SALYERSVILLE - The Magoffin County High School boys' basketball team concluded a successful summer season in June. The Hornets will open preseason practice in mid-October.
"I think we had a successful summer, considering we had some kids either injured or away for other reasons," said Magoffin County Coach Scott Castle. "We competed really hard and made progress in different areas, but still have some work in different areas to focus on. When our help side defense was efficient, we were a much better team. Also, when we were aggressive as a team, our offense looked good. Our consistency in these areas will have to improve, especially from our younger players. Aden Barnett, an incoming eighth grader, and Grayson Whitaker, an incoming seventh grader, made great improvements in this area by the end of summer ball. I would still like for them to be more aggressive, both offensively and defensively, as we proceed forward. Chandler Lykins and Ian and Ethan Prewitt all played well. I would like for the Prewitts to feed off of the energy that Chandler plays with and his aggressiveness of going after the ball on rebounds as well as on the offensive glass. Chandler continues to make improvements given his hard work this summer in the weight room and I look forward to seeing the Prewitt twins get better and better. Isaiah Salyer did a great job of running the team and pushing the ball in transition. When he is aggressive offensively and makes good decisions, I think that is when we play our best ball as a team. He is really good in getting everyone involved just as a point guard should do, but is also capable of scoring in double figures every game with his offensive ability.
His work in the weight room has increased his ability to get to the rim as well as defining his presence more on the defensive end. I look forward to seeing him grow on the court. Without question, Brady Whitaker was the most impressive player in summer ball of all the teams we played or watched. He scored 48 points versus Pike County Central and had multiple 40 point games and numerous 20-30 point games. When we are able to rebound and get out in transition, not only does Brady’s game elevate, but our chances of scoring greatly increase in transition. I feel it would be a disgrace for Brady Whitaker not to be recognized by other coaches as a potential preseason player of the year in the 15th Region."
Magoffin County showed some depth throughout June. Multiple newcomers are expected to contribute for the Hornets.
"Newcomers Lucas Litteral and Matthew Watkins were surprisingly good as well," Castle added. "Despite both having not played since seventh grade, they will add some depth, athletic ability and the energy we need to compete in our district and region. Their offensive abilities will improve and by season’s end, I look for both of them to contribute offensively on a more consistent basis in addition to what athletic ability they bring on the defensive end."
Magoffin County notched wins over multiple quality teams in June.
"We ended summer ball with wins over Pike Central, Floyd Central, Prestonsburg, Paintsville, Sheldon Clark and different teams from West Virginia and Virginia," noted Castle.
The Hornets are slated to tip off the 2018-19 season on the road at Floyd Central on November 27.
Independent Photo || JIM ARNETT
Brady Whitaker is set to lead the Magoffin County High School boys' basketball team as a senior. Whitaker ranks as one of the state's top scorers heading into his senior season.