Internal competition keeps KCHS basketball teams strong
The Kemper County High School boys basketball team played the first six games of the season with just eight players, as the Wildcats were waiting for seven members of the hoops team to complete their successful football team.
During that time those eight players got a lot of experience said first-year head coach Michael Stringer, who is fresh off a seven-year stint as head coach at Coahoma Community College.
“One thing is those kids who may not normally get to play as much learned how to play in the front seat,” Stringer said. “If they get in that position later in the season they will know how to react.”
He also said it was a time of adjustments.
“In those six games we were just trying to build some trust and to get adjusted to the playing style,” he said. “I think they fared well, even thought we lost a couple close ballgames.”
Stringer said his Wildcats lost to West Point by three, Choctaw Central by two, Madison St. Joe by four and Noxubee by eight. “Now we are going to try and find a way to win those games,” he said.
While being quick to say that he was a more team-oriented coach than one who focuses on individual players, he did mention a few players who had caught his eye, noting the play of Jamar Grace, Ty Steele, and Alfred Love. He also said that freshman point guard and Lebrun Johnson had really stepped up at the point guard position.
“I am expecting a lot out of everyone,” he said. “I am not a one main guy kind of coach.” KCHS LADY WILDCATS
Two additions to his basketball team has really helped the strength of the Kemper County girls basketball team, said coach Ronnie Slaughter. But it’s more than just what those two girls do on the court.
“Not only is it showing up in games, but they have made the in-house competition much better,” he said. “Everybody is working hard in practice and are improving.”
Slaughter said that his team is still young, with only four seniors on the team, but he does have depth.
“One of the strengths is that I will be able to play a lot of kids this year,” he said. “They were able get some experience last year and that has given them more confident.”
He said the key was for his team to be able to stick to its defensive principles.
“Our defense can lead to scores on offense,” he said.
December has the KCHS teams playing home match-ups with Louisville, Columbus and Southeast Lauderdale, while visiting Choctaw Central and Clarksdale and taking part in the Sam Dale Tournament at Northeast Lauderdale.
The district tourney is set for Feb. 7-11 at Philadelphia.