BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Senath-Hornersville boys look to rely on strong post play
The Senath-Hornersville Lions boys basketball program enters the 2019-20 season with a new look after graduating five of its 11 significant contributors off of last season’s varsity squad that finished 13-11.
“I think we will be a different type of team this season,” Senath-Hornersville coach Corbin Clark said. “These guys do things a little different than the group we graduated last season. I don’t think we are as strong defensively as we were last season yet. But I think we may be able to score the ball a little bit better. If we can take care of the ball I think we can do some stuff on the offensive end.”
The Lions have seven seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores, and four freshmen on its high school roster.
Senior Drake King, senior Isai Lopez, senior Jordan Coronado, junior Parker Rhew, junior Blaze Mears, and sophomore Knolan Hunter saw significant playing time on varsity last season.
“While we did lose a lot and we are having to retool some things I think we will benefit from the fact we have six guys that got varsity experience last season,” Clark said.
Drake King averaged in double digits and knocked down close to 40 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
“He played off-the-ball as a two-guard last season,” Clark said. “He’s a great shooter with range well beyond the 3-point line who was one of our top scorers as a junior.”
Lopez also scored in double digits and was one of the top rebounders on last season’s squad.
“He’s really good around the basket,” Clark said. “He’s really skilled with both hands and plays good defense. He should be a force in the paint for us. Things are going to start with him on offense. If we can establish him in the paint early in games it should open things up for our perimeter players.”
Mears and Rhew are likely to share the ball-handling responsibilities for the Lions.
“They are two guys that can really make us go and get us into our offense,” Clark said. “Parker played on the junior varsity until Christmas last year. He’s gotten stronger and more athletic. I think he’s ready to contribute for us.
“Blaze Mears is also a guy that can handle it,” Clark added. “He’s really physical for a backcourt player. Parker and Blaze should have the ball in their hands most of the time.”
Hunter got exposure on varsity as a freshman is expected to be a top player in coming seasons.
“We threw him in the starting lineup down the stretch as a freshman last season,” Clark said of Hunter. “He’s one of the best athletes in our program. He has great explosiveness, can get off the floor, and can run the court. Sometimes I think we believe in him a little more than he does. But as soon as he gets things going from a confidence standpoint we think the sky is the limit for him.”
Coronado has the versatility to play multiple positions and is regarded as one of the top rebounders and defenders on the squad.
“He’s a guy that brings a little bit of everything to the table,” Clark said. “He’s a pretty good passer, has a high IQ as a player, rebounds the ball well, and will take a charge.”
Clark feels scoring in the paint could be a forte for the Lions’ offense.
“In years past I’ve considered our club guard-heavy,” Clark said. “This year we’ve got some good guards again. But Isai Lopez is six-foot-three, 250-plus. We also have a sophomore, Jesus Luna, who played predominantly junior varsity last season that is also six-foot-three, 250 plus. I really feel like we’ve got two guys we can throw it to inside and establish ourselves in the paint.
Senath-Hornersville opens its season Friday at 5 p.m. at Piggott, Arkansas, before it begins play in the eight-team Bulldog Classic Dec. 2 at Gideon High School.
“We were fortunate to win our first game at the Bulldog Classic last year but I felt like we were really shaky in it,” Clark said. “Hopefully, we will be able to get a lot of those kinks straightened out in an out-of-state game at Piggott before Thanksgiving this year. I thought adding that game was a good opportunity for us to travel across state lines and play in a tough environment and get a game in before we hit Thanksgiving break.”
Senath-Hornersville Boys Basketball Schedule