Southlake Journal

January 6, 2014

Panthers look to put slow start behind them

GCISD Boys Basketball Despite an 0-3 start to district, the team is improving and still has a shot at the postseason, its coach says.

The Colleyville Heritage boys basketball team moved to 0-3 on the season on Friday night with a 60-52 loss to Irving MacArthur, but with 11 games to go and the Panthers showing steady improvement, the district race is still wide open.

Colleyville played Irving on Tuesday night after the press deadline and will square off with Irving Nimitz at 8 p.m. on Friday at Colleyville Heritage High School.

“They are well coached, and they're an experienced team,” coach Stephen Hamrick said. “They return just about everybody from last year. They have two 6-5 twins that are very athletic and score around the basket and are good in transition. They also have a good, solid guard that is playing well. We've got to do a good job of not allowing easy buckets in transition and offensively, we have to execute.”

The Panthers lost to MacArthur by eight points on Friday night, and Hamrick said his players were sluggish to begin with.

“We got off to a slow start,” Hamrick said. “Offensively, we turned the ball over our first couple of possessions and allowed some easy run outs that really let them get going. We just didn't get off to a good start. Once we settled in, we got a little better and started to execute better.”

Hamrick said that his assessment of the team early on in district competition is pretty positive.

“I think we are getting better,” Hamrick said. “We've plugged some holes offensively where we've struggled. We've made improvements in terms of guarding the ball, and this district is still wide open. There are still a lot of basketball games left and this thing is a long way from being over with. We've just got to play better.”

Hamrick said for his team to turn the corner and start picking up some wins, it will take a couple of things.

“I think it is about stringing possessions together,” Hamrick said. “You've got to do that offensively and defensively in a positive way. If you are going to be good offensively, you've got to value the basketball and you've got make every possession count and operate very efficiently.

“Defensively, I think you have to rebound the basketball, but you also have to make people put up contested shots, and not allow people to get easy buckets in the paint. If we do those things, I think we can have success.”

•  Over at Grapevine, the Mustangs lost to Irving on Friday night by a score of 56-55.

Bryce Hill led the team in scoring with 17 points, while Devonta Jones added 14 points.

Daniel Eibel, Kirby Simon, Bryce Batchelor, Nick Ehringer, Andrew Lastinger and Tanner Scovic combined for 24 points in the game.

Grapevine will play at Trinity at 8 p.m. on Friday.

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