Young Panthers looking to strike

High school basketball preview begins with Parkland senior boys team

Parkland forward Harrison Archdekin runs the floor during a Panthers practice. The team’s season is well underway.

Parkland’s Panthers senior boys basketball team is a young group this year, says coach Roger Pires.

Made up almost entirely of Grade 11 players (and some junior students playing up this year), Pires said he has coached this group since Grade 8 with the intent of taking them right through to their senior season.

With 14 players on the roster, Pires has a large squad, yet young and inexperienced. That said, the team has had some early success in the preseason, losing by only two points to Vic High last week.

“We really need to work on our fundamentals,” Pires said during a recent practice. “We also have to build team chemistry and confidence.”

Helping lead the way are players like Harrison Archdekin.

“He has shown he wants to be one of the leaders,” said the coach, adding player Russell Bennett will also provide a portion of that role.

With those players at the fore, the team has been working hard, Pires added.

“The thing I love about these kids is they work hard, they’re dedicated.”

There’s rarely a practice or game that doesn’t have the entire roster out — even  if a player is injured or sick.

Archdekin is looking to be the main scoring threat from Parkland this season, Pires said. He added, however, multiple players were in double digits in the Vic High game, so that bodes well for putting points on the board.

The Panthers start and end at the defensive end, however, Pires said.

“Defence is what will keep us in the chase.”

Parkland plays at the AAA level this season. Pires said it’s hard to tell which local team will be the ones to beat, but his goal is to get this team into the top three in the region.

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Up next: Stelly’s boys and Parkland’s senior girls teams.