DALLAS — The Dallas boys basketball team is out to prove last year’s trip to the state playoffs was only the beginning.
The Dragons, fresh off a first round appearance in the 2014-15 season, look to build on their third-place finish. One the team’s top returning players turned to an unlikely source to improve his game.
Senior Everett Minahan wanted to make his final year at Dallas a memorable one.
Minahan decided to do something new during the fall — play football.
“Mainly because it’s my last year,” Minahan said. “I thought I might as well try and help the team out with that.”
Now, Minahan hopes to take what he learned in football and help him lead Dallas’ boys’ basketball team to the state playoffs.
“(Football) helped with my athleticism,” Minahan said. “Not only does it get you in better shape, it helps with your ability. You’re quicker and lower to the ground. I think it helps with on-ball defense. You can move better. I also think we got a better bond with the players who were on the football team.”
Minahan, the Itemizer-Observer’s 2014-15 Player of the Year, returns to lead a new-look Dragons’ team. Dallas lacks the tall, inside presence it’s had in years past. Instead, the Dragons are learning to play with a smaller lineup built on getting open shots.
“We have to take care of the ball and knockdown shots,” Minahan said. “We have to play scrappy defense and get after it.”
Minahan’s agility wasn’t the only thing to improve during the offseason. The senior added a new aspect to his game — the long range shot.
“I improved my range to the 3-point line and being consistent from there,” Minahan said. “I think we all are learning how to play within the offense and being aggressive while keeping the team in mind as well.”
Despite fielding a smaller lineup, the Dragons are learning to play a new style of ball — and they’re looking to ride that style to a postseason berth.
“I think we can compete,” Minahan said. “Top four is what we’re shooting for. We want to be competitive. The first week of practice we were just getting our legs under us and seeing what we had. These last few practices have been working out the depth chart.”