BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Malden boys look to return to winning ways after rebuilding season

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Malden varsity boys basketball team. Pictured left to right are: Lamar Smith, Marcellus Flemming, Coytravion Wade, Jaleen Reed, Shay Amoss, D’Angelo Austin, Du’Marques Jones, Sientez Lerma, Drew Blankinship, Chris Castillo, Trey Currie, Isaiah Herrion, and Hunter Randl.

The Malden Green Wave varsity boys basketball team enters the 2019-20 season hoping to pound the ball inside frequently.

“We are definitely post-heavy,” Malden coach Cole McBroom said. “We are long and lanky. If we settle for jumpers and 3-pointers we are hurting ourselves. We are a team that has to get to the basket and the free-throw line.”

The Malden varsity roster is currently composed of three seniors, six juniors, and four sophomores.

The Green Wave, which had no returning starters on last season’s varsity squad that finished 2-21, bring back three returning starters this season.

“Last year was definitely a long year but it was really good for our younger guys because they got to know what it’s like to be in a varsity game,” McBroom said. “We are definitely coming into this season with a lot more guys with varsity experience.”

The three returns starters are sophomore Sientez Lerma, junior Lamar Smith, and junior Chris Castillo.

Lerma is a six-foot-three forward that paced the Green Wave in most offensive categories last season.

“Sientez is a do-it-all for us,” McBroom said. “He led us in scoring and rebounds last season and I look for him to have another good season for us this year.”

Castillo is a six-foot-one guard and Smith is a five-foot-seven guard.

“Chris is going to be a guard who is a true definition of a worker,” McBroom said. “He got thrown in the fire last year and responded well and got better throughout the year.”

“Lamar is a pesky defender who can shoot it a little bit,” McBroom added. “He will be one of our stronger 3-point shooters.”

McBroom expects three to five other players outside of the three returning starters to receive significant playing time on varsity.

The tallest player on the squad, six-foot-five sophomore Du’Marques Jones, is a candidate to start in the post.

“He got quite a few minutes at the end of the season last year as a freshman,” McBroom said.

Six-foot junior speedster Coy Wade is also expected to make noise on the varsity.

“Coy’s definitely our fastest player from end-to-end,” McBroom said. “He’s super athletic. I expect him to keep his head up this year and continue moving in the right direction.”

Senior Shay Amoss, sophomore D’Angelo Austin, junior Drew Blankinship, junior Hunter Randle, and senior Trey Curry are other candidates to eat up varsity minutes.

“They each have certain niches that they fill,” McBroom said. “If they do those things well and just worry about the things they can control I expect us to have a much better year.”

Malden opens its season at the eight-team Oran Invitational. No. 5 seeded Malden plays No. 4 seeded Richland Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. The other three quarterfinals are: No. 1 seeded Oran vs. No. 8 seeded Bell City Dec. 2 at 5 p.m., No. 2 seeded Advance vs. No. 7 seeded Scott County Central Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m., and No. 3 seeded Kelly vs. No. 6 seeded Chaffee Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.

“Our goal is to play on the final night in every tournament we compete in this season,” McBroom said. “Richland has a new coach so we aren’t for sure what to expect but we know what they have coming back. I think Richland is pretty optimistic about their guys and we are pretty optimistic about our guys so it should be a good game for both of us early in the season.”

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Malden junior varsity boys basketball team. Pictured left to right are: Ben Howard, Ayden Lee, Justin Carter, Triston Randl, Tyrone Lee, D’Angelo Austin, Jaleen Reed, Cooper Thomas, Harlanso Thomas, and Hunter Randl.

Malden Boys Basketball Schedule

12/2-12-6Oran TournamentAway
12/10Twin RiversAway
12/26-12/30Bloomfield Tourn.Bloomfield
1/10South Pemiscot Home
2/1-2/7BHC TournamentTBA
2/18East PrairieAway
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