Classroom No. 14 at Augusta Prep buzzed Monday as members of the Cavaliers boys basketball team watched film on a drop-down screen.
After three victories to open the season, Prep had fallen to Georgia Walton Academy the previous weekend by only 2 points. The game was beamed to the front of the room, and coach Mike Guthrie was pointing out the flaws that cost the Cavaliers the chance to remain undefeated -- players not running tight enough off screens, not coming back to help a ball handler in trouble, throwing the ball away.
There were positive signs, though. Among the more noticeable was this: Everybody on the floor for Prep was scoring.
Watch film from any of the previous four seasons, and that would have not been the case.
"What a great opportunity," Guthrie said he told his players about the departure of standout Jim Hull after last season. "'The guy that scored 67 percent of our points is gone off to college. All of you have the opportunity to pick those up.' They've really done that."
Prep is coming off its first region title. The Cavaliers return junior John Paul Lynn, the team's second-leading scorer from a season ago and its leader through four games this season.
Lynn can shoot from outside or get to the basket. He is probably Prep's most consistent scoring threat, a fact Guthrie has had to remind his standout of.
"He's working all the time figuring out how to get the ball to somebody else," Guthrie said. "I told him he's got to score, too. And he's done very well at that, also."
The Cavaliers received a boost with the addition of guard Daron Lewis, who was at Westside. Lewis made the switch after playing at Prep's gym during an open play date during the summer.
Lewis has started at point guard for the Cavaliers. His brother, Anthony, plays guard as a freshman at rival Westminster. The pair will meet on the court for the first time Jan. 5.
Lewis drew laughs during the recent film session for the 3-pointer he banked in from close to the baseline.
Other than Lewis, the Cavaliers don't have many newcomers. Daniel Hull returned to the post and has altered shots on defense and been a scoring threat down low. Julian Salazar also gives Prep size inside.
Lynn said the Cavaliers were playing better defense in addition to sharing the scoring more this season.
"We play more together as a team, and I think that helps people have fun and play harder on defense," Lynn said.
The Cavaliers girls will try to improve on a nine-win season the year before. Prep returns senior Emily Shafer and freshman Amanda Murphy, a point guard who started for the Cavaliers as a freshman.
Prep won one region game last season. Coach Tim Shafer said the Cavaliers' goal would be four or five region wins and a possible .500 finish in region play.
"It's not an impossible goal, it's a good goal," he said. "But realistically, because we don't have the size and strength and speed returning of some of the other teams, it's going to be a challenge to be one of the top teams in the league."
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