HHS boys basketball head coach Jim Moore encourages players during a practice session last Thursday morning in Hiett Gymnasium.

With a new coach and a roster that’s without nine graduated seniors, the Houston High School boys basketball team is involved in some pretty important transitional activities during this year’s summer practice.

The Tigers and head coach Jim Moore have been working together since May 13, following social distancing guidelines until Missouri Gov. Mike Parson eased up on restrictions on June 15.

“The boys have been great!” Moore said. “They have worked their tails off and their attitudes have been amazing.”

Along with being involved in team practice, Houston has scrimmaged against Eminence, Summersville, Licking and Salem so far this summer.

“We have showed some really positive signs of being competitive,” Moore said.

Summer workouts for the Tigers will conclude with high school camp in Hiett Gymnasium next Monday through Wednesday (July 20-22) followed by a team camp at Rolla next Thursday and Friday (July 23 and 24). Moore said his primary goal for summer ball is to help players sharpen their individual skills.

Junior Noah Gulick goes up for a shot during a full-court drill.

“It’s a must that every one of our players become a better athlete and better basketball player before the end of summer,” he said. “We’re doing that. I have been very pleased with how we are developing. With every opportunity we have to be in the gym, you can just see the growth happening individually and the team chemistry growing.”

Moore said his early impressions lead him to believe the Tigers will be athletic, quick and unselfish in the 2020-2021 season, but also somewhat inexperienced. 

“We’ll be OK once we realize we have the tools to compete and beat anyone,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

While it’s still early, Moore said the Tigers’ strong points appear to include post play and an ability to push the ball up the floor. 

“Our guards are quick as well and have the ability to put a ton of pressure on the ball defensively,” he said. “Our confidence needs to grow a little and our team defense has quite a bit of room to improve, but it will. The boys have to get use to and understand what it is I want them to do.

“I’m fired up and from every indication the boys are giving me, they’re fired up as well! I couldn’t ask for any more from my team.”  

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