The Peaster Lady Greyhound basketball team has found its man.
Former Kennedale Lady Wildcats Head Coach Garrett Hilton was recently named Peaster’s new head girls’ basketball coach, a hiring Athletic Director Gary McElroy said proved an excellent fit for the program, highlighting the former’s vast experience in the field.
“His extensive basketball background stood out for one, he’s been a head coach in a couple of different places and has been highly successful,” McElroy said.
“But even beyond that, the coaching tree he grew up under, he worked for some really prominent basketball coaches in the state of Texas and so he has those resources to draw from beyond what he has done on his own as a head girls’ basketball coach.
“His overall path through the profession was pretty impressive.”
McElroy added that he envisions the Lady Greyhounds being held to the highest standards under Hilton.
“I think he is going to be someone who is going to run a very tight ship,” McElroy said.
“He’s gonna have very high expectations for the girls, obviously be fair, but he’ll be demanding and expect a certain quality from the basketball team.”
Hilton for his part said he is grateful for the opportunity with Peaster, noting the family-oriented environment of the community, as well as the basketball program’s history of success as major pulls in his decision to lead the Lady Greyhounds.
“Peaster traditionally on both the girls’ and boys’ sides has been a very strong basketball school, so obviously that was appealing,” Hilton said.
“Also, I considered the environment that my own kids would be in, so that’s kind of the main reason I applied and got lucky and offered the job.”
Hilton’s coaching stops, which have included time at Alto, Cedar Hill and Clear Brook high schools (all on the boys’ side up to this point), as well as Brazoswood (girls’ side), Clear Brook again (girls’ side) and Kennedale (girls’ side) have given the new Lady Greyhounds’ head coach opportunity to live out a career rooted in a love of basketball, Hilton said.
“I grew up playing a lot of sports, but as I started to get older I really got into basketball,” Hilton said.
“Of course I grew up watching the NBA in the 80s and 90s, through that span and I always wanted to play in the NBA, but of course those people are few and far between and I certainly wasn’t one of them, so then I transitioned my focus to coaching.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Hilton said Peaster’s girls’ basketball team has an excellent nucleus which should do well playing in his aggressive scheme.
“My philosophy is, and of course it always kind of depends on the type of kids you have, but I want to play fast-paced offensively,” Hilton said.
“We want to get up and down the floor, try to get some easy buckets in transition and then if we don’t have anything we’ll run some offense. Defensively, I want to press and be really aggressive. Pressuring the half court as well, try to cause some turnovers.
“Some things I want people to say are, ‘Those kids are tough, they’re disciplined and they’re aggressive.’ And if people are saying those three things, we’re gonna be pretty good.
“There’s a good crop of incoming sophomores and some older kids as well that are really gonna be good. As far as our ceiling, I think it’s really high. We really have a chance to make some noise in the region and maybe regional tournament.
“I don’t think anything is out of the picture if we can all come in, get on the same page and work hard. I think we have a chance to really do some special things.”
McElroy expressed similar confidence in Hilton and the Lady Greyhounds’ ability to find success moving forward.
“With that nucleus we have on the girls’ basketball team, I think our expectations from the athletic department, community and school are pretty high,” McElroy said.
“We feel strongly that they can be super successful, and that was always the thought process in this hiring process, we’re gonna attract someone that can take those girls and reach those heights we all think they can reach.
“Coach Hilton has been super successful and his style of play should fit our girls. Obviously people are going to shape and mold things to the personnel they have, but I think with the way we’re growing that program at the younger levels and what we have at the high school right now, I think it’s a perfect fit.”