Basketball is finally under way for the Easley High boys team, and the season brings change and familiarity.
The change comes from a later start than normal and from the new gymnasium at the new high school. Easley won its first game there 78-60 against Pickens in the season opener Friday.
The familiarity emanates from the roster, which has eight seniors and four juniors.
Usually, the Green Wave have played two or three games by the end of November, but coach Grant Stallard said, “We tried to push our schedule back with the success of our football team because we’ve got six players who played football.”
Easley will play in two holiday tournaments — one at Lander University and another in Kentucky. They had to move a region game to the second game of the season because of the second tournament.
“With eight seniors, there’s a lot of experience out there,” Stallard said. “They know how it goes. This is not a young team by any means.”
Troy McGowens entered the season having played 82 varsity games. The Preston twins, Alex and Matt, had played 53.
As for the keys to the season, Stallard said, “We’re only as good as our defense and rebounding. We try to push and get open shots and play up-tempo, especially on offense.”
The Green Wave can look to the Prestons for the 3-pointers or go inside to Neico Robinson (6 feet 7), Jake Foster (6-5), and Quaven Ferguson (6-4). McGowens then mixes in quickness, passing, and shooting to go where the hot hand is.
“We have a lot of ways to beat you,” said Stallard. “Hopefully one of them is clicking every night.”