Boys’ basketball returns

Team to host season opener tonight at 9


Bowen Burns

The boys’ varsity basketball team will open its season on Friday, Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. against Newman Smith.

The boys’ varsity basketball team will open its season on Friday, Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. at home against Newman Smith.

The team is fresh off an 18-17 season and a 73-60 loss to Guyer in the playoffs. Despite a few seniors graduating over the offseason, many of the players from last season are returning with additions from the JV team. Head basketball coach Toby Martin will enter his second season as he gets adjusted.

“It’s a lot different from the school I came from,” Martin said. “I was at MacArthur for 10 years and things kind of after year two run themselves. You get in a rhythm and the culture is built and so when I got here, these guys were great basketball players already and we just needed to toughen them up a little bit more and they’re doing a great job with it.”

The adjusting to culture hasn’t just been a challenge for Martin. The players have also had to work to find a common ground and adjust to each other.

“I feel like our mentality is way different from last year, because it was Coach Martin’s first year,” senior Adrian Banks said. “We trusted him, but we just didn’t trust him as much as we do now.”

This increased level of trust in Martin has allowed the team to elevate their play and perform at a higher level. 

“We’re playing a more physical style of basketball than they previously played, and the overall energy and effort is at a high level lately,” Martin said. “We’ve always been able to pressure the ball well.”

The energy and effort hurt the team last year in their playoff game as they started off hot but lost their touch coming out of halftime.

“I thought we played well in the playoff game,” Martin said. “Game plan was good. We played well for three quarters but coming out of halftime, we didn’t play well early on in the third quarter. So we’ve really got to concentrate and build on putting together four complete quarters.”

The early round playoffs loss was one of the hardest losses of the year for the team mentally.

“Last year’s loss, it hurt really bad because we knew we were capable of beating them, we just couldn’t push them and we were too tired,” senior Tre’Lin Green said. 

The hard loss, however, has allowed the players to grow closer and overcome the pain together, bringing them closer on and off the court.

“Almost every weekend, we go out with each other and just bond as a team,” Banks said. “We’re dedicated and trying to get further into the playoffs instead of just losing in the first round.”

The hard work and teambuilding the players and coaching staff has put in over the offseason is sure to leave fans excited for what’s in store this upcoming season. 

“The number one thing we want to do is win our opener,” Martin said. “Then of course we want to compete for a district title and go on to make a playoff run.”