Preview: Hammond boys basketball

12/04/2013 2:00 PM

12/04/2013 2:02 PM

With four starters back, including sophomore superstar Seventh Woods, Hammond’s boys basketball team is focused on winning a SCISA championship this winter.

The Skyhawks went 22-5 last season, but lost to Midlands rival Cardinal Newman in the state championship game.

“We’re athletic, have good depth and the abilty to run the floor,” said coach Mark McClam. “Defensively, we want to put pressure on our opponents from the opening tip.”

Woods averaged 19.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals last season for the Shyhawks, and then help a USA junior national team with a world championship last summer. The sky is the limit for the most ballyhooed player in hoop-crazy Columbia is perhaps 25 years.

Hammond’s veteran cast also included junior forward Xavier McDaniel (12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 spg), senior wing Spencer Carlson (10.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 spg) and senior center Cannon Smith (3.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg).

A key addition is senior forward Doak Fisher, who missed all of last season with an injury after averaging 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as a sophomore. He gives the Skyhawks an athletic, physical presence inside.

Sophomores Chevis Goodwin and Michael Turner are also potential impact newcomers.

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