Catholic Central senior Galluch embodies Irish basketball program

SPRINGFIELD — Matt Mullen gets asked the same question quite a bit: “How good is Tyler Galluch at Catholic Central?”

The Irish boys basketball head coach and Catholic Central grad knows a thing or two about the program’s history. He spent his entire life around the program, starring on the 1990 Division IV state runner-up team — and he ranks Galluch among the best in recent history.

“We’ve talked a lot about this: ‘How good is he at Central?’” Mullen said. “To me, he’s the best player that’s been here in 20 years. You can argue longer than that and you can argue less than that, but what he does is that he does it without all of the celebration. … He embodies what we want not only in students at Catholic Central, but student-athletes.”

The senior is averaging 20.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks for the Irish (12-5, 9-3 Ohio Heritage Conference South Division), who’ve won nine of their last 10 games.

“It’s amazing to be able to play basketball here,” Galluch said. “We’re just looking to play as hard as we can and continue to get better and better and get ready for the tournament. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

For three seasons, Galluch was a key cog on a team that featured eight seniors in the class above him, including his older brother, Ian. Catholic Central won both the OHC South title last season and a D-IV district title, falling in the regional final to Botkins.

This winter, the Irish entered the season with just three players who had ever played a varsity minute.

“It’s been challenging starting out the year with a new starting five,” Galluch said. “It was tough. We had to learn how to play together. I think we’re finally doing that and we’re starting to play better together.”

Galluch has stepped up every facet of his game as a senior, Mullen said, including becoming one of the teams primary ball handlers and guarding the best player on the other team nearly every night.

“He’s done a much better job this year of leading,” Mullen said. “He’s not the yeller that’s going to be leading, but he’s taken some of those freshmen, sophomores and juniors and really gotten them where they need to be.”

Offensively, Galluch knows he can’t do it all by himself. He credited seniors Cole Ray and Ian Roediger with stepping up over the last few weeks.

“I’m just trying to get my teammates involved, draw attention and get others open,” Galluch said. “I’m just trying to make the right play on offense.”

The uptick in assist numbers proves he’s been making the right play a lot of the time, Mullen said.

Sometimes, he can’t help but ask him to shoot the ball more because a lot of the time, it goes in the basket. Galluch is shooting 64.5 percent from the field and 77.1 percent from the free throw line.

“He always feels like he’s shooting too much,” Mullen said. “I say, ‘Tyler, you’re shooting 65 percent from the field. You’re not shooting too much. I’d say you’re not shooting enough.’ He’s so unselfish. He worries about what his teammates think about him. It’s big to him.”

Galluch, who plans to play college basketball next season, will finish his career among Catholic Central’s all-time leaders in points, rebounds and blocks, Mullen said. He surpassed the 1,000-point mark during the Irish’s postseason run last winter.

“He embodies this school,” Mullen said. “He’s hard-nosed, he’s selfless and he does everything. He rebounds, he passes the ball, he can shoot the three a little bit this year. There’s not a lot of people who can stop him on offense.”

Galluch has scored 30 or more points three times this season and four times in his career. Mullen believes he could break the school’s single game scoring record of 44 points set by Gibson Smith in 1989, but the senior tells his coach to let the younger players get more experience at the end of games.

“That’s what you want out of a leader,” Mullen said.

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