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Hebron Boys Basketball Season Preview

COACH: Will Cantrell

2012-13 RECORD: 13-15

RETURNING REGULARS:

Caleb Hawkins, 5-10, Sr.

Derek Vandiver, 5-10, Sr.

Cory Johnson, 6-0, Jr.

OTHERS TO WATCH:

Jackson Welch, 5-10, Jr.

Thomas Swift, 6-2, Soph.

Luke Crawford, 6-4, Soph.

OUTLOOK: Every player on the Hebron Christian roster has been a part of the program since middle school, giving the coaching staff a knowledgable group of kids to work with. Head coach Will Cantrell is particularly pleased with how the Lions understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, while focusing on the three core values he preaches: hard work, discipline and togetherness. Caleb Hawkins and Derek Vandiver are the only two seniors for a very young team, which will fill the rest of the rotation with underclassmen. The Lions have a large number of high-percentage shooters, particularly from 3-point range, so that is expected to be a strength in their preferred up-tempo offense.

WORTH NOTING: After a 3-9 start last season, the Lions played their best basketball down the stretch. They won their final two regular-season games over Commerce and Prince Avenue, then defeated Prince Avenue and Lakeview in the region tourney before a semifinal loss to Pinecrest and a season-ending win over Commerce. Under the previous system, that third-place finish in the region would have meant a state tourney trip, but the new Class A power ratings system left the Lions out. … Cantrell, entering his fourth season with Hebron, is a Providence Christian grad. He also played basketball at Georgia College and State University.

FAST FACT: Hebron reached its first state tournament in 2011-12, Cantrell’s second season as its head coach. The Lions defeated Lincoln County in a Class A play-in game, then fell to powerhouse Whitfield Academy in the next round.

2013-14 SCHEDULE

Nov. 15 at Pinecrest

Nov. 19 Monroe Area

Nov. 22 East Jackson

Nov. 26 Landmark

Dec. 3 Mt. Pisgah

Dec. 6 George Walton

Dec. 7 at Pacelli

Dec. 13 at Providence

Dec. 14 Athens Christian

Dec. 20 King’s Ridge

Dec. 27-28, 30 East Jackson Holiday Bash (boys)

Jan. 3 at Athens Academy

Jan. 7 Prince Avenue

Jan. 10 Tallulah Falls (girls)

Jan. 11 Pinecrest

Jan. 14 at Towns County

Jan. 17 Lakeview

Jan. 24 at Commerce

Jan. 28 Athens Academy

Jan. 31 at George Walton

Feb. 1 Providence

Feb. 4 at Athens Christian

Feb. 7 at Prince Avenue