Preview: Bradshaw Mountain boys hope to turn page on rough 2017-18
Prep Boys Basketball
PRESCOTT VALLEY — Turn the page.
That may as well be the Bradshaw Mountain boys’ basketball team’s mantra for the 2018-19 season. There’s nowhere to go but up after what transpired in 2017-18 – a 2-16 record in power-point games and a 1-11 mark in the 4A Grand Canyon region.
The Bears tip off the current campaign at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, when they host Cactus at Kunow Gym.
“Our boys have been playing hard, and I have no complaints about their effort,” first-year Bradshaw Mountain coach Blair Hillig said from practice last week. “I like how we’re playing as a team. We’re very unselfish.”
Point guard Parker Bennett (5-foot-8, 145 pounds) and power forward David Massis (6-4, 195), the lone seniors on the squad, are expected to lead Bradshaw Mountain this winter.
“We’ve got a new group coming in, and Coach Hillig and [assistant] Coach [Larry] Haese have been doing a lot to help us,” Bennett said.
Hillig, a former Bears varsity assistant coach, replaced the departed Matt Simpson in the offseason. He has tried to tighten up the ship to pave the way for improvement.
“Our bigs can move,” Massis said, “and our conditioning and effort have improved [from last season].”
Bennett said Bradshaw Mountain should be able to compete better in the Grand Canyon region, too.
“We will be tough,” he added. “We’ve got a good chance.”
Hillig said Flagstaff and Lee Williams will be tough in the region. Coconino is the defending champion.
“We will compete, but we’ve got a small margin for error,” the coach added about his Bears. “We’ve got to make our free throws, rebound and stay out of foul trouble.”
Rounding out the projected starting five for the Bears are guard Tripp Nestor (5-8, 145), center Nate Summit (6-7, 215) and guard Carter John (5-10, 150). Summit and John are sophomores.
Other players to keep an eye on include forward/center T.J. Stegall (6-5, 175) and sophomore swingman Jordan Massis (6-1, 175).
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.