Basketball teams look to finish season strong

From Issue 5 (Published Feb. 13, 2018)


This year’s boys basketball team has been very successful, especially in their win against JA on February 2nd. Coach Wise and Coach Goodman are very proud of their team. Coach Wise says, “Expectations were and are, every year, to see young men improve throughout as basketball players and as people as well as the team improve in the process of practice everyday. To that expectation, yes for the vast majority of our time that has been the case.”

As the team is wrapping up their season, this year’s senior night will be on the night of their last home game against Washington on February 13th. This year’s seniors are Pete Zouboukas, Morgan Williams, Hayden Perkins, Russell Weathersby, John Ahonatu, Andrew Beard, and Cooper Carroll. They have done an excellent job in leading the team this year and all the players and coaches will miss them next year. Coach Wise said, “I will mostly miss the closeness of the senior group and the friendships/relationships that those men share with each other.”

Trying not to favor anyone, the coaches often change their starting line up from night to night. These positions can be changed depending on the opponents and based on their effort in practice. They want to make sure that everyone gets playing time.

Coach Wise and the younger players are already preparing for next year’s season. They are planning on taking the season one step at a time on and off the court and making sure that the team will only progress forward.

As we all know referees can always be difficult to deal with, but this year the team has had no major difficulties with the referees. Coach Wise and Coach Goodman would much rather spend time teaching the players than being concerned about the referees. They have learned to realize that referees will make mistakes and there will be some bad calls but that there is no need to get riled up about it.

Given that it’s Coach Wise and Coach Goodman’s first year at prep, they have had an amazing season with a great group of guys that have gone very far with for just knowing each other for a year. They have most enjoyed watching the players encourage each other in any given situation. They are very proud of this year’s season and look forward to the final games.

As the boys’ team has done very well, the girls’ team is looking forward to their playoff push.  The girl’s season has been a back and forth fight for the team.  with numerous winning and losing streaks it has been an unpredictable few moths.  Despite the losses, there have been multiple big game wins and win streaks throughout the season.  It is also worthy to note that a lot of the teams’ losses have come by a very small margin and the bulk of their wins came in a very convincing fashion. This is good since this season is an overall improvement from last year.

There is also very little negativity surrounding the team. “The season has kind of been up and down for us. We’ve had a good stretch lately in conference play, winning two of our last 3 conference games. Right now we are 3-4 in conference play (*now 4-6) along with two other teams so we are all jockeying for those 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place spots,” said head coach Michael McAnally.

Despite a back and forth season, Coach McAnally’s girls are looking forward to ending the season in a commanding way and they are very optimistic heading into the Division 1 tournament that will take place at the end of February. “I feel good about where we are. We have been playing better in the last couple of weeks.” says Coach McAnally. Junior guard Lynn Redding describes the season as, “Though things didn’t start off our way, we progressively got better and continued to work hard and have fun while doing it, hoping it will pay off.”

One of the struggles that Coach McAnally thinks has hurt the team the most is inconsistent shooting and scoring. He feels that when the team is having a good shooting day they are pretty good and very capable of winning. He also describes the girl’s defensive play this year as good and one of the stronger aspects of the team. When the scoring and defensive ability are combined he believes that the team has a very good chance heading into the Division 1 tournament.

One setback is the inevitable loss of seniors Dakota Jones, Katie Walker, Sidney Wheat, Olivia Thigpen, Kiarri Little, and Hayley Hanson. Despite this, there are still a lot of talented juniors, sophomores, and incoming freshmen to carry the team and strive towards a women’s basketball championship this year and in the coming years.