and I think that helps him on the basketball court."

Communication is important for Nettles, the point guard for the Warriors. He sees the chit-chat as just being part of his job.

"Brad's really like a care-free guy," senior post player Ralph Hill said. "He's always joking around, but when it's time to get serious, he knows when to turn it on."

As Nettles sets up the North offense, Hill takes his cues from his teammate.

"Brad is like our general out there on the floor," Hill said. "He's gets us into out sets and is always talking to the coach about what defense we should be in and gets us into what we should be doing."

Last Friday, Nettles, who's 5-foot-11, had more problems than usual getting his team to work the offensive sets against Dublin Jerome. The Celtics fell into a 2-3 zone in an effort to take away North's inside game, forcing the Warriors to pass the ball numerous times before being able to break the zone for an inside shot.

Hill had 20 points and Nettles added nine points in a 55-42 win over Jerome.

"Being a leader is a big thing, keeping everyone together on the court and make sure they get open shots," said Nettles, who averaged 10.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals through 12 games. "We love to run with the ball and get out on the fast break and I think to get the ball to the hoop. With the kind of players we have, we have to be able to bang it inside."

Thuman said Nettles handles many situations on the court and has especially improved on the defensive end.

"He struggled some last year understanding some of our defensive concepts, but he has worked hard to get better and his knows his role a lot better defensively," Thuman said.

But even though Hill refers to Nettles as being a "general on the floor," he understands that he doesn't have the experience of four-year starters like Hill and forward Kenny DeBoer.

"Sometimes I like to ask Kenny or Ralph what I'm doing wrong or what I can do to make something better," said Nettles, who had limited varsity experience before becoming the starting point guard as a junior. "They have been around playing varsity ball for four years and they know what to do."

The game last Tuesday with Westerville Central was the 14th of the season for the Warriors, meaning Nettles and the senior class only has six regular-season games remaining before the Division I district tournament.

"Last year, we played hard in every game, but we knew in the back of our minds that there would always be next year," said Nettles, whose team lost to eventual state champion Northland 59-56 in a district title last season. "Now, when it comes tournament time, there will be no next year. When we lose in the tournament there will be no more high school basketball, and I'm not ready for it to end. We want to get a district championship and take this as far as we can."