Coach Daryl Osby, second from right, talks with his team as they gear up for their season opener in the Pearl Classic on November 3. The Wildcats are looking to improve on last year’s 7-25 record when they take on Hernando starting at 4:30 p.m. Standing with Osby is assistant coach/athletic director Maurice Naylor, right.
Coach Daryl Osby, second from right, talks with his team as they gear up for their season opener in the Pearl Classic on November 3. The Wildcats are looking to improve on last year’s 7-25 record when they take on Hernando starting at 4:30 p.m. Standing with Osby is assistant coach/athletic director Maurice Naylor, right.
By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger



The Kemper County basketball team has started practice for the upcoming season which tips off Nov. 3 with the Pearl Classic.

They will be taking on Hernando, which competes inRegion 1-6A. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

Last year was a rebuilding year for the Wildcats who finished 7-25. Coach Daryl Osby tried to find the best competition to test his team and they came close to pulling off some major upsets along the way.

“We were in some close ones,” Osby said. “We had to learn how to close games out when we had the lead. We have a good group coming back.

“They worked hard over the summer. They went 16-11 in summer ball. We are spending the next couple of weeks reviewing what we have worked. We have more experience and they know the system.”

Delance Gillespie is back at forward/guard while James Granger Jr. returns to play point guard. Granger may see some action at shooting guard as well. Qavion McClendon will play shooting guard and Timothy McElroy will play center and forward.

“We will be more experienced with our core players,” Osby said. “But we have to develop our younger guys and get them ready to contribute down the stretch.”

The Wildcats will compete in the always tough Region 5-3A which will be a little different this year with the addition of Winona.

“I expect it will be wide open,” Osby said. “We don’t know that much about Winona but I expect they will be very athletic and strong. Forest, Choctaw Central, Southeast Lauderdale and Morton are always good teams and they should be in the mix.”

 

Lady Wildcats

Last season was a total overhaul for the Kemper County girls who went winless under first year coach Ronnie Slaughter.

“We are going to be better this year,” Slaughter said. “We will win some games. Last year’s team was very young. They got a lot of experience and we will be more competitive.”

Four starters are returning from last year. They are small forward A’Kayla Donald, shooting guard Timberlee Drummond, guard Channel Stringfellow and Ta’lia Brown.

The Lady Wildcats will see their first action Tuesday, November 6, when Kemper County visits West Lauderdale.