Northeast Tarrant

Panthers boys basketball running the gauntlet before district

The Colleyville Heritage boys basketball team has taken its share of lumps this non-district season, and coach Stephen Hamrick said that this is exactly what he thought would happen and he is not concerned.

Colleyville Heritage went 0-4 in the Georgetown Tournament this past weekend and played Lake Highlands on Monday after the press deadline.

The Panthers will host Irving at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Colleyville Heritage High School, and Hamrick said that he expects a tough defensive game from Irving.

“Their coach [Steven Perry] does a great job,” Hamrick said. “His teams are very solid and very good defensively, so we are going to have to operate and execute to beat them. We can’t make mistakes, and we have to do the little things.”

The Panthers moved to 1-10 in the non-district season with their showing at Georgetown, but Hamrick said there is a good reason for that.

“We played some really good competition,” Hamrick said. “We were in every game but one. As a matter of fact, against Round Rock McNeil, the No. 11 team in the state, we lose by six and we had a chance to win it, which I was very excited about, especially since we have a young team.”

Hamrick said that he learned a lot about his team at the tournament and said that he purposely did his team no favors with scheduling in non-district so that it could run a gauntlet of sorts of talented teams before entering district competition.

“We’re getting better and we’re growing,” Hamrick said. “We have four sophomores and a freshman on our varsity. We lost about 95 percent of our scoring from last year. We have one kid back that played more than 15 minutes per game. Then we have three kids that did not know Coach Hamrick a year ago.

“So we’re putting the pieces together. This program is very different from what we’ve had in the past ... to be the best, you’ve got to go beat the best, and we are jumping right in the fire with some very difficult competition.”

Senior guard Kevin Ogega is the only player back whose role has not changed on the team from last season, and Hamrick said he expects Ogega to lead the way for the Panthers this season.

Hamrick said he will use this week off for building and working on little things to improve.