Hoops season heats up

Boys and girls focus on accountability, effort in season’s second half


Robert Butler

Senior guard Cole Shumate attempts a three point shot in the Rebels 65-18 win over Carroll County on Nov. 30.

Samuel Colmar

Basketball season is officially in motion at Boone, and with it comes ambition. While the school’s boys and girls varsity teams are led by different coaches, the objective between the two remains the same: show accountability and effort.

Boys shoot for regionals

Boys varsity basketball coach Nathan Browning has high expectations for his team. He said the team’s main objective is to improve from last year and get to “Northern,” the KHSAA regional tournament—a feat the team hasn’t accomplished since the 2014-2015 season.

To make the regional tournament, the team needs to at least make the district tournament championship.

“The district games we play are always the ‘big’ games. (They) determine your fate in the postseason,” Browning said. “If you don’t do well during the year in your district games then you’ll get the four-seed in the district tournament … competing in these district games and getting some wins in the district throughout the season is a must.”

Sophomore Jashaun Pouncy, who plays center for the varsity team, said the team needs to work on playing “more like a team” if they want to win districts and make the regional tournament.

Jashaun Pouncy

According to Pouncy, the team has “a lot of offensive threats,” and the numbers seem to back this up. Senior Cole Shumate, who plays point and is the team’s primary ball handler, averages just under 15 points per game, and Pouncy averages nearly 11; the rest of the team averages a combined 46.8 ppg.

On the team’s biggest strength, Browning points to the team’s work ethic.

“They’ve been working extremely hard, and we’ve gotten a lot better because of it,” Browning said. “They’re also really close with each other, they get along really well, and they practice well together … everybody puts the team first.”

To many, the team passes the “eye-test” when it comes to teamwork.

On what to improve, Browning emphasizes consistency. “We have to make sure we’re consistent. We need to be practicing hard every day. We can’t let up and be inconsistent when it comes to working hard,” he said.

So far in the season, the boys varsity team has looked promising. As of this writing, the Rebels are 9-4.

Despite their success, the boys are still looking for their first win against a district opponent (Cooper, Conner, Ryle).

On Dec. 17, they lost 71-74 in a nail-biter against Ryle, the closest they’ve been to securing a win within the district.

Girls eye improvement

Sophomore Kassidy Peters has become a leader for the girls varsity team already. She leads the team in points per game and is shooting 33% from outside the arc on nearly seven attempts per game.

Peters said the biggest challenge the team has faced thus far is the lack of experience between the girls.

“Our team is so young, and almost all of our players are inexperienced,” she said. “Right now, we don’t get how each of us plays, so we don’t have much team chemistry.”

Kassidy Peters

Todd Humphrey, the team’s coach, seems to agree.

“We’re really young, so we’re just trying to get better everyday,” he said. “We’re starting two sophomores, a freshman, a seventh grader, and a junior, so we’re just trying to figure things out and win.”

It seems the lady rebels are improving every game. They’ve looked more coordinated and team-oriented as the season has progressed.

“We may not win everything but we’re getting better,” Peters said.

“As long as we know when we step off the court that we’re coachable and gave it our all there isn’t much more you can do because everything else will fall in place,” Peters concluded.

On what excites him the most about the team, Humphrey once again pointed to how young the team is.

“We’re really young to be doing the stuff that we’re doing …  I’ll be coaching a lot of these players for the next handful of years, so I’m just excited to see this team grow and improve,” Humphrey said.

Alivia Scott

The team’s youngest member is seventh grader Alivia Scott. Scott, who averages 7.2 ppg, said the team’s biggest challenge is adapting to a new coach and system.

On her expectations for the team, Scott said the team needs to learn “to play together.”

While things have begun to look promising, the varsity Lady Rebels are still looking for their first win on the season.