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Deltona Loaded in 6A

June 25, 2015
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With returners and transfers, Deltona shaping into Class 6A basketball contender

Deltona’s basketball program made history in 2014-15, reaching the Elite Eight for the first time.

Locked and loaded with a handful of returning players and three dynamic transfers, the Wolves appear ready for an encore.

Deltona, which defeated Orlando Olympia and St. Petersburg Gibbs in exhibitions Saturday at Bethune-Cookman’s basketball camp, will feature three of the area’s four leading scorers from last season — reigning Player of the Year Evan Hinson, 6-foot-5 freshman phenom Blake Hinson and 6-foot-3 junior Amorie Archibald.

Evan Hinson said there will be enough shots to go around.

“Blake’s the only true wing,” Evan Hinson said. “I know how to get my teammates the ball. We should be good.”

Marquies Lane, the area’s leader in assists last season, will run the point. He’s excited to play a more up-tempo style.

“We’ve got so many athletic people that we can do different things,” Lane said.

Despite the additions, Deltona also has enormous shoes to fill after 6-foot-9 forward/center Chad Brown graduated. Brown, who averaged 14.7 points, 15 rebounds and 9.7 blocks per game, became the first Deltona player to sign a Division I scholarship. He is on his way to UCF.

“Chad Brown was more than just a power forward for us,” coach Denny Hinson said. “The kid was a leader. He was willing to come to Deltona when they won one game the previous year. He meant so much to us, so I don’t know — losing him — it weighs more than (the stats).”

Fellow graduate Torrey Mayo committed to Potomac State College of West Virginia last week.

Before last season, Deltona held an all-time postseason record of 1-5.

Denny Hinson thinks the departed seniors laid a sustainable foundation, and hopes the gains can counteract the losses.

Blake Hinson makes the move from Warner Christian, while Archibald — along with 6-foot-6 junior forward Josh Clark — transferred from Trinity Christian. Last year, Blake Hinson and Archibald averaged 44.5 points per game combined for their respective clubs.

Blake Hinson showed up for every playoff game to watch his father and big brother. He wished he could have shared the court with them last year.

“I wanted to get on the court so bad,” Blake Hinson said. “This year is my year. I’m going to push as hard as I can, try to get as far as they did and go further.”

Archibald, a 6-foot-3 junior, announced his decision to move June 10 but has not played with the Wolves yet. Denny Hinson said he is unsure whether Archibald is enrolled yet.

In addition to the stars, Denny Hinson said there’s plenty of depth on the bench. Clark, Jarel Smith, Jalen Monroe and Kendall Merthie all are expected to see significant minutes.

He hopes to instill the Golden State Warriors’ season-long mantra of “strength in numbers” and see similarly successful results.

“If I can figure out what (Golden State coach Steve) Kerr had in the bag there to keep all his guys happy, that’s exactly the mold we’d like to base our program after,” Denny Hinson said.

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