Pendleton - In what has already been a season of triumph, the Pendleton Heights Middle School boys seventh-grade basketball season created another highlight by winning the Madison County Tournament Feb. 2 at Lapel.
After defeating Highland in the semi-final 56-45, the Arabians went on to take the title after dropping Anderson Prep Academy 68-45.
The win tops off a 23-4 season for the seventh-graders and coach Ron Hathcoat.
Every level of basketball is designed to build upon itself to create the future of the next level. In middle school, especially seventh grade, Hathcoat has the job of bringing together three elementary school teams in one cohesive unit.
“The focus for us in seventh grade is to teach them how to play defense the right way,” Hathcoat said.
Fundamentally sound defense is a mainstay of PHHS coach Brian Hahn, and Hathcoat and eighth-grade coach Rick Ellsworth work with Hahn to get the middle schoolers ready to be an Arabian player in high school.
Hathcoat said he feels his job is to teach the “Arabian way” to his team.