BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Delta C-7 boys hope to benefit from depth and experience

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Delta C-7 varsity basketball team. Pictured front row left to right are: Levi Smith, Thomas Watson, Anton Childress, and Kenya Stephens; pictured back row from left are: Ky’Ran Luster, Kyle Towery, Ryan Copley, Alize Childress, and Corbin Loggins.

The Delta C-7 Chargers boys basketball program enters the 2019-20 season looking to make noise with a slew of experienced players under the direction of new head coach Ty’re Washington.

Washington, who served as an assistant coach at Clarkton last season, has the luxury of inheriting a high school roster composed of 22 players.

“I hope our high numbers this season will help build our basketball program back up,” Washington said. “Right now we are just trying to decide where everyone is going fit in and play.”

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Delta C-7 junior varsity basketball team. Pictured front row left to right are: Alex Woods, George Dudley, Jimmy Burkeen, Joe Overbey, Trenton Young, and Kyle Young; pictured back row left to right are: Tate Rudd, John Cato, Jacob Johnson, Maurion Hattix, Laker Sharp, and Jacob Miller.

Delta C-7 has five seniors, four juniors, and 13 underclassmen on his high school roster.

Washington said the majority of his varsity standouts received significant playing time on varsity last season.

“We will probably start one senior, three juniors, and a sophomore and go about eight deep,” Washington said. “We return all of our starters from last season. We are a guard-heavy bunch so we are going to try to run-and-gun. We want to shoot a lot of 3’s and layups on offense.”

Senior Thomas Watson, junior Levi Smith, junior Ky’Ran Luster, junior Ryan Copley, and sophomore Jacob Johnson are the top candidates to start on varsity.

Watson is the varsity team captain.

“He’s what makes our train go,” Washington said. “He handles the ball well and is a knockdown 3-point shooter.”

Smith is one of the top defensive players in the program.

“He’s our defensive specialist and one of our primary ball-handlers,” Washington said. “He will guard whoever whenever and never backs down.”

Luster, who is a third-year varsity starter, has put up solid offensive numbers in recent seasons.

“He has every move in the bag,” Washington said. “He’s had to play up since he was a freshman and is finally growing into his role as a junior.”

Johnson also brings a variety of talents to the court.

“He’s going to be a stud also,” Washington said. “He’s ahead of everyone in his class and got a couple starts on varsity last season. He can handle the ball for us, guard the other team’s best player, and definitely put up points. He’s going to do it all. I wasn’t sure what I had with him when I started but every day he impresses me more and more.”

Copley, who is the tallest player on the squad, is likely to start at the center position.

“He’s about as tall as we get at six-foot-four,” Washington said. “Our next tallest player is six-foot-one so Ryan’s going to have to get things done for us down low.”

Delta C-7 opens its season Dec. 2 at the eight-team Bulldog Classic in Gideon. Kennett, Hayti, Caruthersville, Gideon, Clarkton, Senath-Hornersville, and North Pemiscot are the other teams in the eight-team tournament.

“We are probably looking at playing Kennett in the first round if my predictions are correct,” Washington said. “So we will definitely have a tough challenge to start the season at the Bulldog Classic. But we welcome all challenges. I think we can learn a great deal from playing a good Class 3 team to start the season.”

Washington hopes the stiff competition early on will help prepare his squad to emerge as a contender to win the Tri-County Conference Tournament in late February.

“I think this is the most open the conference has been in a long time,” Washington said. “If you want to be the best you have to beat the best and everyone knows what Risco has done the last three seasons. But I feel comfortable our group can contend in the conference this season.”

Delta C-7 Boys Basketball Schedule

12/2-12/6Bulldog ClassicGideon
12/9North PemiscotAway
12/10South PemiscotHome
1/14North PemiscotHome
2/10-2/14Tri-County Tourn.TBA
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