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Basketball season set to excite fans

Alan Samson

Sports editor

The 2013 men’s and women’s basketball seasons have arrived. These two teams have been immensely successful in the last three years, both averaging over 15 wins a season. The men’s team is looking at a different starting scenario than they have had in a long time.

This year’s Hawks are going to be starting with only two returning guys with any experience and they are focused on the first game of the season.

“We have so many new guys, and when you have so many new faces, the next game is the most important and that is the first game,” said coach Chad Warner.

This team has some of the more talented players Shorter has had in quite some years, according to Warner, but they will determine the outcome of the season by how hard they work, how they play together and how they grow as a unit.

This is an adjustment for a team and school that are used to highly successful and veteran teams for the past three years. This year’s team will be looking to continue the recent success going as far back as 2012 when the men’s team made it to the final four of the NAIA tournament.

Still not eligible for post-season play, the Hawks will look to win the Gulf South Conference regular season championship and secure a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

The men’s team is looking to reach the NCCAA tournament for the second straight year and to continue having success in the Gulf South Conference.

The Lady Hawks are coming into this season with a different situation on their hands. They are a veteran-laden team with high expectations going into the season after a season last year that ended with them losing two of the three games they played in the NCCAA tournament.

“I see this season being even better than last year. We’re a veteran team with only two freshman and I think we have all improved since our last game on the court,” said senior guard Kristin Nash.

The Lady Hawks know they are facing stiff competition in the conference this year. Their focus this off-season has been the basics and how to be more consistent on offense. Last year’s team averaged half a point more than they gave up so they know coming into this season they have to score and hold their opponents on defense.

“Anybody can beat anybody in this league; we talked about the little things being more important and controlling what we can control to win us some games,” said head coach Vic Mitchell.

The Hawks will look to feed off the senior leadership and continue the trend of intense defense that the team has shown in the recent years.

“We just have to keep the intensity we’ve always had and take pride in stopping our opponents,” said Nash.

The Hawks look to extend their season and make it to the NCCAA tournament again this year and avenge their two early losses last year. Both teams have talent and the will to win this season and will look to continue Shorter’s success in the NCAA Division II along the way. Fans are encouraged to come out and show their support for both of these teams this season.

“Their support means so much to the success of our team, we appreciate how much they energize us as a team. I just want our fans to know just how important they are to our success and how appreciated they are,” said Mitchell.