South Windsor boys' basketball team rebuilds

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Dec. 14, 2012
After a tense moment with a player from Rocky Hill, Shaq Smith waits to see if the referee calls a foul. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
After a tense moment with a player from Rocky Hill, Shaq Smith waits to see if the referee calls a foul. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

The South Windsor High School boys' basketball team came off a difficult season last year, when they won 1 out of 19 games. According to coach Brenden McClay, there were a few reasons for this. “We're in a very, very tough division,” he said. “We're in CCC North, which has some exceptional teams.” The team was also missing a solid core of seniors, and the seven that were on the team had limited varsity experience.

This year, McClay is dedicating his energy to rebuilding. “I'm assuming, based on the pre-season, that we're going to be better than last year,” said McClay. But “better than last year” does not necessarily mean better than other teams. “The other teams in our division are not having a down year,” he said. “It's going to be a tough season again.”

McClay has high hopes for several players this year, including senior Zach Heckt, a starter. “Zach is our returning point guard, and it's always good to have a returning point guard,” said McClay.

Also reliable is senior Casey Shoop. “Casey is a good shooter and a good defender,” said McClay. “We're not going to be able to score much on the inside, so our outside shooting keeps us in games.”

McClay also points to senior Shaquille Smith, who is returning to the team after a year hiatus. “He plays everything,” he said. “He's a good player. Scores, rebounds, passes, defends. He's a significant player, we missed him last year.”

The team has their work cut out for them, but McClay has not eliminated the possibility of reaching the conference tournament. “We always have our goal of reaching the tournament, to get eight wins,” said McClay. “We're realistic, but getting eight wins is not out of the realm of doing. But we know it's going to take a lot of hard work. A lot of dedication and a lot of commitment.”

With many of the returning players having three years of experience playing together, McClay has noticed some team skills coming together. “We've always practiced hard. But this year, they're starting to pick up offenses and defenses a little bit better,” said McClay.


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