JVs open with a ton of shooters
Published 9:04 am Thursday, November 18, 2021
By Brian Pitts
New Davie JV boys basketball coach Tracey Arnold got everything he wanted from last week’s scrimmage against North Davidson.
“We looked better than I thought we would,” he said. “We got up and down the floor. We haven’t put in a lot of stuff, but we ran our secondary break and we looked good.
“I’ve got a ton of shooters,” he said. “We will run and gun. We put up 38 points in the first half (of the scrimmage). If we shoot the ball the way we’ve been shooting, I think we’ll be able to compete with about anybody.”
Last season the War Eagles went 6-5 overall and 5-4 in the Central Piedmont Conference. Sophomore Ethan Ratledge and freshman Landon King will start the season on varsity. If Ratledge comes down to JV after the first week or so, he will be the top returning scorer after averaging 4.8 points last season for then-coach Tim Kenney.
“I’m waiting to see if I’m going to get one more from varsity,” Arnold said. “If we have Ethan, he will be a banger. He could start at the five.”
In the scrimmage, Arnold’s starters, going from one to five (point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center) were Sebastian Bellomo, Carter Helton, Gavin Williams, Ian Koontz and Trey’von Doulin.
“I was just experimenting,” Arnold said. “I don’t really know who I’m going to start yet.”
Sophomore Cam Ball has been a rousing preseason success. He came off the bench and scored 18 against North. Arnold gushed about a kid who did not play school ball last year.
“He’s a 6-3 or 6-4 wing,” he said. “He’ll probably play inside and out. He shoots the lights out of it. He’s been a pleasant surprise. He’s fundamentally sound and can shoot it. I’m trying to get him to play more around the basket because we’re not really big. So he’s going to have to play inside and out. He played (effectively) on the offensive and defensive end today, and he lit it up.”
Williams is a name to know. Last season he averaged a whopping 21 points for the freshman team.
“He’s a bucket-getter,” Arnold said. “He carried the freshman team. He can play anywhere from 1-5. He can play inside. He can handle the ball at the point. He shoots mid-range; he shoots 3s. He’s a scorer.”
Arnold is a believer in sophomore Ian Koontz, who missed seven JV games last season because of injury.
“He played the five mostly today, and he dominated on the inside – scoring and rebounding,” he said. “He’s played a lot of travel ball with me since about fifth grade, so he knows what’s going on. He’s making the calls on defense. He’s going to be a big player for me this year.”
Arnold has plenty of depth. CJ Phelps is a center who could play significant minutes off the bench. Cathell Hawks is a wing. Braddock Coleman and Luke Clark are combo guards. Elijah Dillard is a wing who plays the three and four positions.
“CJ will get in there and hustle,” he said. “He’s a project, but he’s a hustle player. He picks up on things quick and tries hard. He dives on the floor for loose balls. He’s one of those guys who’s in the right spot most of the time.”