It is not out of the ordinary for Central head coach Andre Taylor to get a text from Kylan Hill asking him to be at the Central gym for some early morning shooting.
That’s exactly what happened Tuesday night, just a bit after Centrals win over Rutland.
And sure enough, when Taylor pulled into the parking lot at 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Hill was waiting for him.
The extra practice has paid off as Hill, a role player as a starter a year ago, is averaging 20 points a game to go with 11 rebounds to lead Central to a 14-5 overall record and a 7-1 record in GHSA region 4-3A play.
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“He’s a hard worker who knew we were going to expect a lot out of him this year,” Taylor said. “I mean we lost most of our team from a year ago and almost all of the scoring, so we were a big question mark as a team. I don’t think anyone expected us to be as good as we are this year and Kylan, along with our other returning starter Kanuri Williams, have got to be given a lot of the credit.
“We only had four guys returning that were even on the team last year. I knew we would come out and compete, but we have found enough offense to win and we have become a great defensive team. We take pride in our defense.”
Hill knew exactly what he was getting into this season and he prepared himself for it over the summer, but admits he was not sure how successful this year would be. “I felt like we would be OK but I wasn’t sure if we would have this much success so early,” Hill said.
“The young guys have come in and bought in to what Coach Taylor is doing, and everyone has kind of settled into their roles,” he said. “I think we are satisfied with our record, but really I feel like the record could be even better. The losses we have are because we didn’t play well and made too many careless and simple mistakes. We have to quit making those mistakes if we want to get where we want to go in the playoffs.”
Central has a busy weekend with two region games, including Westside on Saturday after meeting Pike County on Friday.
“We have to play well Friday night against Pike County and we can’t have a letdown just because we beat them earlier in the season, and then you know Westside is always a huge region game for us,” said Hill, who scored 29 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in Central’s loss to Westside a few weeks ago. Both games are huge, and we just have to continue to get better each and every game.”