Looking back at the Patriots' 2018-19 seasonMarch 25, 2019
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
With the IHSAA State Finals taking place this past Saturday, the 2018-19 boys basketball season is officially over in the state of Indiana. However, that doesn’t mean teams aren’t already preparing for what’s to come next season and beyond.
This is the first part of a five-part discussion series with the five area boys basketball coaches and their respective programs.
First up is Heritage Hills’ head coach Nate Hawkins. The Patriots are coming off of a 22-2 season that saw several of its players receive high accolades and also brought upon some schedule changes for the upcoming season. Here’s a brief discussion with Hawkins about the success of the program, the Becher-Scherry-Sisley trio and the addition of some talented opponents to the schedule.
- On junior guard Murray Becher (20.4 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, IBCA Junior All-State honorable mention) and his selection to the 2019 Indiana Junior All-Star boys basketball team.
“Murray is very deserving to be an Indiana Junior All-Star — several people have asked me if he’s the first Junior All-Star in Heritage Hills high school history and I believe he is. The one thing Murray has done for himself is that he’s earned everything he’s ever received, he’s just a relentless worker. He comes in the gym, he’s on a mission and he gets his work done — you may not get a whole lot of words out of him unless you initiate a conversation with him but he really puts in the time and we’re really just proud of him and what he’s been able to accomplish so far.”.
- On junior guard Simon Scherry (15.6 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, 3.0 steals per game, IBCA Junior All-State honorable mention) and his continued improvement leading up to his senior year and how more and more college basketball programs are looking his way.
“You think about the things he’s been able to do, he has solidified himself as a Division I prospect. He has really, really improved — I told a college coach today that I really wish you could’ve seen him when he first came into the program to where he’s at now. He’s just continued to grow in so many areas, he broke the threepoint field goal season percentage this year at 52.5 percent with over 100 attempts, that’s just crazy. At the end of this, if everything stays on par he’s going to be the all-time assists leader at Heritage Hills.”
- On sophomore forward Blake Sisley (12.8 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, IBCA Junior All-State honorable mention) and his continued rise at such a young age.
“He’s just so gifted, he’s 6’8’’ and we want him to continue to get stronger. I’m not sure he’s done growing, to be honest with you. We want him to put on a little more weight and expand his game a bit, want him to improve a bit on the perimeter but we also love to see him go at those big guys. I remember when we played Madison Central (Ky.) and Isaiah Cozart (Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky, Western Kentucky recruit), Blake held him to just 15 points and we won the game by three points. Blake already has a Division I offer from University of Evansville and I think as he continues to develop, depending on how big he gets, I think you’ll continue to see more and more Division I schools take a look at him.
- On playing in the 2019 Hoops Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle against defending Class 3A state champion Silver Creek in the day and a battle with either Class 3A (20-4) Mishawka Marian or Class 4A (22-4) Lawrence Central at night.
“I felt like we had a great opportunity and with us now being named in this tourney, we had to drop the Perry-Spencer Classic that we’ve won the past three years. We felt for this group and this team we have coming back, it was important for us to really find something like this. What we want to do, we want to take the next step in our basketball program. We feel like this opportunity and some other things we’re still working on in our schedule will help prepare us to get out there and help us get that sectional championship which is obviously our main goal.”
- On the overall atmosphere surrounding the basketball program right now after their successful 2018-19 campaign fell just short in the sectional to Evansville Bosse.
“I think we’ve built a culture that’s built on winning and winning the right way. Our kids understand that they’re playing and how important it is to play for the name that’s on the chest. There’s a lot of enthusiasm, we’re really upbeat — I mean we have guys that are so valuable that don’t get the accolades that some of the other guys get but they’re just so excited to be a part of the program and that’s what it takes. You need those team-first guys that are still going to be there no matter what.”
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