Boys basketball continues to impress as a top team in the state

Michael Barthelemy, Sports Editor

Dynasties are difficult to maintain, especially for high school programs. Regardless, ETHS has found a way to send out an elite-level basketball team every year. This year is no exception—the Kits are 20-3.

ETHS commonly takes advantage of players’ speed in the open court during games. Lacking a traditional big man, the Kits compensate by playing fast, so teams do not have time to get set on defense.

“We’ve done a great job of trying to speed the game up, a lot of play in transition and not staying in the half-court,” head coach Mike Ellis explained. “A lot of it has been matchups, but also a lot of it is us being able to force the issue and put teams in situations where our guards can be bigger factors in the game than their bigs.”

As for outside of the team’s gameplan, the camaraderie that exists on and off the court is hard to find in many opponents. Even with the addition of Elijah Bull and Daeshawn Hemphill, the five-guard junior lineup has found a way to seamlessly integrate them in games.

“I’ve been playing with [Daeshawn and Elijah] since second grade, so playing alongside them was easy to adjust to because I know exactly how they play,” junior Isaiah “Itchy” Holden said. “When they joined the team, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that they would fill their roles and be starters on the team.”

The Kits hope to head back to Peoria for the third straight year. They will face Oak Park River Forest tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in Beardsley Gym.

Contributor: Jake Kaufman, Staff Writer