Goshen High School basketball is now in full fear, despite getting off to a late start.
Because the football team was able to advance to the second round of the AHSAA playoffs, the basketball team’s season was delayed until late November.
The Eagles’ first game came back on Nov. 20 on the road against Florala High School.
The team had just wrapped up practices three days prior to that.
“We played better than expected,” GHS head coach Jonathan Deveridge said on Wednesday afternoon.
The team lost by eight in its opener, 53-45, but the coach said it was a good starting point for his team.
“It was a good place to see where we were as a team.
“We had very little time to practice together, but I was still fairly impressed with how we played,” the coach added.
This is the third season for Deveridge as head coach for the Eagles, however, this season will be unlike any other he has had at the school because of his personnel, or lack thereof.
“There is not one senior on this year’s team,” the coach said.
“We graduated six from last season, and nine the year before that, so this will be interesting for everyone. “We will be playing a bunch of young guys this season – but I think we will be OK,” Deveridge added.
While the coach believes his team will be able to compete, he said he does believe youth could be the team’s biggest weakness.
“I think [our youth] will be the No. 1 weakness this season.
“We have a total of three players returning from last season’s team so lack of experience is going to be something we have to overcome,” Deveridge said.
“We are focusing right now on getting everyone on the same page.”
Two areas the coach believes his team will excel in are two the most important parts of the game.
“We are pretty quick with the ball,” Deveridge said.
“I really like how our guards are developing.”
“We also have a lot of size down low, which is something that has not been the case before.
Now, the team will prepare for its second game of the season, which will take place in the Pea River Tournament on Friday.
The Eagles have a first round by in the tournament and will await the winner of the first round match up between Elba and Kinston.
“I am hoping we make a good showing,” Deveridge said at the team’s practice Wednesday night.
“We are about five to six games behind everyone else – I really just want to see some improvement from the team [during the tournament].”
So far, the team’s preparation for the upcoming tournament has had its ups and downs, according to Deveridge.
“I think Monday’s practice may have been the worst I had ever seen since I have been here,” he said. “But [Tuesday’s] was by far the best I had ever seen. “The kids are upbeat though about it all – they are all very positive and I think that separates them from other teams I have coached.
“They may act immature and silly sometimes but in the end, this team has a great work ethic and wants to be successful,” he added.