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franklin county times

Basketball season overview: Tharptown

GIRLS

First year varsity basketball coach Kamri Fleming has something in common with the majority of her team – they are learning together. Four out of five Wildcat starters graduated last year, and most of the five had been playing for several years at the varsity level.

“We have to be fundamentally sound,” said Fleming, who is currently the head volleyball coach and former head softball coach. “I want my team to thrive off of being fundamentally sound when it comes to all aspects of basketball, especially the small things.”

For what her young Wildcats lack in experience, she says they make up for it with hard work.

“They play hard and they never give up,” Fleming explained. “They have a lot of fight in them.”

Fleming said she needs her team to be balanced offensively to build the identity she wants them to have.

“Through three games, our entire team has scored,” Fleming said. “I told the girls, if every player on the team can contribute six points or more, we will be successful.”

Senior Harleigh Borden is the team’s only returning starter.

“Harleigh is a hustler. She plays hard, and she’s a leader,” said Fleming. “She rebounds the ball very well for her size, and she makes a lot of defensive hustle plays for us.”

ROSTER

Ashley Vela 3

Angeleah Smith 10

Abby Wilson 11

Aalivia Wilson 12

Yohana Bentancourt 13

Harleigh Borden 14

Alyssa Abbott 22

Carly Cason 23

Ashton Tharp 24

Alyssa Fischer 32

Lizzy Duncan 35

BOYS

The Tharptown Wildcats begin the season with a familiar but new head coach in Chuck Simmons. Simmons has been a longtime assistant at Tharptown and Belgreen. This year, he will get to captain his own team.

“I am looking forward to getting the season started,” said Simmons. “We have a great group of guys who love the game of basketball and want to win.”

Simmons said he has the luxury of a team that is familiar with him as a coach and long on experience. The Wildcats return all nine players from last year.

“We have a lot of experience on the court,” said Simmons. “We are excited to compete and look forward to making progress on a daily basis.”

Tharptown returns starters Dylan Valdez, Malachi Minor, Edwin Vela and Jackson Clement. There is also Dalton Maldonado, Israel Sanchez and Dawson Higgins.

“We have some guys who can score, but I would like to see better shot selection from them,” said Simmons. “We also need to improve defensively.”

ROSTER

Malachi Minor                          1

Dylan Dolley                             4

Cesar Rueda                             5

Dawson Higgins                        10

Jackson Clement                       11

Dalton Maldonada                    12

Edwin Vela                                14

Dylan Valdez                             23

Bryson Borden                          24

Israel Del LA Rosa                      33

 

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