HPC boys are driven despite inexperience

Nov. 20, 2012 @ 08:40 PM

While it does have a number of pieces to be a good team, one thing the High Point Central boys basketball team does not have is experience. In fact, the returners can easily be counted on one hand — and just one has seen significant time.

“It’s funny because last year I said that was the most inexperienced team I had,” coach Patrick Battle said. “Well, this is by far the most inexperienced team I’ve had.”

But that’s not going to hold back the Bison, who went 11-16 overall last year, 7-5 in the Piedmont Triad Conference (tying for second) and reached the second round of the 4A playoffs after upsetting No. 1 Sun Valley. With junior captain Juwan Foggie leading the way, they still expect to be successful this season.

“Top three or four in our conference and make the playoffs would be a success,” Battle said.

Foggie, who was fourth in scoring last year, as well as Nick White and Gary Dyer are the only returnees from a team that featured players such as Cory Hanes, JD Bryant and Will McRae. The Bison now feature five brand-new players — including a number of seniors who didn’t previously play — and six junior varsity call-ups. 

Michal Seals and Roc Barnes will also look to be key contributors, but really there are a number of options. It will just take time for players to stand out in certain roles, learn what they need to do, and for everything to mesh into a cohesive team effort.

“Our hope is that by conference time, we’re ready,” Battle said. “Last year, we started out 2-11 and finished 9-5. So, if we do something similar, I’ll be fine with that. ...

“It’s going to take games. It’s going to take a lot of games, and it’s going to take fighting through some bad times and not getting too excited about the great times. Keep it even-keeled and learn.”

But what they lack in experience, the Bison, who open Nov. 27 against Grimsley (at Southwest Guilford while their gym continues to be renovated), hope to make up for it in other ways.

“We’re inexperienced but we play hard,” Battle said. “We have a bunch of guys who’ve been waiting for this opportunity, and it seems like they’re trying to take advantage of it. They listen; there’s no egos. So, I think they’re a good group of kids.”