November 21, 2018
By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Call it rebuilding or a major overhaul but head coach Devin Shaw has his work cut out for him this season. He’ll try and replace last year’s talented team that advanced well into the regional tournament before being eliminated by T.A. Dugger. This year’s team has the court savvy but they are lacking in varsity experience and size. Shaw is optimistic that he can bring them along as the season progresses.
“Each year is different,” said Shaw. “This team doesn’t compare to any of my past teams at all. That’s what keeps it fun. This group is a very smart team. What they lack in size they make up for it by being scrappy on offense and defense and not making mistakes. They’re a fun group to coach.”
Shaw hopes to get point production from Peyton Pavusek, Christian Lipford and Nick Speed. He’s says that all three posses some good basketball skills.
“You can plug Pavusek in about anywhere on the court,” said Shaw. “He’s a super kid that works hard and makes good decisions. He’s good in the classroom and he’s a good scorer and rebounder. Lipford understands his role. He can score points in bunches. He’ll get a lot of shots off our defense if he steps up and plays well on that end. Speed is probably our best passer and rebounder along with Peyton. We’ll count on those three to provide a lot of our offense.”
Graham Reece will start at point guard. Shaw loves the court sense and leadership that he brings to the table.
“Graham might not be the tallest or quickest but I promise you he’ll be the smartest player on the court,” said Shaw. “He makes good decisions and don’t turn the ball over. He won’t score a lot but his value is critical.”
Shaw is also expecting good things from Chris Grill and seventh grader Connor Simcox.
“Both of them will player a lot,” said Shaw. “They can pass the basketball and each of them can score on the inside.”
Dominic Kelley and Brayden Gentry are two more players that Shaw is expecting to contribute. He indicated it was a wait and see thing.
“We’re still trying to work out a lot of kinks,” added Shaw. “But this bunch is a cohesive unit that doesn’t play selfish. They do care who scores because they just want to win. They’re starting to buy into this team concept. Several things will determine playing time.”
Shaw tabbed Hampton and Chuckey-Doak as the two teams to beat.
“It’s hard to tell but both of them have some good players returning,” said Shaw. “We just want to be better by tournament time. We have a lot of work to do from now until then.”