Wildcats make strides in summer

Destrehan head boys basketball coach Todd Bourg hoped to see his team hit the ground running this summer during a six-game slate of scrimmage action, and he saw exactly what he wanted.The Wildcats, who return the majority of its players from a season ago, went 5-1, including a strong performance at a University of New Orleans camp.

“We’ve got four seniors back for this coming year, and I like what I saw this summer,” Bourg said. “We did some really good things and improved on a lot of things from last year. We’re a little more disciplined, the guys are listening a little more, sharing the basketball better and being more patient.

“We’ve built a lot of chemistry. Everything’s been coming together nicely.”

Bourg said the 2017-18 Wildcats will be a bigger squad than a year ago, which he said will help the team make strides in the rebounding department and at the defensive end.

“We’ve got some pretty good height this year … speed won’t be our strength but we’ll have a good bit of size and length,” Bourg said. “Defensively, we’re playing our zone and using our length to not let the ball into the paint. We’ve only had a little bit of practice, but we’ve made good progress over the 10 to 12 we’ve had.”

Returning starters Lionel Maxon and Freddie Brown will be two of this year’s team leaders. Maxon was an often-explosive scorer as a junior who Bourg is excited about for the coming season, while Brown made big strides in the second half of district play last year and has carried over that surge into the summer.

“Something lit a fire under (Brown) and he’s just taken off,” Bourg said. “He played really, really well (late in district) and if we can see that consistency from him, we’ll be in great shape. (Maxon), we get him back, and he’s doing a lot better.”

Jonathan Hughes and Jayce Ellis didn’t see varsity playing time last season, but Bourg said both have stepped up in a major way this summer.

“I’m really impressed and pleased with their play,” Bourg said. “Those kids have really made a statement this summer.”

Destrehan has missed the postseason in each of the past two seasons, and Bourg said making a return is the priority this season.

“We want to win as many as we can and get in that big bracket at the end of the year. We’re working hard to get there,” Bourg said.

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