• Prep basketball notebook: Eagles go big at Mizzou

  • Summer is time for high school basketball squads to experiment, and so far the Grain Valley boys team is doing so successfully.

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  • Summer is time for high school basketball squads to experiment, and so far the Grain Valley boys team is doing so successfully.
    Utilizing a bigger lineup than the Eagles have had in years, coach Andy Herbert’s team went 9-3 and made it to the championship game at a Mizzou team camp the team attended this past week in Columbia.
    “The kids looked really good,” Herbert said. “We’ve got a bigger team than we’ve had in a long time, probably since I’ve been here. We got to see the guys in positions they haven’t been in before.”
    The Eagles return five lettermen – Daniel and Jordan Mahurin, Hunter Ramirez, Cody Zeigler and Hunter Domsch – who all stand at least 6-foot-2 except for Jordan Mahurin.
    “We’re trying to do some different things,” Herbert said. “We’re trying to utilize a more post-oriented system and play inside out instead of the other way around, which we’re not accustomed to.
    “We definitely liked what we saw down there.”
    William Chrisman also attended the camp, although Brett Pendergist was the only returning varsity player who made the trip. Although Chrisman took its lumps, Pendergist impressed first-year coach Chad Wright.
    “Brett looked real good,” Wright said. “He got up and down the floor extremely well. It was good for him to be one of the main scoring options. He looked to score a little more and was handling the ball a lot too.”
    Wright’s still getting a feel for his new team, but he’s optimistic about what he’s seen so far. After playing a pressing, uptempo style the past several years under John Vickers, Wright said the Bears will implement a more traditional system.
    “We’re definitely going to be different than what they’ve been playing,” Wright said. “We want to be more focused on more fundamental half-court defense and limiting teams to one shot and do a little more inside-out type stuff on offense.”
    CHRISMAN GIRLS IMPRESSING: It’s hard to imagine an area team having a more productive offseason than the William Chrisman girls. The Bears have posted a 14-0 mark in summer-league games so far despite losing 85 percent of their scoring with the graduation of all-state forward Nieka Wheeler as well as starting shooting guard Sykeya Horn and backup point guard Andrea Quarles.
    “This is the most coachable team I’ve ever put on the floor,” Chrisman coach Lindsay Thompson said. “They’re more committed to sharing the ball and making the extra pass than any group of young women I’ve ever seen. They’ve just been a joy to coach.”
    Thompson said junior guard Asia Young has emerged as a breakout candidate and also has been impressed with freshmen Adreon Bell and Bri Burns.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Everyone’s just so excited to get out and play every day and they all play extraordinarily hard,” Thompson said. “Last year, we had some really rocky moments as a team. This year, I don’t think that we will.”
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC

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