BAKER — The Hampshire boys basketball team looked strong last Thursday in their matchup against East Hardy defeating the Cougars 68-22 in their final scrimmage of the preseason.
Trevor Sardo was on fire from downtown draining seven 3-pointers for a total of 23 points to lead the Trojans.
“Take the shot when the shot is open,” said Sardo regarding his scoring strategy.
“I expect Trevor to pick up right where he left off last season,” said Coach Danny Alkire.
“I expect him to be out there and running and when he has the open shot I expect him to shoot.”
Sardo outscored East Hardy by himself but his comrades also did some damage scoring. Seth Eaton finished in double digits with 11 points, Drew Keckley tallied 8 points, and Tyler Shanholtz tossed in 3 field goals and 1 free throw for 7 points.
The highlight of the night was when Mikhi Anderson took advantage of a wide open breakaway to the hoop and the high jumper showed off his elite leaping ability by slam dunking the basketball which brought the crowd to its feet.
Perhaps the most important factor in the scrimmage was the ability to execute without coughing up the basketball.
“I like that we didn’t turn the ball over as much as the first scrimmage. You can see that we did better against the 1-3-1 which we struggled with last year,” explained Alkire.
On Tuesday Dec. 10, the Trojans opened the season with a home game against Petersburg.
Last year the Trojans split with Petersburg winning 67-42 at home but losing on the road 56-54.
On Friday night the Frankfort Falcons fly in from Short Gap looking to continue their recent dominance over Hampshire. Last year Frankfort defeated Hampshire 62-42 and 40-30.
So what will it take for Hampshire to knock off their Mineral County rivals?
“If we come with the right enthusiasm and belief that we can win the game against Frankfort then we should be good to go,” said Coach Alkire.
Another key to the game will be stopping the multi-talented Jansen Knotts.
“We have to stop Jansen. He is a great basketball player and we need to make him earn his shot,” explained Alkire.
Pace of play will be another area Hampshire hopes to improve upon this year.
“We don’t have to be in a hurry and in a rush,” said Alkire.
“I think our offense is going to be a little better this year, and a little more productive and our defense to continue to improve.”
In terms of an x-factor on the team, there are several kids that have an opportunity to step up and produce for the Trojans.
“Right now Carter Smith is the one stepping in and being effective on both sides of the ball,” Alkire stated.
Look for Carter to shoot the rock when left open in the corners.
Overall, Coach Alkire is bubbling with anticipation to get the 2019-20 campaign underway.
“I think there is a lot of excitement from the community and around this team. This first week is extremely important especially starting with Petersburg.”o