2021-22 Winter Preview: Hermitage Boys Basketball

By Chris Parker

Hermitage boys basketball has a new head coach in Ryan Yates this year. Yates is looking to turn around a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2016-17.

Leadership for Yates’ first team will come from a senior and sophomore.

“My team leaders will most likely be Justus Yates and Bradley Forrest,” Yates said. “Bradley is a senior forward. Justus is sophomore guard. Bradley and Justus don’t miss camps, shootouts, or practice time. They work very hard and are vocal leaders. They push others to do their best and always put team before self.”

Forrest averaged 3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last year. As a freshman, Yates scored 11.6 points per game to go with 5.8 rebounds per game.


Justin Horn (junior forward), Bennett Mantooth (sophomore forward), Kavon Wright (junior guard), Trenton Pyeatt (sophomore guard), Cason Hickey (sophomore guard) and Bryce Franse (junior forward) give Hermitage a deep group of returning players.

Yates on Horn: “Horn gives us a good on the ball defender and can score. I think that he has the potential to have a very good season.”
Yates on Mantooth: “Bennett is raw. He is a good defender and is developing into a scorer.”
Yates on Wright: “Kavon gives me another guy that can handle and shoot, but more importantly that can defend.”
Yates on Pyeatt: “Trenton is athletic and fast. He doesn’t realize how much he is capable of contributing to the team, but he can make a big contribution if he’s willing to learn and work hard.”
Yates on Hickey: “Cason is a skilled athlete who has a lot of potential to have a great season.”
Yates on Franse: “Bryce is an athletic and strong kid. He has potential to help us on both ends of the court.”

Horn led that group in scoring with eight points per game last year. Mantooth averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Freshman Cash Turner and sophomore Gabe Montejo will be newcomers to watch.

“Cash has great court vision, can score and defend. He has potential to play significant minutes as a freshman,” Yates said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to really see (Montejo) play. He appears to be athletic and long. He gives us some size. If his skill matches what I think he is capable of doing, he could get some varsity minutes this season.”


Hermitage will be one of the best conditioned teams around, but will look to play a more disciplined game.

“Our greatest strength should be our endurance and our speed. We are a big cross country school. These kids are in great shape. I intend to use that to our advantage,” Yates said. “We need to become more disciplined on both ends of the court and to play harder and relentlessly if we want to have the success we are capable of achieving.”

Hermitage opens the regular season on Nov. 19 at Montrose.

“We are blue collar. No one is going to give us anything,” Yates said. “If we want to win, we know that we must go out and outwork, outsmart, and outplay our opponent to do so. We want to make our opponent’s life difficult for those four quarters. That’s our job.”

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