Yellow Jackets ready for hoops season to begin


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 1:47 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011

Greenville’s Peter Lindeman, left, looks to make a pass with Curtis Heppe guarding him during practice on Tuesday. Greenville coach Mark Haist watches in the back ground. The Yellow Jackets open the season Dec. 6 at Cedar Springs.

GREENVILLE - The boys high school basketball season began on Monday with tryouts and practice. The regular season begins in less than three weeks.
The Greenville Yellow Jackets boys basketball team – 15-7 overall last season – is looking forward to the start of the year. Greenville fell two points shy of a district title last season and will be bringing a lot of expectations into the new season.

“We will have 11 players this year. We have a good core back from last year and some good pieces from JV,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “We are excited about what we have. Right now, we are focusing on working together and playing as a team.”

Another focus for the first week of practice is defense for the Yellow Jackets. The O-K White Conference will feature some powerful teams in Northview (defending district champs), Grand Rapids Christian and East Grand Rapids.

“Defense has got to be our first priority,” Haist said. “We have to work together and trust each other. We will try to build chemistry and then get back to the basics of everything offensively and defensively.”

The Yellow Jackets lost in the district finals last year 60-58 to Northview. A three-quarter court shot by then junior Chris Mickey rimmed out at the buzzer to end the game.

The Greenville offense will work on different things from a year ago. Haist said they will try to mix is it up offensively with their versatility.

“We will do what works,” he said. “If going inside is working we will do that. Every game could be different for us. We have good bigs and good guards.”

Haist said versatility is the team’s strong point.

“It is really our strength. We are hoping to develop depth,” he said. “We are hoping to have a strong bench for when guys are in foul trouble or are just off that night. We will need guys to step up and fill their shoes without a drop off.”

The Yellow Jackets are anticipating the start of the season. Between now and Dec. 6 the Yellow Jackets have a lot to work on, but are looking forward and expecting a successful season.

“I think everybody is excited,” Haist said. “It seems likes it takes forever to get here. Then it’s here and we are ready to go. Everyone is excited and practicing with good energy.”

The Yellow Jackets begin the season at Cedar Springs on Dec. 6. They begin a stretch of three straight home games on Dec. 9 with rival Belding.

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