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HENDERSON — It’s a mix of good news and bad news for the Prairie View boys basketball team this season.
The good news is the ThunderHawks put together a tough, nonconference schedule that should help them come seeding time in February.
The slate of teams includes a potential tournament game against Fairview and scheduled games and Frederick high schools before the holiday break and Heritage and rival Brighton high schools just after the holidays. All qualified for their respective state tournaments a year ago.
The bad news for coach Tim DeBerry is he faces those teams with a young T-Hawks’ team. Nine players graduated. The remaining three — Zach Alexis, Luke Schwindaman and Noah Lopez — played on the varsity squad last year. But none started.
“I like ‘em,” DeBerry said. “They work hard. They were in here at 5:30 in the morning three times a week during football season. But they have to get used to varsity level 5A basketball. Time is our friend. After the holidays, we’ll be better. Between now and then, it’s going to be an adventure.”
Schwindaman, who will be a sophomore, and Alexis, who will be a senior, made 50 percent of their field-goal attempts in limited playing time a year ago. DeBerry is looking for contributions from Jordan Jones, who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, and from 6-foot-2-inch guard Garrett Jackson.
“They should help us in a couple of spots,” DeBerry said. “We should be able to shoot the ball better than we have in the past, and we have some size. So we should be able to get on the boards better than we’ve been doing in the past.
“If you had told me a year ago that we would have won as many as we did (PVHS was 15-8), I’d have laughed,” DeBerry said. “We see what happens when the light comes on. We’ve been together for a while. The big thing is going to be whether we can grow together.”