The Herald Bulletin

November 16, 2013

Boys basketball preview: Familiar face takes charge at Daleville

By George Bremer The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — DALEVILLE — Daniel Hanson already has proven he can win at Daleville.

He’s racked up 31 victories and a sectional championship over the past two years in charge of the Broncos’ baseball team. And he’s no stranger to the area.

Hanson’s head coaching career began five years ago with the baseball program at Liberty Christian, and he’s been at Daleville for the past four seasons. He’s also spent time on the football and basketball staffs at Shenandoah.

The key to his heart always has been on the hardwood, however, and he jumped at the chance to lead the Broncos’ boys basketball team this winter.

“I think it’s very exciting for me personally and also for our kids,” Hanson said. “It’s a great opportunity. Any time you can coach high school basketball in the state of Indiana, it’s a wonderful opportunity.”

Daleville’s had a rough run of things recently, winning just five combined games in the past three seasons. But the Broncos claimed back-to-back sectional championships in 2008 and ‘09, and they have eight seniors — including Josh Irelan, Garrett Craig and Levi Floyd — as a foundation upon which to build.

“Our leadership has been wonderful,” Hanson said. “We’re trying to get better every day we come to gym.”

The regular season opens Nov. 27 against Shenandoah in traditional fashion. The Broncos broke a 27-game losing streak with a 52-43 road victory against the Raiders to start last season, but they averaged just 45.2 points per game during a year that ended with a 3-18 record.

The sectional field does Daleville few favors with the inclusion of rising power Liberty Christian. The Lions have won 33 games in the past two years and advanced to the regional championship game at the end of each season.

The Broncos host Liberty Christian near the end of the regular season on Feb. 22 and will be able to gauge how far they’ve come and how far they still have left to go. The Lions won last year’s meeting 88-30 and followed with an 81-44 decision in the first round of sectional play.

But Daleville’s current goals are more immediate.

As Hanson said, the Broncos are working on improvement each day. That likely will carry over into the start of the regular season.

Hanson understands there’s bound to be bumps in the road. But he could scarcely have asked for a smoother start.

“I think it’s an easier transition because I’ve coached some of the guys and I know the community and I know the parents,” he said. “That took away some of the awkward moments.”