WILBRAHAM, Mass (WGGB) — Just in case you haven’t noticed the boys basketball team at Minnechaug high school is winning again.
A 1-19 season in 2010 was most unfortunate. But the same group of players are back. A year older, a year wiser, and led by junior point guard Lance Hill, Chaug is off to a fast start in 2011.
Hill was named to the prestigious Super 7 preseason list, and so has has lived up to and even exceeded all expectations. That’s why he’s this weeks ABC40 and Fox6 Athlete of the Week.
“He’s not big in size but he’s big in heart,” said Minnechauig basketball coach Mike Orzech. “He’s a tremendous athlete. He has the ability to take the ball to the basket. He’s got a good perimeter game, great ball handling skills and a combination of all these makes him pretty tough to stop.”
“I just love the game,” said Hill. “I’ve been playing all my life, everybody in my family they’ve all played basketball. So it’s just a family sport that we all love. I’ve grown to love it.”
For the love of his family and the love of the game, that’s what brings Minnechaug’s Lance Hill to the gym night after night. And whats been leaving opponents in awe of his remarkable basketball talents.
Through the first four games of the season Lance Hill is averaging 30 points per game, and his team is off to a 4-1 start. Remarkable when you consider the fact that last year the Falcons went 1-19.
“I think this year we want it a lot more, ” said Hill. “Nobody is giving us credit, nobody is thinking that we can win games. But we all think we can win games and go to the championship and win it.”
“He opens up the floor so much,” said senior forward Jason Erhardt. “Not only for himself, but for his teammates. The defense has to pay so much attention to him so it leaves us open. So when they crash on him he can find the open man, which he does. He also gets to the line, can shoot the three, make free throws. He does everything a basketball player needs to do.”
For Lance’s family its always been about winning games. His uncle, Buddy Williams, was a 1000-point scorer at Putnam. His cousin Kamari Williams, was a Western Mass and State Champion at Cathedral. Expectations run all in the family.
“A lot of one one one games with your cousins,” said Lance. “Getting pushed a lot, getting yelled at a lot. Mostly just making you a better player so I can be where I am at right now.”
“All around when it comes around he’s our point guard,” said Orzech. “He’s our leading scorer, leading rebounder, leads the team in assists. Everything he does, it’s all for us. I’m not sure if there’s anybody better.”
For all those reasons and a whole lot more, Minnechaug’s Lance Hill is this weeks ABC40 Athlete of the Week.