Brandon Bennett should be in the conversation, if not the frontrunner, for area boys basketball coach of the year.
In just his third year at South Grand Prairie, Bennett guided the Warriors to a 35-3 season and their first regional appearance since 1986.
Each season, the team has shown improvement: 15-14 in 2009-2010 to 23-9 and a playoff berth last year leading up to this year’s run.
It shouldn’t hurt Bennett’s chances that by Flower Mound Marcus coach Danny Henderson called him a “rising star’’ following Marcus’ 39-38 victory over South Grand Prairie in the Class 5A Region I championship game.
“I was very worried about this game because of Brandon Bennett,’’ Henderson said afterward. “He can coach. A lot of people have the talent he has, but he gets the most out of his guys.’’
When informed of Henderson’s comments, Bennett was gracious in praising his players and assistant coaches.
“It’s a great compliment,‘’ Bennett said, “but it is a testament to how hard my staff has worked and these guys have played all year. They make me look good.''
When Bennett took over, he remembers home games played in front of mostly empty seats. For the regional final in Fort Worth, the Warriors brought a very large fan base.
“We’ve come a long way,’’ Bennett said. “And we’re not finished.’’