St. Aloysius under leadership of new head coach McBrayer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 2004

[11/4/04]St. Aloysius girls basketball coach Drew McBrayer took one look at this year’s schedule, shook his head and asked rhetorically, “What were they thinkiing?”

The Lady Flashes, who feature 10 underclassmen and no juniors, will begin the season at home on Nov. 12. After that, the team will have one home game on Nov. 30 and won’t return home again until Jan. 13.

“We have seven home games all year. Seven,” McBrayer said. “I can’t believe someone would even think of making a schedule like this. He must have known he was going somewhere else when he made this thing.”

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So far, most of the time spent has been getting used to one another.

“It’s a work in progress, but we have talent,” McBrayer said. “It’s a different culture that not many of these players are used to.”

McBrayer has instituted a new offense that uses constant motion, back cuts and crisp passing. The team scrimmaged for the first time on Wednesday after spending most of the early practice time working on fundamentals.

“They’re learning the offense. It’s just a matter of how quickly they can pick it up,” the coach said.

Top scorer Sarah Kerut, a sophomore, will lead the team alongside seniors Sara Burrell and Laura Weeks.

McBrayer has 15 players on the roster and is implementing an up-tempo style of play. He used a similar offense last season at New Hope.

“I’m pleased with the way things are going right now,” he said. “This is a completely different offense and I don’t know if any of them have ever seen it before.”

The Lady Flashes will play in four tournaments this year. Add to that division games against Bogue Chitto and MSD and McBrayer said this season will be a challenge.

“They’re used to something completely different, so it will take some time to get used to each other,” McBrayer said.

Flashes waiting to hold first practice

The first full practice for the St. Aloysius basketball team will come all of six days before the first game.

With the bulk of its roster playing on the football team, first-year coach Drew McBrayer will get his full team in the gym for the first time Saturday morning following the last football game of the season against Cathedral on Friday night.

In those six days, the team that could start up to as many as four sophomores has to learn both a new offense and a new defense as well as working with a new head coach. Last year’s coach, Paul Hayden, left to take an assistant coaching position at Pearl High.

“They’ve come sparingly to try to see what’s going on,” McBrayer said of his players. “We have six days to learn the new offense, but it is not that hard. There’s a lot of attention to detail. Once you pick up on one aspect of it, the rest falls into place.”

The Flashes have two seniors Brian Dyess and Lance Logan and will feature eight sophomores. The team lost the bulk of its scoring with the graduation of Kyle Richards, Anthony Rector and Drew Mazzanti. Last year, the “Big Three” led the Flashes to a 10-16 record, but they finished 8-4 in the region.

“We’ll have to learn a lot in a hurry,” McBrayer said.

McBrayer said a schedule that includes division games against West Lincoln and Bogue Chitto will be difficult. He added that the Flashes have a legitimate shot at a playoff run.

“That’s always the goal,” McBrayer said. “If we can learn the offense and grow together, we can be a good team.”

Sharpshooter Chris Johnson, as well as John Robert Burnett and Marsh Willis, should provide most of the scoring. Daniel Halinski, the football team’s quarterback, and Dyess will also provide needed offense.

The Flashes open the season on Nov. 12 at home against St. Andrew’s at 6 p.m.