The HHS boys’ basketball team began its season with a bang Tuesday, knocking off Clarksville Northeast 56-13 and raising expectations for a strong year on the court.
Next up for the Commandos is Springfield on Thursday (Nov. 16). The game is away and begins at 6 p.m.
The Ville News recently spoke with Head Coach Clancy Hall and Assistant Coach Brandon Averitte about their outlook for this year’s varsity team.
Q. Based on what you’ve seen so far, how do you think the season will shape up?
(Hall) - Our players have been working very hard during practice and it has paid off during our three scrimmages. The team has played well together without egos or selfishness.
(Averitte) - I think we are ready to go, this team has had different competition these last three scrimmages. Through watching them, I think we’re ready.
Q. How many returning seniors do you have and who are some key players you are looking forward to coaching?
(Hall) - We have five seniors (KJ Ellis, Cooper Smith, Noah Owens, Vaughn Baldwin, Alec Kirby), five juniors (Zach Morris, Matthew Dorris, Cameron Stevens, Noah Taylor, Derek Kincaid) and nine sophomores (Drew Hohenbrink, Jackson Alford, Will Batson, Issiah Chandler, Carson Cook, Owen Lampton, Jacob Newton, Andruw Stratton, Jayden Stratton). All of our players have specific roles that they must accept in order for our team to be successful. ALL of our players are key players.
(Averitte) - We only have five seniors, and we have several guys that I think will contribute this year. It’s hard to only name one person but we are excited about Cooper (senior Cooper Smith) being back at the point guard position.
Q. What will the play style be like this year? Will it be more up tempo, or more controlled?
(Hall) - Our players enjoy pushing the ball offensively without sacrificing decision-making or shot-selection. Defensively, we will rely on man-to-man pressure with zone defenses mixed in certain situations.
(Averitte) - Push the ball up the court, absolutely. Our goal is to ultimately make the other team tired by the fourth quarter, and we are excited about our offense this year.
Q. A lot of players from last year are not back this season. How do you think this will affect the team?
(Hall) - Our only concern is the five seniors, five juniors, nine sophomores, and twelve freshmen that are committed to Hendersonville basketball.
(Averitte) - As far as people who have left, our focus is on this year. Our team is a younger group but very experienced, so I am excited for this season.
Story by Caden Watterson, Kennedy Tilson and Helton Porter