POLACCA -- Hopi High School kicked off its boys and girls basketball season with Meet the Bruins night Nov. 17 as they gave fans a chance to see the players in inter-team scrimmages.
Lady Bruins Coach Gwen Grant said the Hopi High girls looked decent, although they started a bit slow.
"They were just excited to come out and play and I hope they continue to improve," she said.
Coach Grant said she expects the Lady Bruins to go a long way this year, but she added that depends on how much work they are willing to put into it.
Coach Grant said Hopi High will have a good offense if the Lady Bruins can execute their plays. Hopi will have a half court offense.
"I don't believe in run and gun," she said.
Coach Grant said Hopi High's girls will be strong on defense because of their speed. She said the defense will mix zones and man-to-man strategies.
Coach Grant said Hopi High doesn't have any size, but she expects the Lady Bruins to be competitive in the rebounding category.
"We'll go hard to the basket," she said.
Deidra Jones will start at center, but Coach Grant said after that the other positions are up for grabs.
"I'm still looking to see which people go where," she said.
Coach Grant said she has a number of guards who are quick and can shoot the ball.
Improving their game
James Lomakema, coach for the Hopi High boys team, said the Bruins have a lot of work to do on their overall game.
Coach Lomakema said the Hopi High boys will need to be patient on offense.
"We need to improve our passing. We see the opening, but our passes are a little fast or a little slow," he said.
Coach Lomakema said the Bruins also need improvements on defense.
"We need to move our feet, help each other out and be more aggressive," he said.
Hopi High has some height, but Coach Lomakema said they will need to use technique and boxing out to pull down their share of rebounds.
Coach Lomakema said no one has stepped up yet as the team leader.
"I'm hoping someone will emerge in the near future," he said. "We also have several players who have the potential to step forward and be all stars."
The point guard duties will go to Shawn Honanie, Jeremy Adams and Matt Lamson, but the starting shooting guard has not yet emerged.
Five players are competing for the forward positions. Michael Thayer, Michael Lomatewaima, Vincent Timms, Alden Suetopka and Donald David could see playing time at those positions.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)