Basketball season kicked off Nov. 20 for the Elizabeth boys basketball team when they took the floor against opponents for the first time this season during the four-team scrimmage held at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood.
Four teams, Elizabeth, D'Evelyn and Vista Peak and host Bear Creek took part in the scrimmage. A round-robin format was used as each team took the court for a 20-minute scrimmage against each of the other three teams. A running clock was used as two teams faced off for 20 minutes of competition. No scores were kept but officials were on the court to call fouls if needed.
Cardinals Coach Alex Hutchins said he has a lot of good kids on the varsity this season.
“This is my first year as head coach so there has been a learning curve for all of us,” the coach said during a break in the action. “We did work together this summer and that helps as we get ready for the season. This scrimmage is a great chance to see where we are as a team and to try different player combinations so we can see what works best for us.”
He said he wants the Cardinals to run a fast-paced style this season.
“We do have a couple 6-4 guys in the lineup but I think fast-paced basketball will work better for us. We have a good group and good leadership. This scrimmage is a chance to see them in action when they go up against opponents rather than their teammates.”
Senior Gage Smith said he has played a total of five sports in high school but basketball is his favorite.
“I guess I like basketball the best because my teammates are my best friends and it is great to be together on the court with them,” he said. “I like a lot of things about basketball but I guess the thing I like the best is when I knock down a three-pointer and the crowd goes wild.”
Smith is 6-4 and plays point guard.
“I started playing point guard when I was a sophomore and I was 5-7,” he said “I grew seven inches over the last two seasons but still play the same position. I just have to adapt ball-handling skills a bit to compensate for my height as I play point guard for our team.”
He said to score points for the Cardinals he feels he can take advantage of the situation by either driving to the basket or pulling up and shooting the outside shot. He said he likes to shoot and hit three-pointers.
“My goal this season is to do all I can to help our team get to state,” he said. “Our team has really worked so hard to get ready for this season because our goal is to get to state. I feel we are a very good team and we are strong enough to get to state.”
The Cardinals kick off the season on the road as they travel to Alamosa for a tournament. Their first game in the tournament is Nov. 30 against Montrose. They are scheduled to play three games in the tournament that last until Dec. 2. Elizabeth plays its first home game Dec. 15 against Kennedy.
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