Maranatha Academy boys face tough opponent to open sub-state play Tuesday
With a new coach in Tavis Hackathorn, growing pains were likely for the Maranatha Academy boys basketball team as it transitioned to a new style of play.
Hackathorn has enjoyed the season so far, but the loss of leading scorer senior Robby Thomas proved to be a major problem for the Eagles.
Thomas suffered a broken wrist on Jan. 21 against McLouth which proved to be a set back the season.
“It’s been tough to replace him obviously, but some other people have had to step up,” Hackathorn said.
Jaryd Dolinar replaced Thomas. Though undersized for a forward, Hackathorn said Dolinar’s filled in nicely.
“He’s definitely been able to step up with him being gone,” Hackathorn said.
Juniors Luke Holland and Zech Johnson shared much of the point guard duties this season. Johnson especially gained the respect of the team when handling the floor general role this season.
“He’s done a good job of keeping control and running our offense,” Hackathorn said.
Senior guard Luke Miller has also proven to a solid contributor off the bench throughout the season.
Although there were road bumps for Maranatha, the team continued to show improvement throughout the year especially when it came to the fundamentals. The one area especially is control on the offensive end.
“Being more disciplined and making sure we’re getting the right shot when we come down each time,” Hackathorn said. “Learning how to hold onto a lead. Just being under control and being more disciplined.”
With a 7-13 record entering the sub-state first-round game against Lyndon on Tuesday, Maranatha hopes its undersized lineup will be able to handle the 15-5 opponent.
Hackathorn said his team couldn’t get killed inside and on the glass. The Eagles also can’t waste possessions.
Even with the many struggles of this season, Hackathorn remains happy with how the first season at the helm turned out.
“It’s been great, great group of kids that work hard each day and do what they need to do,” he said.