By Tim Chambers
Like bees making honey, the seventh grade boys’ basketball team is creating a buzz and they’re hoping that it leads to a sweet season.
Johnson County is currently 11-0 and many of their wins have come by decisive margins. Varsity head coach Devin Shaw likes what he’s seen so far from this group of hoopsters. He believes this group has all the ingredients needed to one day make a very good high school basketball team.
“We’ve got mostly guards but they all play hard and want to be the leading scorer every night,” said Shaw. “When you get kids that want to be the best on the team it makes the whole squad better. It’s a good group of boys that compete but they don’t play selfish. They encourage one another and they’re fun to be around. You couldn’t find a better group to work with as a coach.”
Corie Neely, Preston Greer, Gavin Ward, Zack Parson and John Stout make up the starting five. Shaw touched on all of them.
“Some of them were superstars in youth league but they’ve not been hard to mesh at all,” added Shaw. “They play well together and see the floor. They handle pressure well and not everybody can do that. All five of those guys are capable of being the leading scorers at any given time.”
A baker’s dozen of players make up the team’s 13-man roster that includes Hayden Luckett, Hunter Wilson, Dylan Kelly, Sammy Walters, Dalton Brown, Anthony Hall and Seth Conder.
All of them have scored in multiple games and each has contributed nicely according to Shaw.
“We have a guy like Corie that is getting a lot of varsity minutes, but he’s not scoring a ton of points on this team. He’s accepted his role as a point guard and he’s done a remarkable job of running both teams. Preston and Gavin can put up points in bunches. Zack and John do a great job of scoring inside and getting rebounds. Zack can step outside and shoot and John is a banger.”
Shaw touched on his bench players.
“All of them have accepted their role. It’s hard to get them to accept that role at times but all of them want to win. We have guys who come off the bench and play valuable minutes but all of them play. It’s never just one, two or three players doing it all. This bunch is well balanced. You never know which ones will step up big, but they all seem to step up when we need them to.”
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.