Boys’ basketball shoots for a spot in playoffs

Chris W. Longino, staff writer

The varsity boys’ basketball team this year has a different dynamic than previous years. Already, coaches and players are rallying together, pushing to qualify for playoffs.

“We are going to have a lot of energy going into this season,” senior and varsity power forward Derek Smith said. “We plan on playing very fast; that normally makes for exciting basketball.”

Excitement fills the locker room, and the team seems to be focused on one goal of winning by working together.

The season is a constant state of exertion in preparation to compete against top opponents such as Oakton, Westfield and Centreville. Despite the grueling competitions ahead of them, players feel confident about their chances of winning.

“I think we are going to have a solid season and are going to beat our rivals,” senior and varsity center Avery Hinz said.  

In the postseason, the team planned for a deep playoff push.

“We set team goals to make the regional playoffs and win our district as well as the region,” head varsity basketball coach Jim Smith.

The team practices every day and will play a total of 26 games. Despite this pressure, the common objective motivates the athletes.

“Our team goal is to win the district and advance as far as possible after that,” Hinz said.  

The team’s success is a result of its offseason work, such as summer leagues and frequent practices. The summer league is an offseason league that is an invitational tournament in which athletes play against rival teams.

“I continued to work on my jump shot in the offseason,” Smith said. “Also, I did a lot of agility work and lifted weights almost every day with my teammates.”

The team’s commitment leads players to push each other to their limits, and they display a high level of discipline even when no one is watching.

“Last season I was a very good shooter,” Hinz said. “This season I wanted to become a very good overall scorer and a more complete basketball player.”

This year’s team is not one to underestimate.

“I think a lot of teams in the district are going to be in for a surprise of how good we can be,” Hinz said.

The players on this year’s team are ready to show out against their opponents and play the best basketball they can.

“This is my senior year,” Hinz said. “I am going to leave everything out on the floor.”