BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Youthful Holcomb boys squad hopes to establish post play and grind things out on defense

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured are members of the Holcomb Hornets high school boys basketball program. Members of the team are: seniors Elijah Hobbs, Eli Morgan, Logan Williamson and Brandon Santos; juniors Greg Kendrick, Eli Bader, Ben Maynard, Austin Wallace, and Bubba Voyles; sophomores Nate Rhew, Topher Kendrick, Luke Hodges, Adrian Elvira, Zander Burke, CA Heuring, Wilson McGee, and Kody Johnson; and freshmen Dylan Bradshaw, Braiden Burk, Payton McNabb, Keiton Greer, Max Harmon, Isaiah Kenner, Hunter Lawrence, and Aaron Talley.

The Holcomb Hornets boys basketball program enters the 2019-20 season with a surplus of guards under new head coach Michael Snider.

“Right now our team is probably 90 percent guards,” Snider said. “We will have to plug-and-play in the post simply because we have a bunch of guards."

The Hornets also have its fair share of youngsters. During the opening week of practice, Holcomb has three seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen on its high school roster.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys,” Snider said. “We are going to have to have some guys step up and everybody is going to have to do their job. They are all going to have to earn their spots."

Snider said junior center Greg Kendrick, sophomore forward Adrian Elvira, senior forward Logan Williamson, sophomore forward Luke Hodges, and sophomore forward Topher Kendrick are among the candidates who could contribute minutes in the paint.

Sophomore Nate Rhew, senior Eli Morgan, junior Eli Bader, and freshman Dylan Bradshaw are among the candidates to share the ball-handling responsibilities and take shots from the perimeter.

“We will have a lot of guys moving around the floor to different places,” Snider said. “Everyone is just trying to earn a spot on the floor right now."

Holcomb, which is coming off a 3-20 campaign at the varsity level, averaged 62 points per game and allowed 99 points per game last season.

Snider hopes to play lower-scoring games and pound the ball in the paint more frequently this season.

“We want to grind everything out,” Snider said. “We want every game to be played in the 40’s or 50’s. We never want to get above that.”

“We aren’t for sure what our style will be,” Snider added. “But right now I have the idea of us getting lay-ups and free throws on offense. Now when we drive and can kick it out and someone who we trust shooting it has an open shot we’ll let him take it. But the idea of trying to make 20-plus 3’s in a game is probably not something we are going to be doing. We want to get the ball to the hole and get to the free-throw line.”

Holcomb hopes to be in the mix to upend three-time defending Tri-County Conference Tournament Risco by late February.

“Risco is not going to go away after the success they’ve had in recent years under Coach Blankinship,” Snider said. “I think Gideon right now is probably the front-runner and Risco and Cooter are right there as well. We are hoping to compete in the conference and do some good things but only time will tell.”

Holcomb opens its season Dec. 2 at the eight-team Bernie Invitational. Defending champion Bernie, Neelyville, Risco, Bloomfield, Puxico, Twin Rivers and Campbell are also in the eight-team varsity tournament.

“It’s hard to say what will happen because it’s early,” Snider said. “We just want to come in and try to compete with everyone we play. We will give teams our best shot and get their best shot and see how things go.”

Holcomb Hornets Boys Basketball Schedule

12/2-12/6Bernie Inv.Bernie
12/26-12/30Bloomfield Tourn.Bloomfield
1/21Delta C-7Away
1/30North PemiscotHome
1/31South PemiscotAway
2/10-2/14Tri-County Tourn.TBA
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