Friday, November 26, 2021

St Mary’s Sam Howery enters senior season after leading nation in assists: “I’ll put that aside”

According to maxpreps.com’s database, Sam Howery made the most assists of any high school basketball player in the country last season.

St Mary’s point guard responded with a shoulder to shoulder.

“A lot of people were telling me,” said Haveri, who had an incredible 10.2 assists/game performance as a junior. “But at the end of the day, we were just trying to see how many points we could score as a team and go on to win. I put it aside.”

The thing that stuck with Howry the most: falling one game short of his final team goal. St Mary’s went undefeated (16–0) in the Class 3A championship game and lost to Bay Falls and Lutheran High School. But a new title search is on the horizon.

The Colorado Prep Basketball season begins next week with the start of organized team drills. Top players and coaches from across the state gathered at the Ball Arena on Tuesday for CHSAA Winter Sports Media Day.

Howery, a CSU-Pueblo commit, arrived as Colorado’s undisputed aid king. He is also among its top scorers in the previous season with an average of 21.4 points.

“I’ve been lucky to have Sam around since he was eight years old,” said St. Mary’s assistant coach Oscar Hernandez. “I’ve seen the development and he’s playing against kids two or three years older than him. Just being able to look at the court and find those mismatches. … I’ve expected that from him for a long time.”

Haveri said: “I just understand what’s happening on the floor. I can find mismatches, different matchups, and give people the ball if they’re open. Luckily, they put the ball in the basket. “

Their success is more predictable when you consider family.

Sam’s younger brother, Max, is St. Mary’s backup sophomore point guard. Sam’s older sister, Josephine Howery, also starred for the school with consecutive basketball state championship victories (2018–19).

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“He’s always compared me to my sister and her, and that’s a lot, but we’re playing each other against each other on the same team,” Haveri said. “It really paid off. We’ve worked hard against each other. That makes it a lot easier to play in games.”

Jordan Kelly Embraces Regis Jesuit Opportunity

Most Notable Colorado Prep Basketball Head Coaching News This Offseason? The sudden dismissal of Karl Mattei at the Regis Jesuit – winner of 399 career games in 17 seasons along with three state championships.

The school cut ties with Mattei in August due to “a growing lack of alignment with the RJ leadership regarding the approach to the program and its support of the school’s mission”.

Regis now turns to a familiar face, Jordan Kelly, who heads up his haunted girls’ basketball program. He spent the last three seasons (2016–18) as an assistant coach for the Raiders.

“I understand what this program means to people,” Kelly said. “I was hired at the end of September, so it’s challenging at times to figure things out so quickly. But there are a lot of girls in the gym. … I’m very positive and very high energy. I’m fast. Likes to play fast, and a lot of fun too.”

An unexpected coaching change forced Regis players to adjust on the fly. But they are optimistic about the future. Kelly has a strong basketball pedigree as a former standout player at the University of Wyoming and two seasons as an assistant coach for the University of Idaho.

“It was a little rough at the beginning how our other coach left,” said Regis sophomore Hana Bailey, younger sister of Dunking Regis star Fran Bailey (now at Stanford). “But I think Coach Jordan is doing a really good job of keeping us together, being structured and sticking to what we know.”

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