Eighth grade Bearcats look back on season
Published 6:06 pm Friday, February 14, 2014
Eighth grade basketball coach Heith Maxwell didn’t have much time to get his Bearcats ready for the 2013-14 basketball season.
After coaching the Bearcats football team to a region championship in October, he stepped off the gridiron and onto the court the very next day.
The clock was ticking and Maxwell had to round up his team for their first game. It ended up being a flop.
“We weren’t ready to play our first game because of time, and we lost,” Maxwell said. But he didn’t let that bring down his team.
They won the next nine games.
There were some experienced players on the team, but others were stepping onto the court for their first season of organized basketball.
“I had to find the right chemistry of experienced guys with inexperienced guys,” Maxwell said. “We have to fit what we were going to do around their strengths.”
Maxwell said he didn’t get to run as many plays as he had been used to during other seasons. But whatever they were doing, it was working.
Then they hit their game against Mariana in Florida. The team were North Florida/Georgia champions from the previous season. The Bearcats traveled to their court and lost by six.
“We didn’t get to play a return game, but I believe we could have gotten them up here,” Maxwell said.
With an undefeated home record, the eighth grade Bearcats were able to hold down their house and defeat opponents in spectacular fashion, usually blowout wins.
Kendall Lodman, one of the standout players this season, was proud of what he and his teammates accomplished.
“The whole season was good, looking back on it,” Lodman said. “We were undefeated at home. Next year I want to possibly go undefeated. I’d just like the opportunity to play with these guys again.”
Lodman and David Smart were two of the highest scorers on the team, and complimented each other well. Lodman’s ball and passing skills were a perfect match for Smart’s ability to score points.
“David can put it in the bucket,” Maxwell said. “He’s a solid player.”
Maxwell said he considered the season a success, noting he was pleased with the inexperienced players’ ability to practice hard and get better as the season went on.
“I think I got as much out of my players as I possibly could have,” he said.