Demons get back to business on the court

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By Ryan Naus

Stacey May knows his team is young, but also expects them to compete when it matters.

May, coach of the Williamstown boys’ basketball team, has started to work with his players and with each day sees improvement.

“I’ve seen dramatic improvements as individuals and as a team,” May said. “There’s more coaching involved this year and I’ll have to be more of a teacher. We have to be patient because we’ll be young, but the future looks bright. But I’m seeing improvement everyday.”

With six seniors on last year’s team, the Demons pushed the ball, always looking for an opportunity to score a quick bucket. While they will take advantage of their fast break opportunities, May believes his team will be more patient in their half-court offense.

“You’ll see more of a patient team in a half-court set than last year,” May said. “Last year, we had a senior-laden team that was athletic. This team’s basketball IQ is pretty high and being patient will be to our advantage. We’ll be a fun team to watch.”

Storm Mason and Eric White are the lone seniors on the team, but, according to May, both have stepped up in their leadership responsibilities.

“Storm’s a player that’s been around for a while. He’s a natural leader and is becoming more vocal this year. He’s our quarterback on the floor,” May said. “Eric is a player that plays with so much intensity. As long as he keeps that funneled in a positive direction, he’s a huge asset for our team. He fits any role we ask him to fill. He’s probably one of the most intense players I’ve ever coached.”

Austin Anglin (a rising freshman), Andrew Hurley (a rising sophomore), Colton Simpson (a rising sophomore) and Derrick King (a rising junior) have also stepped up as they gain varsity experience.

“Austin Anglin is shooting the ball really well. He’s playing exceptionally well,” May said. “Andrew Hurley is starting to handle the ball well. It took him a game or two to adjust to the varsity level. Colton Simpson is a little undersized, but has good footwork and is extremely coachable. He works hard. Derrick King has had minimal varsity experience but has surprised me the most. He’s strong when he goes to the basket and he’s probably the quickest player we have on the team. I think by March, he’ll be a strong player.”

Jake McKinley and Harrison Whaley will also be counted on next year, but McKinley broke his foot during the first week of summer practice and Whaley has been battling a back injury.

“(Jake’s injury) is a huge loss. Jake is a big part of the future of the program and one heck of a ballplayer. But it’s given some other players the opportunity to gain experience and I think it will work out in the end,” May said. “Harrison Whaley has been out with a back injury so we haven’t been able to see what he can do, but when he gets back, he’ll be a big part of what we do.”

The Demons attended Morehead State University’s basketball camp from June 10 to 12, playing .500 basketball in the games they played, and have also scrimmaged against Pendleton County, Gallatin County and Harrison County, gaining experience together as a team.

While his team will be young to start the season, May is hopeful that the more they play, the better they’ll be.

“We play extremely hard and I think they’ll be a threat come March. We may or may not struggle early because of our experience, but come tournament time, I think we’ll be right there,” May said.