HomeSportsNorth Side boys trying to surpass last year's success

North Side boys trying to surpass last year’s success

North Side High School’s boys’ basketball team made a name for themselves last season as the Indians finished with a 20-8 record and played their way to the Class AAA state tournament.

They were eliminated in the first round by eventual state champion Greeneville, 71-37, ending the high school basketball careers for four starters and giving a new group of Indians something to aim for this season.

“We were more focused to get back to where we were and accomplish more than what we did last year,” said senior Malik Currie. “And we were ready to work for it.”

A couple weeks into the season, the Indians feel like they have worked for it.

Head coach Aaron Woods made the move to coach the Indians in the spring of 2021 from neighboring Liberty Tech, so he didn’t have an entire offseason with the team to get full work in with them.

He did this time, and he made the most of that extra time with them.

“I knew coming out of last season that a lot of guys who were role players then would need to step up and be key guys who start this season,” Woods said. “And we got in there and worked hard.

“There were a lot of days where I know they were tired of being around me and hearing from me, but they’ve stayed with it and kept working hard. We’ve still got some wrinkles to iron out, but we’re working on that.”

DeAndre Minor is one of those players starting this year who played coming off the bench a year ago. He said there’s some more pressure playing in that starting role, but it’s pressure he puts on himself.

“It’s not that different from last year,” Minor said. “We’d come in last year and score two or four coming off the bench, move the ball around and do my job as long as I was out there, but now we’re the ones out there getting it done form the tip, and when we need to come out for a minute, our bench will keep it going until we need to come back in.”

Woods said while it may be an almost-all new starting lineup, it’s not a new team.

“We play a lot of guys, and they get a lot of time on the floor when it means something,” Woods said. “So these aren’t guys coming in learning how to play early in a game.

“They’ve been here before and know what they’re doing. They’ve played against the teams we’re playing this year and know what to expect, and that’s a big reason we’re winning so far.”

The Indians won their first six games of the season, including victories over Ripley, Jackson Christian and Munford.

District play will increase the intensity of the season in January, and the main goal right now is to iron out all those wrinkles before more games matter toward postseason seeding.

“That’s why you schedule tough for the non-district part of the schedule because we’re in a good district and a good region after that,” Woods said. “We need every opportunity to be as good as we can be when we play against those teams, they’re bringing their best. We need to bring our best too.”

Brandon Shields,



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