H-D Looks To Christen New Gym With Great Year
BY DAVE SHEA
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left an ever-widening trail of disappointment and heartbreak in its wake.
For the Hermon-DeKalb basketball teams the timing and the extent of pandemic was intensified by the timing. Both H-D Boys and Girls are fielding talented teams and the Green Demons and their fans were looking to experience and share a memorable season in the school district's state of the art new gymnasium.
Following the present Section 10 COVID protocol there will be no spectators allowed in games this year but games will be streamed on the schools' websites.
The H-D teams are projected to play Harrisville and NAC cohort members, Heuvelton, Edwards-Knox, Hammond and Morristown.
"It was really tough for everyone, we were all looking forward to big games in our beautiful new gym. Our guys have really worked hard and we had so many plans ended. We couldn't do any summer basketball and our season was delayed so we didn't have scrimmages and nonleague games over holidays which really can pull a team together. But we are going to play every game to fullest, play with class and make our community proud" said H-D Coach Dylan Klock.
"I really fell sorry for our seniors. We have Jay Carrow who gives us an outstanding player in the post which very few teams have. He was looking forward to reaching 1000 points this season. But we are very happy to be back in the gym and looking forward to every game."
Carrow, a First Team All-NAC West selection as a junior, is part of a very strong returning cast and a very deep backcourt which looks to replace the long range shooting of All-NAC West selection and 1000-point scorer Zach Denesha who joined the SUNY Canton program which is currently on pause.
Other members of the Demons' senior players are: Payton Hamilton who plays guard and small forward, former Hammond player Randy Durham who provides toughness at both ends of the floor and two solid role players in guard Kaven Hubbard and center forward Connor Carrow.
The junior group features a pair of poised point guards in Jacob Coller and Art Carr who can interchange or play together and forward Jacob Spencer who carried himself well in close quarters around the basket as a sophomore. The team's lone sophomore, Adam Lynch, showed shooting, rebounding and ballhandling skills as a freshman and Coach Klock expects him to be a "glue player" in the season ahead."
Moving up from the JV level are guards in Andrew Matthews who is bidding for regular playing time and projected role player Xavier Kellog.
"I really didn't establish any expectations heading into the season because things can change so fast. We are very thankful to be playing and we all want to give our seniors a way to close out their careers on a positive note," concluded Coach Klock.
Bob Bice starts his first season with the H-D varsity after coaching the JVs in recent years feels the Green Demons and the playing moving up from the JV ranks have played on two very strong junior varsity teams. Bice interchanged former varsity coach Jake Rowley who is working with the JV team."
"I am excited to work with group, I've coached most of the team at the JV level. The girls have put in a lot of offseason work over the years but we couldn't do that because of the pandemic. We are grateful to be back in the gym and looking for a successful season" said Coach Bice.
"We have been working hard at practice at not forcing things and letting the game come to us. We have a good team and we have good players coming. Coach Jake Rowley is doing a great job with the JVs."
The juniors an athletic senior group with size, shooting ability and poised senior point guard Emery McQuade. The senior group also includes guard-forward Bri Grant who defends and attacks the basket well, the teams most explosive player and key three-point shooter Hillary Jones and skilled center Audri Tehonica.
The juniors exhibit similar capabilities with the outside shooting of guard Hannah Gollinger and forward Emma Friot and a strong inside player in Rylie Hale. The team's lone sophomore Ellie McQuade provides quickness and outstanding defensive play.