Originally Published: Dec 16, 2009 5:15 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma – Fresh off a 3A football state title defense, the Cascia Hall Commandos’ boys basketball team is looking for a repeat performance of its own.
Cascia Hall won its first basketball title in school history last season when the Commandos finished 19-10. Cascia Hall had little trouble scoring thanks to two-sport stars Steven Rouse, A.Z. Moyer and Bryce Banham. Early practices hint that scoring won’t be much of an issue again this year with the outside-inside presence of three point specialist Luke Bryant and 6-foot-10 senior center Bear Hawkins.
“One thing I like about these guys is they’re very competitive, said Commandos head coach Brian Rahilly. “They’ll come in here and get after each other. They care about one another. They’re just fun to be around.”
Winning makes things more fun. Cascia Hall beat Tulsa Central in the first round of the Bishop Kelley Classic, before losing two straight. Four players scored in double-figures against Hale in the third-place game.
Senior guard Matt Prueitt will be in charge of getting the ball to all of the playmakers on offense. Coaches describe this year’s team as a ‘smaller, but faster’ version of last season’s championship squad, with the ability to shoot the lights out.
“At any given time, one player can (score) 20 points one night, and another player can score that much the next night,” said senior guard Luke Bryant. “It makes it tough for defenses to guard us.”
Cascia has a good mix of basketball-only guys, and former football stars on its roster. The blend of athletes is something that Rahilly hopes translates into wins on the court.
“Guys are different every year,” he said after practice. “We have a lot of talent in the gym.”
After winning its first title last season, 2009 presents another great opportunity to bring home some hardware.
“Last year’s team is last year’s team,” said Rahilly. “It’ll be that way forever. These guys have a whole new opportunity.”