Hanahan boys' basketball team readies for region play
Yes, success has its price. Just ask Hanahan basketball coach Pieter Smits.
Although he’s not complaining, the football team’s success on the gridiron will impact the basketball team on the hardwood.
The Hawks’ football team, under first-year coach David Morbitzer, had an extended-season thanks to a threat of a hurricane, which pushed the schedule back a week. Then, there’s that success. The Hawks won the region and made a deep playoff run, losing to Wade Hampton in the third round. It’s the deepest playoff run in quite some time and now the basketball team will feel the effects because four members of the football team are making the transition to basketball. And it might take some time to get the players in basketball shape.
“That’s the biggest thing,” said Smits, who is in his eighth year at the helm of the Hawks and led the Hawks to 14 victories last winter. “We went to play our first game on Tuesday and it was tough on our football players. I asked them to sit down during a time out, and they were happy to do it. They hadn’t run like that in a long time. I also coach football and late in the season you run hard only on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday are more for game planning and mental preparation.”
The football players who are making the transition to basketball are guard Logan Ammons, forward/center Davis Wood, center/forward Wesley Crain and Mer-Shervon Campbell.
Ammons, Wood and Crain are seniors and starters. Campbell is a junior. Sophomore point guard Richard Horry should contribute to the offense with points and assists.
They must make up for the loss of all-state selection Jalen Gibbs, who averaged 20 points per game last season.
“This is a tough year for us,” Smits said. “We have some good talent, but we have to be better than the people we are playing.”
The good news is that the backup players received significant playing time while the football players made the transition.
The Hawks won only one of their first six games but the team should be ready when Region 8-AAA play commences.
“Manning is the team to beat,” Smits said. “They have most of their core guys back and their best player was really young last year. Obviously, Bishop England has won the region over the last few years, so they are always going to be competitive. It’s going to be tough from top to bottom, so we have to be ready every night.”
“We just have to get in shape and play as a team if we are to be successful,” Smits added. “If we want to play as individuals and that gets in the way, you know what can happen.”