by Michelle Brooks | staff writer
After their loss in the first round of playoffs last year, the boys basketball team has been preparing to make a comeback this year. Some of the hard work they’ve put in is already beginning to show.
“We really improved over the last month or so. We’re extremely young. We have 3 seniors so, we got a lot of guys that are new to varsity, so it’s taking us some time,” head coach James Keller said. “So, we’ll get a good look this first Saturday, just like you guys. We’ll be able to tell a lot at that point.”
Because they are young, Keller has a few strategies to help the new additions adjust to the new pace of varsity games.
“We’ve kind of been trying to push the ball up some and try to score a lot in transition instead of just walking it up like we done in the past. Being a little smaller, we’ll try to press a little bit and try to get out and run,” Keller said. “Try to speed up the other team up, and try to create some open shots and some scoring opportunities with our transition and our defensive presses and stuff.”
The speed of the game will be as smooth as the amount of chemistry between the players.
“That’s one thing me and Coach Schuster talked about today. We got a bunch of guys that really like each other and that’s a huge chemistry I feel in high school athletics is huge,” Keller said. “So, I feel like right now, I think we don’t have any chemistry issues. We got 12 guys that like to play together. I think that’s a plus for us right now.”
This chemistry is at its highest point when the boys are performing on the court.
“It’s okay. The people that know each other hang out with other people they know. But, we all get along. Even though we don’t hangout with each other outside of the court, we get along when we are on the court,” junior Tyrese Rodgers said.
Through hard times, the chemistry will falter but, ultimately, it will remain strong.
“Sometimes, it’s a little rough when we get frustrated but, for the most part we do. We do get along,” junior Sam Baez said.
Although Keller isn’t worried about the chemistry, there are other parts of the game that he needs a further look at.
“We’re kind of in the unknown area right now. We look pretty good at times. And then, other come out every night,” Keller said. “We had some guys last year that we knew what they would give us every night. This year, that’s still kind of yet to be seen. Hopefully, in the next two to three weeks, we’ll figure that out.”
To maximize the experience of the young players, Keller will not compare them to former teams.
“We try not to, as a coach, we try not to compare teams. But, we’re just so much younger , we were very senior oriented last year,” Keller said. ”We had nine seniors when this year we only have three. These youngsters are just gonna take a little time, you know what i mean. It’s kinda yet to be seen. Like I said, we try not to ever compare them if we can.”