by Joe Fisher
Eagle Editorial Board
Last year the Eagle basketball team defeated Plano Prestonwood convincingly 76-57 to win the TAPPS 5A state championship. They were led then by junior Christian Sanders, junior Jeremy King and key seniors Andrew Jones and Ian Hurley. It was the Eagles’ first state title since 2008.
The basketball team returns in 2011 with senior Christian Sanders and senior Jeremy King as the core of the team and head coach Danny Evans in his third year at St. Thomas. They will look to get back to state and repeat as champions.
The Eagles do lose some clutch players with former seniors Chris Brown and Jones, both of whom were starters, as well as Hurley, a cold-blooded shooter. This leaves two starting spots up for grabs and there will be plenty of competition between the players. Coach Evans will have tough decisions to make before the season starts
“I am looking for poise, people who understand their roles on the team,” Evans said.
The Eagles’ strongest area is shooting, senior Chase Brogna, junior P.J. Pane and sophomore Jamie Keating, all of whom can be deadly from three-point range. The Eagles’ low post area will mostly be worked by King and senior Doc Perrier, but they will get help from senior Rowan Brumant. The Eagles look to use the combination of inside and outside shooting to dominate their opponents.
“We have three all-state players returning this year,” Evans said. “Chase and Christian are our best scorers and Jeremy and Doc will make it hard for opponents to score [in the paint].”
With the season on the horizon there will be many players that will contribute to the team, but there is always one who stands out from the rest. Last year it was Brogna, the transfer student from Cy-Fair, who came up big in many games including hitting a game winner and being a key factor in the state championship game. This year another player will stand out from the rest.
“Jeremy King, his game has really matured and progressed,” Sanders said. “Expect big time dunks and blocks.”
It is tough to repeat as state champs in any sport. The Eagles will try and accomplish this feat this coming season.
“[To repeat,] the team needs to adopt the ‘We’ mentality and needs some support from the Reckling Rowdies,” Sanders said.
The team is already working to build a championship team again with off-season workouts and competing in the basketball fall league, which consists of eight other Houston area schools.
Playing in these games prepares the team for fierce competition and helps players work out the kinks before the regular season begins. They have JV games every Tuesday night with games starting at 5 p.m. and varsity games on Wednesday night at the same time.
The Eagles will kick off the season playing in the St. Thomas University Classic on Nov. 3 – 5 and will play their first home game in the St. Thomas Basketball Classic on Nov. 10.