By David Grimes
With four starters back, including district Player of the Year, the Patrick Henry boys’ basketball team is poised to defend its Western Valley District title and make another deep run into the playoffs again this season.
Hitting the hardwood for the Patriots, who finished 20-5 overall and 7-1 in the district last year, are WVD Player of the Year Marcus Banks (senior, 5-7, guard), Tyler Pollard (junior, 6-3, forward), Cortez Ogden (junior, 5-10, guard), Tyus Esworthy (junior, 6-2, guard), Trey Terry (junior, 5-7, guard), Taylor Collins (senior, 5-9, guard), Christian Kirchman (junior, 6-0, guard), Tray Crowder (senior, 6-3, forward), Marcus Terry (sophomore, 6-0, guard), Isiah Tucker (junior, 6-0, guard), Rayvon Manning (senior, 6-4, forward), Xavier Nichols (junior, 6-1, guard), Austin Donithan (senior, 6-6, forward) and Thomas Stockstill (sophomore, 6-2, forward).
Head Coach Jack Esworthy sees his top players as being Banks, Crowder, Donithan, Kirchman and Ogden.
“We are a veteran team that has won 20-plus games three years in a row,” said Esworthy, when asked about the team’s strengths. As for the weaknesses, “We are a new team and need new chemistry.”
Patrick Henry sees its top games as being Jan. 12, when Potomac comes to town.
The Patriots open their season on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Pulaski County.