Despite finishing the 2018-2019 season with a loss in the district semifinals and an 11-11 record, the varsity boys basketball team will look to make a run at the state title under first-year head coach Raja Bell. Throughout the team’s off-season preparation, Bell and his staff have worked to create a winning atmosphere heading into the regular season that they hope will translate into success.
Many players have bought into their system, showing the coaches their commitment to the common goal: bringing another state title back to Plantation.
“Our coaching staff is very excited about our team,” Coach Bell said. “They have made tremendous strides in our preseason conditioning and have worked really hard at whatever we have asked them to do.”
With the first game approaching, though, excitement has begun to swirl among the players as well.
“I feel really good about the team this year,” senior Jackson Arnberg said. “We’ve been working extremely hard during practice for a couple of months now, and I’m hoping that determination will pay off.”
The Patriots got an early look at the results of their preparation Friday, Nov. 22 when they took on the Brito Panthers and walked away with an 84-66 preseason victory.
“I think that the team is right where they should be,” Coach Bell said after the win. “We have only been at it for a few weeks. There were some good moments, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Having said that, it’s always good to get a win. It is very important that we continue to establish a defensive identity and continue to develop offensive chemistry.”
For the team to improve from last year, though, Arnberg understands the “key for a push towards a state title will be taking each game one at a time, and focusing on the opponent in front of us rather than ahead. Coach Bell and the whole staff have already made a huge change not only in our plays and system, but the values and culture of the team as well.”
Heritage will begin the regular season Tuesday, Nov. 26 when they travel to take on Chaminade-Madonna, with tip-off set for 7:00pm.