Boys basketball to compete in Prosper tournament


Lauren Day

Senior Kyle Olson elevates over the defense in attempts to make a layup.

Alexis Russell, Staff Writer

After suffering its first loss of the season, the boys basketball team (3-1) will face the Little Elm Lobos (5-2, #4 in class 5A) today at 5 p.m in the first round of the Prosper ISD Boys Basketball Classic.

“I always think that tournaments are a great time to see a variety of styles [of play],” head coach Kyle Herrema said. “You really start solidifying what your team is going to look like and how they handle certain situations. But, I think we got a pretty good feel for how we’re playing. We have a lot of veteran guys and collectively, we have some really good parts.”

Herrema said the Leopards were at a slight disadvantage going into Tuesday’s 38-46 loss versus the Titans since Centennial’s head coach Justin Kauffman was an assistant coach for Lovejoy for nine years until his departure in 2013.

“He knows all of our stuff,” Herrema said. “I think he had a brilliant plan and I think he played us really smart. But it really came down to the fact that we just didn’t hit any shots.”

The Leopards shot just 22 percent from the 3-point line and tallied 17 turnovers. Senior Kyle Olson was the leading scorer with 13 points.

“I think our defense lapsed because of the fact that we didn’t hit some shots early on,” Herrema said. “It was a good game for us to play. It’s one of those that shows us that we have to have good practices every single day leading up to a game. I think it’s going to help us down the road.”

Tonight’s game versus Little Elm will feature 5-star recruit RJ Hampton. Hampton is a 6-4 point guard in the class of 2020 who is currently entertaining offers from Duke and Kansas, as well as 15 other Division I schools.

Herrema said he is looking forward to seeing his players rise to the challenge of playing against such a high caliber player.

“I think the kids are excited to play a kid like RJ,” Herrema said. “It’s not often that you play a kid who is [rated] top 10 in the country. But at the same time, [Little Elm] is still just a team. It’s not just a one man show. I actually think there are some spots where we match up well with them.”

Senior Kyle Olson said he is not fazed by the prospect of guarding Hampton.

“Obviously we’re expecting him to be pretty good; he’s the best point guard in his class in the entire country,” Olson said. “But we’re just trying to limit him and take advantage of the rest of the team, because they really only have two great players. If we can keep them in check as best we can, I feel like we got a good chance.”