By Vern Hee
“Verzilli ball” migrates over to the basketball court for the Hornets this year.
It will be the second season since Brian Hayes moved South to Pahrump, vacating the baseball and basketball positions.
Leo Verzilli filled in for football and basketball this year as he did baseball last spring.
Verzilli is the Beatty High School physical education teacher. He also holds the title of athletic director. The man does it all.
“This year looks good. We have 19 kids out this year for boys’ basketball. A lot of young guys on the junior varsity, so we want to rotate them in game by game and get them experience,” the coach said.
The coach feels he has a good group of boys and he likes his size under the basket.
He said he has six varsity players returning and four more players with varsity experience. Last year’s team ran the same plays that Hayes left. This will be the first year of change in another direction for the Hornets. Verzilli feels he has some speed on his team and he will try to capitalize on that.
“We want to run a motion offense with man to man defense. We will fast break as much as possible and keep moving on our end of the court. We want to pick and roll and pick and pass and shoot as fast as we can before they can cover us. We do not have great height but great jumpers,” he said.
At the point position will be Jake Zamora and at the posts will be Carlos Gomez and Alex Robles. Gomez and Robles are around the six-foot range for height.
The last state championship that the Hornets won was in 1997 and the last state tournament they appeared in was in 2011.
Last year the boys appeared in the regional playoffs but not state. The Beatty boys start their season at Adelson today at 6:30 p.m.
Beatty Girls Basketball
The Lady Hornets are coming off a winning season last year and appeared in the 2011-2012 state tournament under Coach Aimee Senior.
The team lost to Wells in the state semifinals, 43-25.
This will be Senior’s 20th season as head coach. Her assistant is Steve Sullivan. Last year Senior praised the work that Sullivan did with forwards on defense and offense.
Senior is excited to have five returning players on the team. The five players are Melynda Gross, Shankara Venezio, Ginny Cathcart and Christina Thompson.
“This year we are trying to get more pre-season games this year to get more playing time to help improve our season. I think more tourney play and games will make it a better season,” said Senior.
Coach said she hopes to convince two other junior players that played as freshman but not as sophomores to return, Lucero Hernandez and Nicole Zamora.
Senior expects her team to be fast.
“We should still have some speed, be strong under the basket, and be defensively strong. We usually run a zone defense – it’s what we’re comfortable in, but I like to throw in a man to man to put some pressure on, full court and enable us to run some fast breaks from it,” said coach.
She expects her veterans to take most of the positions.
“Ginny, Christina, Nicole will play guards, while Melynda and Lucero will play under the basket. Shankara will probably play a wing/forward. Ester Hernandez is a first time player as a senior. She will get some under the basket play,” she said.
The Hornets expect to do well this year in the 4-A.
“Right now I see everyone as our rivals, but Alamo will be tough as always.
I’m anxious to play our first game, after that I should be able to be more relaxed with your questions,” said Senior.
Beatty plays Adelson School today at 5 p.m. at Adelson. Next week they are at Round Mountain.