Defense was a strong suit for the Hoyas in the YBOA National Championship, as it has been all through their run beginning in the Newton County rec league.
“We are able to make a lot of adjustments to what the other team is doing, and most times we are able to come out and impose our will on other teams,” Sims said. “We do a lot of trapping, and play a lot of pressure defense, which leads to a lot of turnovers and a lot of layups on the other end.”
The Hoyas rely on speed from almost all of their eight players in applying pressure throughout the game on both sides of the court.
Also adding to the Hoyas’ success is the fact that the kids are comfortable playing together, and have developed chemistry beyond just playing basketball together. Consisting of all Newton County elementary students, the Hoyas are not only teammates and school mates but also play together on the Sims’ coached travel football league team. Some of the players have been on the same team since 4 years old.
This is the first year the team has moved past the NCRC and into regional and national play with the AAU. The transition has been made possible, not only by the players’ talent, but also by parents who have helped with the travel and the added cost of the YBOA.
“This is the best group of parents I have ever dealt with,” Sims said.
The Covington Hoyas will remain playing together, with some added players, in summer tournaments, a fall league in Henry County and back to the winter league with the NCRC, before returning to AAU ball.