This week marks the commencement of the 2016-17 New Hope-Solebury basketball season. With their first practice on Friday, Nov. 18th, the team will be working throughout Thanksgiving break to prepare for a successful season. Everyone is getting pumped for the upcoming season, including junior Matt Benda, school spirit superlative, who says: “New Hope basketball...nothin’ better. We’re going to get rowdy this year.” However, with all this hype, what should fans truly expect from the Lions?
After a subpar season just a year ago, the Lions look to embark on a more successful campaign this year, which they hope will include a run at a regional championship. The squad this year features three returning starters: juniors Nick Garritano and Kevin Dougherty, and senior Brendan Shadle. A fierce presence will be at hand inside as 6’6” sophomore Topher Taylor looks to have a breakout season. Senior Captain Brendan Shadle, who is optimistic about the upcoming season, says: “This is the year. Watch out for us playing deep into February, maybe even early March [when states begin].”
The New Hope student body expects great and plentiful turnouts at all the home games this year. Home court advantage plays a key role in high school basketball, and a wild crowd coming out for every home game could lead to a few more games in the win column this year. But when are these home games? After a few tournaments and scrimmages, the first game at home is on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 7p.m. versus Church Farm School. The Lions’ Den has to be packed for this tough matchup. Exactly a week later, the Lions will take on Valley Forge Military Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., followed by the annual “Over the River Challenge,” which will be played at home on Dec. 27 and 28. Mark your calendars; the season is upon us, and attendance is mandatory.