By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– With intensity in the small gym that look over the main gym that the Girls Volleyball team were practicing in, it doesn’t seem like its June 9 as it does on January 9 for the McKay Boys Basketball squad.
But it all in the preparation for the season.
“It’s more getting used to playing at a fast pace all the time,” said McKay Head Coach Dean Sanderson. “It’s not the same intensity as we have middle of January next year I would hope, but they’re learning how to play well, making a lot of progress.
“Individuals are making progress and kids, I think, are used to what we’re expecting now and that’s the big thing. It’s not as big of a shock to them so you’re seeing more guys playing harder right away.”
That fast pace was what Sanderson and company are preaching to his team dating back to before the start of last season; and you saw it slowly gain steam towards the second half of the Greater Valley Conference in 2016.
As practice wore on with 2-on-2 full court defense drills, shots around the perimeter of the three-point line, the demands that Sanderson is requiring of his team is so that it won’t be so unfamiliar when the season starts in the late fall with the hope of making it back to the playoffs.
“Having intense practices now would really get us in shape,” said Khyler Beach. “So by the time we get to winter, we’re already in shape and we can practice more on doing our offense and adjusting to how other teams are doing instead of focusing more on conditioning to do what we really want to do.”
Though the season isn’t for another few months, the Royal Scots have already played in summer league games to put practice into work.
At 5-1 in summer league play confidence is high for McKay considering two of those wins featured double digit rallies to get them.
“I feel like this season we’re going to be much better,” said Josaiah Castillo. “Because we have a lot of guys last year who played varsity and we’re getting better every day.
“Coach said, ‘Don’t stop playing hard’ and we didn’t stop playing hard good things happened,” added Castillo on the double-digit comeback wins.
Up next on the summer schedule for the Scots, McKay will travel up to McMinnville to play in a tournament this Saturday.
To continue this run, Castillo knows they need to come out hard.
“It’s important to come out a lot harder because last games we came out soft and got down by double-digits and this tournament we got to come out hard,” he said.
At 10:15am at Patton Middle School, the Scots will face Corvallis, follow by Sprague following their game with the Spartans.
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