Boys basketball season began last week, and local teams are at different levels starting off.
It could be a strong year for Trojans this year, with quite a few returners. The Post Register reports the team might be the one to beat this year, with many 5A teams rebuilding. Head Coach Justin Jones said he is looking forward to the season.
“We have a talented team, I’m excited to see — here early — where they’re at and where we can get to the end of the season,” Jones said.
Jones said players have a lot of excitement for the year after the team took fourth at state in March. He said the players having that experience will be a positive.
“The strength of the team last year is the chemistry, and I think with the key players back, I think we can pick up on that chemistry and that will help us early in the season,” Jones said.
The team started the season off strong with wins in their first two games of the season against Idaho Falls and Blackfoot. The Trojans also played yesterday against Skyline and will face Logan High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home.
The 2A Ririe team is on the other end of the spectrum in terms of composition, with no returning primary varsity players and a new coach.
“We’re as green as we can get,” Head Coach Jordan Hamilton said.
Hamilton said players will focus on building their skills as well as relationships with one another. He said he has a mix of students from different grades and many never played together before joining the team.
“We’re just trying to create an environment where they have to learn to trust each other and rely on each other, so it’s actually been kind of fun doing that,” Hamilton said.
He said outside of building those relationships, he also wants the team to exceed people’s expectations. He said being new, those on the team have the ability to build a positive reputation for themselves.
“I really feel like we have the ability to surprise a lot of teams in our district,” Hamilton said.
The team lost their first two games, but has a game at 7 tonight at home against West Side. The team’s next game will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
West Jefferson and Clark County teams are about in the middle. Both teams have a fair amount of returning players, and West Jefferson Head Coach Dave Hadley said expectations are high this year.
“Our program’s progressing to a point that we can do a lot of different things on the basketball floor,” Hadley said.
He said this is his fourth year coaching the team, and said three players have been with the varsity team three years. He said the focus for this year will be to make less mistakes, and said he is excited to see how far the team can progress this year.
“I’m very much looking forward to having this season get here,” Hadley said. “Our kids have had real good attitudes.”
The Panthers’ first game last week resulted in a win for the team. West Jefferson will play again at 7 tonight at Malad and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Clark County Coach Trey Furniss said his team also has a couple experienced seniors, though he said the rest “are young guys,” many of whom are freshmen. Furniss said the goal is to go to state, but said his hope is to see the younger players improve. He said he also hopes the team wins more games than it loses. 2018 was a loss-heavy year for Clark County, Furniss said.
“If we could have a winning season, that would be awesome,” he said. “We’d love to have a winning season, even if we didn’t make it to state, I’d like to have more wins than losses.”
The team lost its first two games, and will play again in January.