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Greenwood’s Cade Stinnett (right) shoots March 18 as Bowling Green’s Jordan Dingle tries to block him in the Purples’ 77-44 win over the Gators in the District 14 boys’ championship at Bowling Green High School.

Editor’s note – This is the 15th in a 17-part series of high school basketball previews counting down to the scheduled opening night of the regular season Nov. 29.

The Greenwood boys’ basketball team took a huge step forward last season, advancing to the Region 4 championship game.

With almost everyone back, Greenwood coach Will McCoy is hopeful his team can build off that success and secure the program’s first region title since 2008.

“We’re just hungry,” McCoy said. “We’re hungry to get back to where we were last year and try to seal the deal this year.”

Greenwood loses Marc Grant from last year’s team, but welcomes back eight seniors and three juniors – led by Cade Stinnett. The senior wing averaged 20.7 points a game and enters the season as one of the top players in the region.

Senior Aaron Brown averaged 12.5 points a night and led the team in rebounding (7.9 rpg), while Jax Buchanon, Brakton Stinnett and Mason Thornhill are among the other returning seniors.

The junior class includes Lofton Howard, Luke Stansbury and Brier Hartis.

Cade Stinnett said last year’s postseason run has the team eager to build off that success.

“We kind of put ourselves in this position from our run last year,” Stinnett said. “I don’t think any of us will forget that feeling that we had in the locker room after the loss. I think we will definitely carry that over to this year.”

McCoy said this is part of a mentality change throughout the program, with Greenwood embracing the role as the preseason favorite in the district and region.

“You are no longer really the hunter,” McCoy said. “You are the hunted. It’s something they have earned … but what are they going to do with that? What it says on paper doesn’t really mean a lot.”

Which is why McCoy is cautious about those preseason accolades. While Greenwood enters with experience and confidence, McCoy is quick to point out that nothing is a given in District 14.

“My opinion has always been, if you can get out then you’ve got a chance,” McCoy said. “I think we proved that last year. It’s going to be just as hard this year. I think four of the top five or six teams in the region are in our district. I don’t see it getting any easier aside from the fact (the players) are more prepared now and we got over maybe a little bit of a mental hurdle last year. In terms of the talent and the competition, I don’t see there being quite as big of a dropoff as maybe some of saying that they will be.”

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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