BASKETBALL SEASON READY TO TIPOFF…
By Jon Whittemore
As the temperatures begin to cool and the sun sets sooner, as football teams are speculating about playoff seedings, and as Thanksgiving is arriving and the grass has stopped growing…it could mean only one thing: basketball season is fast approaching. As October draws to a close, both of the local high schools are busy preparing to start the season. Here is a quick preview of what to expect from the Patriots and Eagles in the 2018-2019 season.
Both Georgetown High and East View High will be competing in District 18-5A. Other district teams are: Hutto, Elgin, Bastrop, Manor and Clear Creek.
East View Lady Patriots:
Coach: Dave Walla, Record – last season 14-16/7-9 district
Players to watch: Posts – Alex Stone (6’3) and Portia Leathers (6’2), Wings – Lily Brown (5’7) and Cassidy Salyer (5’6), Guards – Mary Brown (soph), Sarah Workman and Elizabeth Daniel.
Notes: Coach Walla’s team has good size but will have to compensate for the graduation of a strong senior class. Lily Brown is the top returning scoring option but should get ample help from senior Cassidy Salyer and the inside presence of Stone (2nd All-Dist) and Leathers. Workman and Daniel will be expected to contribute both minutes and production. The defense should be dependable. “We use a variety of defenses that tend to frustrate our opponents. Defense will be the key to our success,” noted Walla.
Georgetown Lady Eagles:
Coach: Rhonda Farney, Record – last season 26-8/13-3 district
Players to watch: Forward – Jaelyn Knight (5’11) and McCall Hampton (5’9), Post – Jade Smith (6’1), Guards – Kylie Ellsworth (5’6), Ali Isbell (5’6), Hailey Smith (5’6) and sophomore Graci Harris.
Notes: Coach Farney has a lot of tradition and success to build on and should field another playoff quality team. With two players expected to draw college recruiting attention (Knight and Smith), the talent level is evident. Knight is the top returning scorer and Hampton was leading the team in rebounding before going down with injury early in the year last season. Harris (5’6) was the leader of an excellent freshman team that won district on the 9th grade level. “We had a lot of injuries last year that caused this returning group to accumulate a lot of minutes and experience,” reported the coach. “Our depth should be an advantage.”
East View Patriots:
Coach: Jason Jones, Record – last season 14-18/4-12 district
Players to watch: Wing – FaRon Williams (6’3), Guards – Luis Gonzalez (6’1), Yael Erazo (6’1) and Mark Rodriguez (5’9).
Notes: Coach Jones is expecting an increase in results from this group as he begins his fourth season at the helm of Patriot basketball. “We understand the system,” he points out. “We’ve adopted a motto of ‘Protect the Culture’ and this group plans to do just that.” With the development of All-District performer Gonzalez (SR) and the continued improvement of PG Rodriguez (Hon-Men), the team should be in position to vie for a playoff spot. “We’ll try to move the ball up the court offensively and aggressively pressure the ball on defense,” adds Jones. Team strengths are strong leadership, good athleticism and overall team quickness. Concerns are relative lack of height, a tough schedule, and the fact that their “break-through year” has not happened yet.
Coach: David Canfield (2nd season), Record – last season 10-20/7-9 district
Players to watch: Posts – Spencer Coats (6’4), Landry Woods (6’5), Guards – Caden Ueckert (5’11), Garrett Campbell (5’11), Hunter Krivokucha (6’0) and Jonny Neitsch (6’0). Also expected to contribute are Aaron Bizzell, Cade Locklan and Zane Champine.
Notes: “Our togetherness, our on-court communication and our team overall quickness have all improved,” said Canfield. “Our energy, ability to shoot the ball and floor spacing look much better than at this time last season. We’ll be improved.” Ueckert and Neitch (both Hon-Men) provide leadership and grit to an up-tempo pressing squad. Coats (JR) is an active postman at both ends of the court. Campbell (JR) and Krivokucha (SR) are scoring options with good outside touches.