The Original HoopInsider - Statewide leader in Texas high school boys basketball
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  
Brad Ernst

4A-1A Editor
Posts: 1,138
Reply with quote  #1 
Heres a good story on Water Valley, about their experience at the state tournament and expectations next year.  They dont lose much so they'll definitely be someone to watch for next season.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Water Valley sad but proud

Optimism runs high as team talks of returning to state tourney next year

AUSTIN — Sterling Marschall may have played in only one game at the state tournament, but it was one he will never forget.

Water Valley’s senior sixth man, a bronze medal freshly draped around his neck, held his head high and smiled as he fielded questions following his team’s 53-44 loss Friday to Douglass in a Class 1A Division II state semifinal game inside the Frank Erwin Center.

“Before the Copleys (head coach Andy and teammate Connor) came to Water Valley, I didn’t know what The Drum was, hardly,” Marschall said. “So when they got here it was all about ‘going to the Drum.’ Last year coach (Copley) advised my dad to take some of us to The Drum to watch some games. Man, it just gave me chills watching (Dallas) Kimball hit that last shot against (Houston) Yates last year.

“I wanted to play on that court.”

Marschall, along with 14 of his teammates, were able to do just that on Friday in front of an announced crowd of 10,809

While the season may have ended a few wins short of a state title, the Wildcats were able to put check marks next to four of their five goals that were set at the beginning of the season.

The missed objective? Winning the state title, but there’s optimism for another deep run next season.

“We had a great year,” Water Valley head coach Andy Copley said. “We won 31 (games) last year and 33 this year. We’ve done some good things, but that’s hard to remember right now at this moment. ... But as we look back we’ll be proud of what we accomplished this year.”

Despite graduating seven seniors, the Wildcats have reason for high hopes as they return four starters — Connor Copley, Kellan Kirkland, Trae Hannon and Brock Demere — and four sophomores.

The quartet of seniors-to-be will be a foundation to build around for Andy Copley, especially with the slew of sophomores and freshmen that will join their ranks next season.

In the four postseason games before the Douglass loss, Hannon averaged 19.3 points per contest while Copley totaled 13.3.

“It’s been a great run, and hopefully we can match it, or even better it (next year),” said Demere, who recorded a 13 points and 10 rebounds in his team’s loss to Douglass.

If the Wildcats’ players want to advance to next year’s state final then they must find a way to have a more balanced offense — rather than rely on 3-point shooting — improve perimeter defense and also get stronger so they can drive to the basket and draw fouls against their opponents.

All three aspects proved to be key in Water Valley’s loss Friday to Douglass.

After cutting the lead to 9-8 at the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats found themselves trailing 15-10 after the Indians went on a 6-2 offensive surge in the opening minutes of the second. Water Valley’s deficit would increase to 21-15 at halftime — behind 3-pointers by Douglass’ Matthew Wallace and Reed Westbrook — before Douglass increased the lead to a game-high 18 points (40-22) with 1:06 left in the third quarter on the way to a victory.

“We were trying to play close and not let them get an open shot,” said Hannon, who scored 11 points in the loss to Douglass. “Credit to those players for making shots. Reed (Westbrook) played real well.”

While the experience of playing in front of a large crowd was exciting, Connor Copley said the negatives of the loss may have outweighed those positives.

“It was an extremely fun week, but not being able to play on Saturday night kind of leaves a little bad taste in your mouth,” Connor Copley said. “Now we know what it tastes like. ... Hopefully we can get back here next year.”

Hannon said there will be plenty of incentive for the Wildcats to vie for a state title in the 2013-2014 season.

“We’re going to remember this loss and use it as motivation for next year,” Hannon said. “We’re going to play harder in basketball tournaments, work harder in practice, you name it.”

Follow Carlos Silva Jr. on Twitter at @cmsilvajr

Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.