Following last-year’s second-round playoff appearance, the McKinney High School varsity boys basketball team set out to surpass its previous season’s accomplishments. With only two returning starters, Red Shannon and A.J. Moutry, the team’s success seemed improbable; MHS lost its first and second games by a combined score of 151-105. However, the Lions established themselves against non-conference teams Frisco Wakeland and Liberty, and eventually rebounded to a 4-5 record.
District 10-4A 2010-11 Coach of the Year Wes Watson’s Lions aren’t necessarily the shooting-savvy team of years past. Nevertheless, the up-tempo MHS offense, led by guards A.J. Moutry and Red Shannon’s 20.8 and 14.3 PPG, respectively, is noteworthy for its ability to rack up points inside the paint. Not only do the two have a knack for scoring, but they also hold a firm defensive presence. Taken as a whole, the team’s press defense, allowing just 63.3 PPG, is more than capable of containing any offensive unit in the district.
Nine games into the season, the Lions have shown just glimpses of their full potential. Of the 13-member roster, only five players have played varsity basketball, and in a district made up of Highland Park (7-0), Rockwall (8-1), McKinney North (4-1) and J.J. Pearce (5-4), this inexperience will prove a deciding factor in whether or not the Lions match the success of it’s previous season. However, expect the inexperienced Lions to improve progressively over the course of the year.
District play for MHS begins December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Rockwall.
— Story by TSB contributor Quinn Murray