Arbor View’s littlest guy just might have the biggest heart in Southern Nevada prep hoops

Posted: December 13, 2013 in General, Preps
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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By W.G. Ramirez

Heading into the 2013-14 boys basketball season, Arbor View coach Kyle Hageness had no clue what to expect from diminutive point guard Corey Moore.

After all, the 5-foot-9 senior spark plug spent his junior season behind Navonte Hill, who is now playing at Arizona Western College.

Seven games into the season, the Aggies are undefeated. And heading into Friday’s showdown with Centennial, which is also 7-0, the Bulldogs might want to be wary of more than Arbor’s proclaimed star, Justin Burks, as the Aggies are getting it done from a well-rounded bunch.

Including Moore, whose leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“It’s definitely a pleasant surprise, we hoped he could do that,” Hageness said. “But (Corey’s) matured so much from his junior to senior year, he’s taken on leadership roles, he communicates on the floor, off the floor with the players. He wants to play defense. He gets us into what we need to be into.

“He’s become that kind of kid that can lead us.”

His stats might not back up Hageness’ statement – Moore averages a bleak 5 points per game – but it’s the attitude he brings out on the court, and leadership he displays in getting some of the most lethal scorers in position during the game.

While Burks is the name everyone knows, teams will be making a big mistake in ignoring Chuck Porter, Tristan Lacy, Isaiah Simmons or Terrell Butler – four other players who on any given night can pump 20 into the books for Arbor View. And with Moore pulling the strings and doing the little things it takes to be a great point guard, he’s doing a pretty good job making every one of those guys – not to mention a talented bench – look great.

Though Hageness said Corey is in the background, “getting not a whole ton credit all the time, but deserving an awful lot of that credit,” there is one player who knows how important his point guard is to Arbor View basketball.

“A lot of teams still come out thinking I’m the only player Arbor has, but in the Legacy tournament we showed that’s not true,” said Burks, who signed his letter of intent to play college ball at Cal Santa Barbara. “Corey’s definitely a big key to this team. He brings energy, he gets everyone excited, he makes everyone play harder and he’s a real good facilitator.

“He picks everyone up and he makes us play harder. That’s what I look for every game, he just comes out with that same fire, that same energy that we all need.”

Like during a recent tournament at Legacy High School, where Moore established the first triple-double in school history. And he did it without grabbing a single rebound.

Moore scored 12 points, had 10 assists and 10 steals.

Then, in a tight battle at home against Green Valley, with 54.1 seconds left in the game, Moore challenged 6-foot-4 Troy Cropper and 6-foot-7 Tyrell Crosby in the paint and came away with a key defensive rebound. It might have been the biggest play of the game.

And it came from the littlest guy on the court.IMG_6127

“People don’t realize how much heart he has,” Burks said. “He’s smart, he’s real deceptive, his change of speed is ridiculous and he really catches people off guard with that, a lot of times they don’t expect that from him. He’s very underestimated, but he’s showing people this year.”

Moore admitted he feels he has something to prove, especially when three of his teammates return after successful seasons that garnered all-conference and/or all-state honors. His goal, like any other point guard, is to prove he’s the No. 1 floor general on the floor, but to also lead the Aggies to the state tournament.

“I feel like there’s nobody I can’t guard and there’s nobody I can’t get open on my team,” Moore said. “My teammates been telling me all summer that I needed to prove … I’m the best point guard in the city. That really just drives me to do it, to prove everybody wrong.”

Seven games into their undefeated season, he’s certainly done all the right things to prove to his coach and teammates he can handle the job.

“Corey is the (guy) that makes everything go,” Hageness said. “Those kids know that if they get themselves open, Corey will find them. He dishes the ball to those guys and gets them where they need to be. Defensively, he’s probably our best one-on-one defender. We don’t have a stat for how many times he’s been on the ground, we don’t keep that one. But Corey’s leading that one. He’s got the keys to the car.

“He’ll do what it takes to win.”

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