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Jacqui Nickell
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Varsity Boys Basketball

by: Head Coach Bradley Neyland

The Lakehill Boys basketball season came to an end last week, culminating in an exciting district win to end the season. It was a season of change and growth for the Warriors who lost two projected starters to injury before the season began and lost another starter to injury early in the season. The injuries to multiple positions and the lack of a senior class on the basketball team led to a lot of playing time for younger players being forced to step up and take on a bigger role than expected. Overall, the Warriors had 5 freshmen that averaged over 10 minutes a game, and 10 players overall averaging more than 10 minutes. Freshman guard Kegan Thompson said, “It was an exciting season, it was cool to see so many freshman playing varsity minutes and starting games, I really think it’s going to help us a lot in the future.”

The season started out great with 3 wins in a row. Right from the start everyone could tell it was going to be a special season for sophomore point guard Drew Perry, who scored 32 points in his first game and never looked back. Racking up accolades including earning Mr. Texas Basketball Player of the week in the third week of the season. Drew said, “I just wanted to do what was best for the team. We needed someone to score so I filled that role. We needed someone to rebound and play defense so I tried to do that as well. At the end of the day, I just want to win and see the program have success. Personal achievement is never the goal - I’m just glad I got to help the team” 

As the season went on, the Warrior's youth began to show and they faced some challenges as the competition started to improve and the quality of opponents increased. The Warriors battled all year. Despite being outmatched in several games, they managed to scrape together a 10-win season, including 5 district wins to finish the season with a record of 10-17. “I’m proud of the way my guys fought,” said head coach Bradley Neyland, “We weren’t always the better team, we had our fair share of defeats, but they never gave up. When the best players and leaders of your team are diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges even when losing by double digits, it’s contagious and that attitude spreads to the whole team. My message all season has been to show constant effort, constant focus, and constant commitment. This group is so young and talented, and if they keep those three things a priority, the winning is sure to come.”

Drew ended up leading the Warriors in almost every major category, scoring (20.9ppg), rebounding (5.7), and assists (2.4), but he wasn’t the only player that had a good season. Freshman Kegan Thompson and Ian Johnston stepped up into unexpected starting roles and took the challenge on with enthusiasm and intensity. Juniors Austin Boothe, Brendan Hall, and Jordan Vicente were put into leadership roles with no seniors. They were pushed harder than normal and all three responded in an incredible way. Sophomore Skylar Lambert started, came off the bench, had multiple roles, and embraced them all. So many freshmen who expected to be JV-only players this year found themselves playing huge roles on Varsity. Mercer Palamar, Luke Widhalm, Noah Kurian, and Jason Dickerson, all stepped up. Connor Sullivan embraced his job as an emotional leader, keeping the bench involved and bringing energy to every moment. Jack Widhalm, although injured for the entire season and unable to play, got involved in the program, sat on the bench, supported the team, and provided a lift for all the guys. “I really wanted to be out there playing ball with my team, it was hard to sit and watch but I knew that was what I could do to help my teammates and make us better. I can’t wait to suit up and play again next year," said Jack.

"It was a great season of experience for the Warriors as they now look ahead to off-season workouts and ways to improve for the 2023-2024 season. This is the first year as a coach that my entire team is coming back and we will get to add back all the injured players and the rising 8th graders. Next year is going to be fun," said Coach Neyland.

Congratulations to Coach Neyland and the Varsity boys basketball team on a great season!

 

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