Bearcats dribble into new basketball seasonPublished 2:21pm Saturday, November 2, 2013
Tryouts are over and practice is underway for the Bainbridge Bearcats and Lady Cats 2013-14 basketball season. Boys head coach Rickey McCullough has rounded up his team for practices in the high school gym, running drills and conditioning them to be prepared for the season opener in a month.
“We’re going to be young, but I like my team,” McCullough said. “If we share the basketball, play defense and rebound, we’ll have a chance this year.”
The Bearcats went 18-10 last season, but were bounced out of the playoffs in game one against Creekside High School 71-65. Now the players are itching to get back on the court and build upon last season.
“I want to make it a little bit further in the playoffs this year,” said senior forward Stephen Johnson. “We’re looking forward to a great season with the teammates, a couple of wins and maybe even a region championship.”
McCullough trained with his players all summer, having them work hard in the weight room and “fine tuning” the team to get them ready for the first game on Dec. 3 at Lincoln High School.
The Bearcats have a small cushion to fix any problems they have before then with a scrimmage against Early County at home Nov. 21. McCullough wants to see fans in the stands and hopes the team quickly gets a feel for how to play with each other.
“Right now, we’re just getting ready to play together,” McCullough said. “Trying to find that rotation.”
Sophomore point guard Tyree Crump had a breakout season as a freshman last year with an average 14.3 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. With a year under his belt, he’s set on fixing what he thought was the biggest crux of last season.
“Defense,” he said, “I think I need to improve my defense, and as a team we need to improve our defense to win more games and make it to the State Championship.”
The first home game is Saturday, Dec. 7, against Thomasville High School.