Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 06:02 AM
It's almost that time of year again, when high school basketball teams across the country gear up for an exciting and competitive season. In the town of Santa Clarita, California, the team at Hart High School is eagerly anticipating their upcoming year. With a talented and experienced group of players, as well as some promising newcomers, it's clear that they have high hopes for a successful season. To get an inside look at the team, we sat down with Head Coach Jim Ozella to discuss the current state of Hart basketball and what we can expect from them this year. One of the first things Coach Ozella emphasized was the team's focus on constant improvement throughout the season. He pointed to their success at the Easton Tournament last year as proof of their dedication to getting better every day. The team finished in second place, despite facing tough competition, and Coach Ozella hopes to build on that momentum this year. In addition to their success at the Easton Tournament, Hart also had a strong showing in their non-league games, with an impressive 16-6 record. This success carried over into Foothill League play, where they finished with a 9-3 record. Coach Ozella credits this success to the dedication and hard work of his players, who are constantly striving to improve on the court. Leading the team this year will be senior guards Brayden Jefferis and Troy Cooper. Jefferis, a four-year starter, has committed to play at the University of Michigan. He brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team, and Coach Ozella describes him as a "warrior on the court." Cooper, a three-year starter, has committed to play at Cal Poly SLO and brings a strong shooting and playmaking ability to the team. But it's not only the experienced seniors who will make an impact for Hart this year. Coach Ozella also has his eyes on a quality group of sophomores and juniors who will be joining the team. With nine seniors and a mix of underclassmen, the team has a good balance of experience and fresh talent. Coach Ozella believes that mixing the new players with the veteran players will create a strong and cohesive team dynamic. One of the key factors in the team's success is their self-motivation. Coach Ozella notes that his players have a strong desire to succeed and are always pushing themselves to be better.