Pictou County high school basketball teams return
RYAN KING THE NEWS ADAM MACINNIS
The 2022-2023 high school basketball season is officially underway in Pictou County. The boys' varsity basketball teams at North Nova Education Centre and Northumberland Regional High are filled with optimism about what can be as this year plays out - though the teams are a study in contrasts North Nova is coming off its first Division 1 Nova Scotia Provincials appearance in more than a decade, and they are looking to build on that success. Head Coach Rob MacGregor, is in his 10th season leading the Gryphons. "We have the same goal as always. To try and win our region, then get to provincials. That's not easy. CEC dominates this region. They are the gold standard. We will work our tail off to close that gap." But MacGregor believes this is an obtainable goal. Led by a strong Grade 12 class with seven seniors, North Nova has a good combination of size, athleticism, shooting and experience. "This will be the tallest group we've had in a while. Athletically we are in a good spot. We've been with this group a long time.” MacGregor said. In contrast, Northumberland, has an experienced head coach, though in his first year at NRHS and with a young, but hungry group. Coach Andrew Barnhouse has been around a long time, with decades of experience in both men's and women's basketball, and at both the high school and collegiate levels. With a first-year coach and a younger team, Barnhouse is setting a tone of culture and hard work to be hallmarks this season. When asked about upcoming challenges he is facing this year, Coach Barnhouse said, "Getting buy-in, which we are improving in. Getting them to believe in themselves. They are a talented group, but we're young. " Barnhouse emphasized that they are a Division 1 school, so they need to challenge themselves and play the best of the best. "Win or lose, we will always learn something." Both teams are looking to grow this season, and this coming year promises to be an exciting one in high school basketball.