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Hilldale

Hilldale Hornets Basketball Preview – Presented By York Street Tire

BOYS

Coach: Scott Hensley

20-21 Record: 10-9

With nine seniors including a pair of what will be four-year starters and three who averaged in double figures, the Hilldale Hornets have good reason to be optimistic for the upcoming season. Ty O’Neal (6-4, Sr.) and Brayson Lawson (6-1, Sr.) will be the two four-year starters back on the floor for the Hornets. “Ty handles the ball and shoots well for a bigger guy,” said head coach Scott Hensley. “He’s been at or near the top in just about every stat category for the past three years.” O’Neal, who averaged 14 points and seven rebounds a game and Lawson, right behind him averaging 13 points and five boards a game, are joined by Rylan Nail (6-4, Sr.) who averaged 10 points a contest in 2020.  Add to those three players like Jax Whittiker (6-0, Sr.), Trey Moore (6-0, Sr.), Michael Delossantos (6-0, Sr.), and Reed Stout (6-0, Sr.), who is also involved in community volunteer work and acting, and you have a senior-laden team full of leaders. Juniors Eric Virgil (5-10,) and Logan Harper (6-3) were also part-time starters last season, averaging six and eight points a game respectively. Adding to the Hilldale bench will be Kielton Siedlik (6-0, Sr.), Connor Cottrell (5-10, Jr.) and LaMarion Burton (6-0, Jr.). The Hornets are a team without a “name” player and the success which they should certainly have will be a true team effort.

GIRLS

Coach: Clif Warford

20-21 Record: 13-9

Strong defense will be the key for the Lady Hornets this year after losing their top two scorers to graduation. That will put the pressure on returning starters Neveah Johnson (6-0, Sr.) and Riley Barnoski (5-2, Sr.). Johnson, who will be the inside strength for Hilldale, averaged 6 points and 7 rebounds a game last year and has verbally committed to play at the next level for Briar Cliff University in Iowa. Barnoski, the Lady Hornets point guard and voted the team’s MVP last year, also averaged about 6 points a game last year. “She rebounds well for a guard and is quick and explosive,” said head coach Clif Warford. “She had some really good games down the stretch last year and will probably lead us in offensive stats this year.” Barnoski and Brooklyn Ellis (5-5, Jr.), who will probably join Barnoski at a guard spot, both excelled as part of Hilldale’s softball team this fall as well. The Hilldale roster will also include seniors Lexi Baroussa (5-5) who suffered through some nagging injuries last year, Corionna Hayes (5-9) who looks to spell Johnson and is a strong rebounder according to Warford, and Tori Brown (5-1) who is a vocal leader on the team with a keen sense of humor according to Warford. Catelin King (5-5, So.) will also be looking to score more varsity playing time this year. “We will look to work hard on defense and play up-tempo on offense to offset our lack of big scorers,” said Warford. “We will need to defend and rebound well to have a successful season.” 

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