DANVILLE (WCIA) — Keith Peoples is no stranger to winning, with two high school state championships under his belt, plus five at the junior high level, the Schlarman boys basketball head coach is taking on his next challenge.

“We want to win a state championship, but we understand it’s a process and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Peoples said. “Our main focus right now is building habits, character habits. We haven’t had a lot of success at the varsity level here at Schlarman and we’re here to change that.”

And he has some work to do.

The Hilltoppers are 5-14 overall this season, with seven straight losses. The team is young with nine underclassmen and no seniors, but Peoples is using that to his advantage.

“With this young group they’re starting to believe the coaching staff, they’re believing in themselves and they’re believing in each other,” Peoples said. “That’s all I’m asking for right now, but we’re going to prepare and we’re going to play like we’re state contenders no matter what.”

Peoples took the job to coach his freshman son Keison, who is sidelined with a season-ending injury. He follows his older sister Anaya, one of the area’s highest rated recruits all-time. The McDonald’s All-American was a five-star recruit, ranked Top 25 nationally, and led the Toppers to back-to-back state titles. To help get the program back to that level, Keith brought one of his former assistants with him in OJ Harrison.

“We really developed a brotherhood, a family relationship, a coaching relationship, so it’s been good,” Harrison said. “Like I said, it’s been seven years now. We know each other well and just there’s a chemistry we have so to be along side him again it’s pretty rewarding.”

And Keith is confident he can get the boys program back on the map. After winning 80 percent of his games in eight years as the girls head coach, Peoples says he’s poised for another run with the boys program that hasn’t won 25 games in a season in 55 years.

“Take your wins now,” Peoples said. “Because Schlarman is up and coming.”