Southwest building toward season

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Wheaton’s Wyatt Gorman kicks a ball back out to a shooter during the Bulldogs’ loss to Southwest at the Purdy Hoopfest. Kyle Troutman/

Trojans’ coach hopes to foster team chemistry

Area gyms have been in full use this summer, as basketball teams are making the most of their 20 summer contact days.

The Southwest boys basketball team has been trekking across southwest Missouri and into Arkansas, playing somewhere new each week.

“Last week, we were in Purdy, and we had our team camp to finish out the week,” said Rusty Roe, Southwest boys basketball coach. “We’re playing in places like Missouri Southern, Monett, Branson and Berryville (Ark.). We don’t have all our guys with us all the time because it’s summer, but we are deep enough to keep playing.”

Roe said a big goal for his Trojans this summer is building team chemistry.

“The ultimate benefit in the summer is that you get all this extra time to play together, and that’s when bonds are made among the players,” he said. “ We hope to become as close as possible as a team to help us play better. And, there’s a lot of basketball we are able to enjoy and getting to go places and play with whatever the lineup or situation is.”

Roe said there is not a major focus on results, but the team has been playing well.

“We’ve been doing well and playing with a lot of split teams,” he said. “We have teams with some guys competing for varsity spots and some kids not in varsity spots. We have a lot that understand the game, and these kids are athletic. For the first time in about four years, we have a lot of juniors and seniors, so it’s nice to bring in that varsity experience.”

Roe said development-wise, each athlete is different.

“We ask players where they want to go and what they want to be,” he said. “We help them figure out what they need to work on individually, and the stronger desire they have to work and get better means more time in the gym. Right now, we’re big on letting kids be kids and enjoy the summer and the time they get playing together.”

Southwest will play in the Monett Shootout on Thursday, against Verona, Cassville and Diamond, and on Friday, against Sarcoxie, Seneca and Berean Christian Academy.

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