Boys high school basketball 2010
It’s a good year for basketball in Tyler County when 31 young men are out for the basketball team. While it is impossible for Tyler Consolidated Silver Knight head coach J.C. Kimble to suit all 31 up for the season on the varsity team, he certainly has his pick of the litter. “It’s probably been 10 years or more since we’ve had so many out for the team,” Kimble said.
“It’s exciting, and a little daunting at the same time.” With this many out, the Knights will be able to field varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams this year.
The loss of five exceptional seniors, Dustin Snider, Zach Minger, Alex Jones, Aaron Fuller and Aaron Estep to graduation in the Spring had the coach worried and wondering about this years team. “Those guys are irreplaceable,” he said. “They were more than just good players. They were good kids, good leaders and good friends to the rest of the team. They brought a lot to our program and will certainly be missed.”
Looking to top last years win/loss record of 8-10, the Knights return several with experience to the court this season who are ready and willing to take over the reins of leadership. Returning lettermen include: seniors – Cory Lowe (6′), Boone Kehrer (6’2″), B.J. Eastham (6’5″), and Zack Knowlton (5’10”); juniors – Skylar Kinnard(6’2″), Justin Carpenter (5’10”, and Evan Cline (5’8″).
“Cory has gotten a lot stronger since last year, and he has a drive now that has moved him to the next level. He always wants the ball, and that’s what we want him to do,”
Kimble said. “Boone returns with more focus and B.J. seems to be more confident in himself. Zack is a pleasant surprise, he’s bulked up some and is quicker.”
“In fact all of them are playing with more confidence than they brought to the court last year, and that alone bodes well for us.”
Fans can look for the Knights to attack quickly on offense and set up a strong arm defense to deter scoring opponents from the outside of the key inwards. Utilizing team strengths, Kimble will likely use two point-guards, Lowe and Cline, for the double threat effect with Eastham and Drew Casey taking turns working the center slot. Kehrer, Kinnard and Knowlton will be expected to strengthen the defensive tactics on the floor.
As for a “pure shooter”, the coach says he will not depend on one player to put points on the board. “We’ve got some guys that have a good shot, they just have to take it. We’ve been working on that, when the opportunity arises, they need to put points on the scoreboard.”
Also looking to breaking into the starting line-up for the Knights, and playing roles in junior varsity scenarios are: senior Isaac Graham (5’11”); sophomores, Mitchell Higgins (5’10”),, Alex Doak (5’11”), Hunter LeMasters (5’8″), Drew Casey (6’1″), Darren Heintzman (6’2″) and Scott Sole (5’6″).
The junior varsity team, coached by D.J. Cunningham, will have a full schedule this season with several players looking to move into varsity spots as the year continues. Members of the team include: juniors – Jae Yung Kim, Mitchell Higgins, Jeremy VanDerVerren, Koty Martin, Isaiah Cassenelli and Randy Eastham.
The Silver Knight freshman team will be coached by Bobby West and boasts 12 freshmen: Skyler Leasure, Ryan Dalrymple, Cole Kocher, Dylan Reynolds, Swen Sch . . . . , Dylan Romine, Evan Davis, Drew James, Eddis Kurfis, Nathan Heintzman, Chase Cornell, and James McCaman.
“It’s great to have so many kids to work with,” Kimble said. “They’re all giving us their best effort and that’s really all we ask. We’re looking forward to a successful season.”
The Silver Knights began their season on Dec. 7 at home, hosting the Lumberjacks of Valley. On Dec. 10 the team will play at Weir.
Tyler Consolidated will again host their annual Roundball Classic Tournament this season. The tournament will be held on Jan. 14 and 15 at the school with teams from Scott, Wheeling Central and Magnolia participating.
Boys high school basketball 2010
If height is a requirement, the Paden City Wildcat varsity boys basketball team is set and ready to begin the season with four of their prime players topping the six-foot mark. “Our height is good,” said head coach of the team, Fred King. “It’s been a while since we’ve been able to count that as a strength, but this year, yes.”
The Wildcats are looking to surpass their season record of last year, albeit this time without the sure hands of two important seniors lost to graduation, Malakai Anderson and Josh Bennett. Both shooters, between the two they accounted for about 23 points a game for the ‘Cats.
“This year we’re going to have some shooters, but right now we’re not singling one out from the rest, let me just say that we have a few that can put the ball in.”
The lone senior returning to the line-up this season will be Zach Yost (6′). “We expect Zach to play many roles on the team,” King said. “He is the only scorer we have coming back. We will rely on him to push the ball up the floor and create some offensive opportunities for him and the others. With his experience and improvement over the off-season, we expect Zach to have a memorable year.”
Juniors returning to the varsity level include: Geoffrey Bidwell (6′), Taylor Still (5’9″), Payton Hinkley (6’4″), and Jamie Billiter (5’8″). “Geoffrey might be one of our most improved players from last year,” King said. “Geoffrey finished the football season very strong, he was running he ball with toughness and authority and I think that will carry over to basketball. His outside shot has also came a long way. We expect him to take a lot of the scoring load.”
“Taylor Still has heart, toughness and determination,” said the coach. “One of the most coachable student athletes as a coach I could ask for. Every team needs one of these kind of players that will do the unnoticed, non-glamorous, important things. Setting screens for our scorers, rebound, make big passes and defend other teams’ ‘big scorers’. We would like to see Taylor score more for us this year.”
“Payton has really come a long way since his freshman season and is really starting to understand this game,” said King of the big man on the team. Payton works very hard, going all out in every practice. He was a force in the middle last year as a shot blocker. We are hoping he will be more of an inside scoring threat this year.”
“Jamie Billiter will play an important role on this team because of his intelligence and overall knowledge of the game,” said the coach. “We expect him to play several positions on this team. We can plug him in anywhere and that is a valuable resource to have. He’s also is a very coachable player and is willing to assume any role to make this team successful.”
Drew Bidwell (5’8″) is the only sophomore returner to the Wildcat line-up. “Hopefully Drew will become our point guard and display the confidence to lead our team this year and in the future,” King said. “He will be a fine player for us this year. Coach Bowers has been working with him on his shooting, and it’s improved every day.”
Junior Trey Leonard (6’2″) and sophomore John Bates (5’9″) will each see a significant amount of playing time for the Green and White. “Trey has had limited experience in basketball due to a football injury his freshman year. However, we expect him to step in to help with our inside game,” the coach said. “His physical presence will enable us to play a more aggressive style of defense.”
“John is new to the team this year,” said King. “He will be counted on to give us some depth in the guard position.”
Also seeking roster spots on the team this season are : seniors – Haran Amorim and Lucas Marques; sophomores – Rasim Araydin, Jefferson Palmer, and Aaron Higgins-barton; and freshman Austin Quin.
“We’ve got a great bunch of kids,” King said. “We’re really looking forward to the season.”
Of his long time assistant coach, King has nothing but praise. “Jeff Bowers is an excellent strategist,” he said. “He recognizes adjustments as they are needed as the game progresses. He’s very laid back and observant of how the game is supposed to be played. With his guidance and knowledge and input over the years, we have been able to allow our teams to play to or above their potential.”
The Wildcats began their season on the road on Dec. 7 at Hundred. On Dec. 10 the team will travel to Beallsville and finish up the week at Clay Battelle on Dec. 14. On Dec. 17 and 18 Paden City will host the Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Classic Tournament at the house that Burton built .