By Gary Curreri
Deerfield Beach coach Kenny Brown is a firm believer that his team can make it past the first round of the district tournament this season.
The Bucks finished 12-13 last year including a first round exit in the District 11-9A tournament. Deerfield Beach has gotten off to a 10-5 start this season with four losses coming in the Kreul Showcase and Kreul Classic tournaments. The Bucks also suffered a 61-57 loss to Dillard in the regular season.
Brown entered the season with a 258-121 record with more than 100 players who have gone off and played in college, including Terrence Johnson (South Alabama) and Josh Huntley (Stephen F. Austin). He returns six players from last year’s squad.
Toughness will be the team’s mantra this season and Brown cited junior point guard Corey Carpenter, along with senior guards Marcus Brave and Calvin Davis to take the team to the next level.
“(Senior) Edwin Louis is a talented point guard with D1 ability,” Brown said. “(Junior) Hansley Senatus is a wing player that will bring versatility and has the ability to stretch the floor with shooting.
“We expect to improve everyday and peak at right time,” Brown said. “We are looking to play faster and use our depth on wings. I think our depth will be key to our style, which will be to wear teams down and pressure for 32 minutes.”
The team’s most lopsided defeat came against Class 5A power St. Andrew’s School, 86-65 in the Kreul Classic. The Scots (12-0) won the tournament and are undefeated on the season.
“In that game, we got into a little foul trouble and a few loose balls that we normally get, we didn’t get,” Brown said. “Usually, we play with a lot of energy and we play with our feet a lot better.
“That game was a wakeup call,” Brown added. “There was some point where the guys started to believe that they were better than they really were and a good old- fashioned butt whipping is always a good teacher. We will bottle that up and remember that feeling and we won’t have that feeling too many more times.
Coming into the season, Brown was confident that his team had put in the work during the offseason.
“I work these kids really hard,” Brown said. “I know that, with the energy and how hard these kids play and how hard they worked in practice, we would have a tough team.
I thought we would have a harder time with rebounding, but so far, so good. We are right in their battling.
“I am okay with our start,” he continued. “Our experience has really helped. I have four kids who are in their third year of varsity basketball. Experience is the best teacher as you know.”
Brown believes they can make a deep run in the playoffs.
“As long as we trust each other, believe in each other, play off each other and share the ball,” Brown said, “we have a chance. We can go out and fight and hustle and give it all we got and we can always shuffle kids in and out…with this start, the confidence came and now the expectations come.”