Gaffney Basketball End of Season Recap


Ryder Ruppe, Staff Writer

The Gaffney Indians finished their season with an overall record of 9-15. I was able to speak with head coach Phillip McHam and ask him some questions about his thoughts on the season and what he looks forward to next year.

When I asked Coach McHam about how he feels about the season as a whole, he said that the results always go back to the team’s standards. He said the standard for the team every year is to win the region championship and to play for the state championship, but while they fell short of that standard this season, they still saw progress. The team saw progression out of the many young players they have and out of some of the older guys who did not have prior varsity experience. McHam said as the season went on things got better from a practice standpoint, a preparation standpoint, and they became more educated on what it took to be a high school basketball player from a nutrition standpoint and a mental standpoint. This progression was very important for the younger guys because it gives them a leg-up going into next season.

I then asked Coach McHam if there were any surprises this season and he said that some of the younger players really stepped up this year. He said that he wasn’t really anticipating those guys scoring a lot of points, but the freshman Kaleb Phillips was the teams leading scorer and the team’s other freshman Ziyon Harris had the season high in points with 23. McHam said that the players were more prepared than he expected them to be and he’s excited about the future.

While we were on the topic of the future, I asked if there is anything he wants to see the team do next season that they didn’t do this season. He said that they have to take going into next season like they take their day to day, be better than they were yesterday. So going into next season, be better than they were last season. McHam also said that the standards don’t change. The players know what is expected of them from an academic standpoint, behavioral standpoint, and performance-wise. Their goal every season is to win the region championship and compete for the state championship. He told me that when they won the region championship in 2021 they were very senior heavy, but they want to get back there and go farther. Next season the team is moving into a new conference with Dorman and Byrnes, as McHam put it, some of the upper echelon teams. He says that next season will be a very rigorous schedule. He looks for the team to be more prepared and the experience and exposure of this season will definitely help with that. The goal is to be better than you were last season.

With a new season comes new players and I asked Coach McHam if he has already seen some of the young players coming in. He said that his assistant coach, Coach Hambright, runs the recreational basketball league so they have a pretty good idea of from third grade up to middle school teams. He said that it is really helpful to have prior relations with a lot of the kids in the community. They are very hands-on with the middle school teams, and both of them played for a conference championship this year which is very helpful to have them in that environment. McHam said that the talent coming in is really good and they got some taller guys coming in.