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Ryan Shaffer returns for his senior season hoping to lead the Falcons to a Tri-6 title.

Ryan Shaffer returns for his senior season hoping to lead the Falcons to a Tri-6 title.

GH Talon

GH Talon

Ryan Shaffer returns for his senior season hoping to lead the Falcons to a Tri-6 title.

Noe Brady, Staff Writer

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As fall sports are coming to an end, the winter teams are ready to compete. The Green Hope men’s basketball team had their first scrimmage on November 8th, and are scheduled to play on Tuesday, November 14th against Fuquay. The team ended their season last year with a 25-6 record, proving their success and potential for this year. Ranking 34th in North Carolina, the team won the conference tournament and advanced to the state quarterfinals last season. Coach John Green is expecting a lot of improvement from the team this season. When asked about his main goal, he said, “It would probably be to get better every day. Obviously our goal is to win the conference championship and the conference tournament and advance in the playoffs, but just a day-to-day goal is to get better as a team, and to work on the small steps that will lead to winning games.”

Coach Green has been coaching the team for years, and is excited for the group of players this season after their hard work training and preparing for this season in the past months. He said, “I think that the guys returning from last year have put a lot of work in the gym on their individual game. They’ve hit the weight room and gotten a lot stronger. Hopefully the guys that are coming back will use the experience from last year and the work in the weight room and the gym to help them have a good season this year.” Green has a few specific aspects of the game that he wants to see improvement on from players. He said, “Our strengths are that we can be a really good shooting team from the outside. I think we have really good teamwork for the most part, and we move well without the ball. We are very offensive-minded. Some weaknesses are that sometimes our team rebounding isn’t what it should be and sometimes our team defense isn’t what is should be. We’re really working on those two things so we can solidify what we’re doing as a team.”

Many key players contribute leadership and teamwork to the team.Talking about the returning players, Coach Green said, “One would be senior, Ryan Shaffer, who was the leading scorer last year and we’re hoping to see more of that coming this year.” We have five players who can really score twenty points in any given game. With that kind of depth, we should be tough to stop. The other seniors point guard, Chuck Hills, who had an incredible year and summer, and Jordan Bates-Williams coming back should be able to lead us. The two returning juniors we have, Josh Savino and PJ Fenton, had good years and games last year. If these five players can step up we should be in good shape.” Ryan Shaffer lead the team in points with a total of 472 last year and PJ Fenton had an impressive 126 rebounds.

Along with the coach, the players are expecting to see a successful season and are looking forward to working together. Returning junior, PJ Fenton, said, “We had a good summer going 14-1 and a good preseason this fall. I think if we play hard and together we will have a successful season.” The five returners will be playing with a lot of new faces who have advanced from JV to Varsity this year. Junior, Ben Maske, said “I think we have a chance to be really good and go far in the season. We lost some seniors, but the team is supposed to have a really strong offense this year.”

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Men’s Basketball Preview