County coaches have mixed responses to summer play

East Lawrence head coach Ernie Ferguson watches his Eagles, while the bench shouts words of encouragement.

Last week wrapped up summer basketball for most county schools. 

Three teams in particular were in action this past Thursday at West Morgan. 

Lawrence County’s girls and Hubbard’s boys ended their summer play at West Morgan, while East Lawrence’s girls played their second to last. 

Hubbard is entering the season trying to simultaneously replace four starters and also erase the bat taste that losing in the first round of the area tournament left. 

Normally this would be a typical rebuilding year. However, trying to rebound from a disappointing end to what began as a very promising season has put a lot of pressure on the Chiefs. 

Head coach Sonny Conwill thought this summer could have went better for the team. 

“It’s been terrible. I’m glad it’s over,” Conwill said. “We don’t play with enough intensity to overcome some of the deficiencies we have. We have a weak mindset and if we don’t have a major change it’s going to be a long year.” 

The Chiefs have a very young team, but Conwill thinks that’s not what’s holding them back. 

“That’s irrelevant,” he said. “We have enough older guys that have played enough basketball. We’ve got some middle school and B-team guys that are sometimes playing as good as the older guys.” 

Meanwhile, Lawrence County’s K.C. Orr is entering his second season in an entering situation. 

His team is equal parts experienced and youthful. 

The majority of the Lady Devils’ starters are back, but they still will only have two seniors this year, Raigen Henderson and Chloe Orr, the latter of which missed the entirety of last season. 

“We let them know that everything we went through last season was to gain experience,” Orr said. “We’re still young, that’s the bright side. Now we get to show everybody how much better we’ve become.” 

Orr was pleased with how their summer went and can’t wait to get going on the season. 

“I’m excited. We’ve been a little sloppy, but we’re seeing the progress from last year to this year,” Orr said. “We’re definitely going to have a bright season.” 

Orr isn’t the only second year coach as East Lawrence’s Ernie Ferguson is also entering his second year as head of the girl’s team. 

“We’re still in the process of replacing the two previous senior classes and now we have to replace our seniors from last year as well,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got girls out there starting for the first time. They’ve played significant minutes, but there’s just something about starting for the first time.” 

In their game Thursday, the Eagles started rough but picked it up in the second half. That’s good to see, but Ferguson would also like to see his team play a more complete game. 

“Our biggest problem has been digging ourself into a big hole,” he said. “That happened over and over again last year, so that’s something that we’ll have to work on.” 

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