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War Hawk basketball programs eager to start season

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ABILENE, Texas - This week, both McMurry programs are set to get their seasons underway with both aiming at continuing the program's growth and trend upward. McMurry Men:

The War hawk men under Zach Pickleman, went 9-16 a year ago but have two senior studs in Aaron Gettys and LaRandall Scroggins at the helm. Scroggins was chosen as a preseason ASC West "Watch List" member after averaging 12.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. He had 13 blocks and hit just over 47% of his shots from the field.

But starting out strong is a key focus for this group, having been outscored by over 70 points in the first half of last season's games. But aside from that, it's also about getting a new crop of players on board .

"We've just worked real hard this offseason and we brought in those new guys and those new guys can really play. I think they'll help us a lot," said senior Aaron Gettys.

"Now it's leaning on those guys who have that experience, and ushering in the new guys because we are going to have to depend on some of those guys to give us some good minutes in some key positions," added third-year head coach Zach Pickleman.

The War Hawk's regular season opens Nov. 24 at Schreiner University.

McMurry Women:

For coach Brittany Densman-Roes, her program too is working in new player development to this season's list of goals coming off a 9-15 season. And it's been a steady growth, going from 3 wins in 2015, to 9 last season.

Even more good news, is the War Hawks have 9 players back behind two preseason watch list members - senior scoring leader Sham Hunter and sophomore stand-out Skyler Rena. H unter is entering her third season as a War Hawks, earning ASC All-West division second team accolades last season. Hunter led McM in several categories, including: scoring (12.7 p.p.g.); rebounds (8.6 r.p.g.); steals (65); assists (77); blocks (6), and; free throw shooting (.771/74-96). She had a team-best six double-doubles in 2016-17.

Reyna, in her first collegiate season, proved to be a gem among an impressive freshman class assembled by coach Densman-Roes last year. Reyna was tabbed on both the ASC West Division honorable mention list, as well as the ASC West All-Freshman Team. Reyna registered a total of five double-doubles this season, while averaging 11.9 points and 7.3 boards per game. She shot better than 39 percent from the floor and nearly 72 percent from the free throw stripe.

But that team was young, and a lot of lessons were learned. But after ending the year winning four of six, the confidence is already high heading into this season.

"We just try and build on that, and try and remember those feelings but we know we can do better," said coach Brittany Densman-Roes. "That group was very young last year and then adding some sophomores and juniors this year will boost that confidence and give us that maturity for success."

The War Hawks open their 2017-2018 season Friday at the Redlands Classic tournament in California.

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