Gryohons meet Ironmen in first round
The Thomas Jefferson boys basketball team will head east on Thursday to tussle with The Cherryville Ironmen I the first round of the Bud Black/Dennis Tate Holiday Classic.
The Gryphons (4-6; 1-1 WHC) are coming off a blowout loss to Avery County but hope to right the ship over the holidays.
“I think our team is really starting to play well together,” said head coach Ken Hines who is in his first year as the head guy at Thomas Jefferson. “The guys are really starting to learn how I am as I coach and I’m getting used to who they are as players.”
TJCA is still trying to find its offensive identity.
“We’re not terribly athletic so we just have to play smart,” Hines said. “We like to get the ball and run until the other team shows they can play that style better than we can.”
“Efrim Borders is our leading scorer but our post play is really important to our success,” Hines said. “I have a rotation of about 4-5 guys that I play in the post. If I can get them to give me a combined 15-20 points then we have a great chance to win a basketball game.”
If the Gryphons win their matchup with Cherryville they are scheduled to meet the winner of Chase/Australia B in the second round.
Hines coached several years at Chase before taking the TJCA job. Former assistant Joe Jessen is the new head coach for the Trojans. Hines downplays the possibility of coaching against his former team and assistant.
“That game wouldn’t mean any more than any other game,” said Hines. “I know that staff really well and we get along great. It’d be fun but I don’t think about that stuff too much.”
“The team is looking forward to this tournament,” said Hines. “There is always great competition and it serves as a great gauge to see where we are as a team.”
TJCA tips off against Cherryville at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27.