Both games from last season’s North vs. Hoover rivalry were one sided affairs. North took the first matchup by 17 and the second by 21. Both games were decided early too, as North more than doubled Hoover’s first quarter points…
Both games from last season’s North vs. Hoover rivalry were one sided affairs. North took the first matchup by 17 and the second by 21. Both games were decided early too, as North more than doubled Hoover’s first quarter points in the two games. However, the next six quarters were not so bad for Hoover. If the first quarters were taken out of both games, the first game would have been tied at 50 at the end of regulation, and North would have pulled out game two by only five.
But this was not necessarily unexpected, as North’s senior heavy roster led by 4A, first team all-state selection, Tyreke Locure, finished the season with 18 wins and 5 losses, tied with Valley for the eighth best record in 4A. Hoover on the other hand, dealing with off-the-court issues all year, finished 14-10, by far their worst record since finishing 12-9 in the 2013-14 season.
Despite this, Hoover was in position to make the state playoffs in a substate final matchup against the eventual number one playoff seed Waukee, which Hoover only lost by seven. North also found themselves in a substate final, but lost to Ames by nine in a heartbreaking end to a great season.
Both teams are likely to finish with much different records this year. North’s 2018-19 roster featured three seniors. Current William Penn freshman, Lino Malual, sharpshooter Gatdoar Bijiek, and current South Alabama freshman, Tyreke Locure, who was the second leading scorer in 4A last season, are all gone. The trio combined to score 73% of the North’s total points, dish out 74% of North’s assists, and record 82% of North’s total three point buckets.
But perhaps the biggest loss is that of Head Coach Chad Ryan, who announced his resignation from the team following North’s substate final loss to Ames. Ryan is the mastermind behind North’s rise to becoming one of the state’s best basketball programs, culminating in a 2017 state playoff appearance, North’s first since 1991.
Malik Allen will be in his junior season at North, and will be expected to increase his 12 points per game average by a significant amount if North hopes to continue their recent winning tradition. Gore Puot will seemingly be North’s second best offensive option, but he averaged only five points per game last season.
Hoover loses their top two scorers from last season, Adam Jackson and Hosea Treadwell, as well as their leading assist man in Kenny Quinn. However, they should fair much better than North, as Hoover has never been an offensive minded team under Head Coach Courtney Henderson, and most of their rebounding returns for the 2019-2020 season including Jaden Loveless, who grabbed 51 more boards than his next closest teammate last year. Junior Manny Austin, sophomore Jonathan Beverly, as well as Loveless all come in with a lot of experience from last season, and should fill in nicely in their new leading roles.
Last season’s 14-10 record was Hoover’s worst since 2013-14, but in the 2014-15 campaign, Coach Henderson led the Huskies to a 21-1 record before losing by only two in the state semi finals. The 2019-2020 campaign might not see quite as drastic a turnaround for them, but Hoover should see improvement from 2018-19.
Over the past five seasons, Hoover has won six games to North’s four in this rivalry matchup. With North welcoming a new coach and many new faces to the starting lineup, it will be as interesting as ever to see how these metro rivals match up.