Stonewall Jackson’s Hoover looks to score more in senior season

Stonewall's Brendan Hoover dishes off a pass after driving inside the lane during basketball action on Dec. 18 against Page County in Quicksburg. Hoover is one of the top scorers in the area this season, averaging 14.7 points per game. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG — Brendan Hoover has spent the last couple seasons getting the ball to his teammates to score. This season Hoover has become more of a scorer himself.

The Stonewall Jackson senior has stepped up with a young squad and become more of a scoring point guard.

“In past years I was just getting everyone else involved,” Hoover said. “And I didn’t have to do as much scoring-wise, because we had Kaelan (Sorrells) last year and Dylan Davis and a couple of these other guys that could score the ball. So I wasn’t looked on as a scorer as much. So then this year they’re all gone, and its kind of been me and Nick (Dotson) doing most of the scoring.”

Hoover is third in the area in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per contest. Dotson leads the area in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per contest. Hoover is also averaging 2.6 assists per game.

Hoover and Dotson are the area’s top scoring duo this season. Hoover said he and Dotson have played together for five years on junior varsity and varsity combined, and know each well on the court.

“We played all five years together,” Hoover said. “We’ve been through the good, the bad together, and we just have great chemistry. We both have a very high basketball IQ, and we know each other so well on the court. We know where to be and where they’re going to be. And we kind of like move together very well out there. It’s just nice having someone like that, that I’ve played with together all five years, and have always been beside playing. It makes the game kind of easy at times.”

Hoover has been the Generals’ starting point guard all three seasons on varsity.

In his freshman season, the Generals only had eight players, and Hoover said it was a tough learning experience.

Last year, the Generals improved and won 10 games with a strong nucleus of seniors.

This is the third straight year Hoover and the Generals have had a different head coach. Hoover said he really enjoys playing for head coach Jim Sanders this season.

“Everyone comes in here and they all want to do their best, but it’s just a different system every year. And it’s kind of hard to get used to,” Hoover said. “If we would have had coach Sanders here earlier I think we would have been a whole lot better this year. And just all the younger guys would have been more developed in a way. Most of them are just now learning how to dribble and how to pass correctly and that’s kind of rough. But they’re learning and they’ve done a great job maturing. And coach (Sanders) has done a great job with them.”

Sanders said he wished he would have had more time working with Hoover as well. Sanders said one Hoover’s biggest strengths is his shooting ability.

“He’s got a pretty nice looking shot, real nice,” Sanders said. “He’s got real nice arc on the ball, nice follow through, rotation on the ball. I’ve told him when you’re open, shoot the ball.”

Hoover is 80-for-200 (40 percent) from the field this season. He is also shooting 30.2 percent (32-for-106) from 3-point range and is third in the area from the free-throw line (71-for-91, 78 percent) this season.

Hoover, who also plays football and baseball at Stonewall Jackson, said he practices shooting as much as he can.

It also helps that he can go to someone in his family for advice– his father, Kenny, who was a former standout basketball player at Central. Brendan Hoover said his father has a been big influence on him.

“After a game if he sees something I can work on he’ll text me, and say you did this well and this is what you need to improve on,” Brendan Hoover said. “So it’s nice having him there and to go to. He knows the game really well and he played high school basketball. So it’s nice going to him for help.”

Hoover, who has been a team captain for three years, said he loves being a leader for the team.

“I’m trying to be a good leader to these young kids,” Hoover said. “And I’m trying to teach them for next year, because a lot of them are young. If I can help them it’s going to make the program better. So just helping them out, it helps the program.”

The Generals are 7-12 on the season, and host Robert E. Lee today. They are in sixth place in the Region 1B standings.

Stonewall Jackson beat Page County last week, and Hoover said it was a big win for the team. The Generals are already assured of a regional spot this season, due to only having eight teams in their region.

Hoover said the team has extra motivation after coming up short of their goals last year.

“We were knocked out in the (playoffs last year) by Riverheads after we beat them twice in the regular season and that was rough,” Hoover said. “So last year we didn’t get to go to regionals. This year even though we’re guaranteed a spot in regionals, we still kind of want to earn it. But we know we’re going to be there. So we’re going to go there, try to play as hard as we can. Try to win a couple regional games and make a state run if we can.”

Being a senior this season, Hoover said this final stretch of games will be even more important to him.

“I just want to leave everything out there on the court, because I don’t want to have any regrets,” Hoover said. “I just want to lay it all out and just play as hard as I can every night. I want to hustle up and down the court, play as hard as I can on defense, just don’t have any regrets on it after it’s all done.”