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Central High School
Pageland

Central basketball working for the long haul

By Ken Buck

Staff Writer

Pageland— The boys and girls basketball programs at Central High School are working to get ready for the long stretch of region games after the holiday break in hopes of advancing to the Class AA playoffs and making some noise while there.

The Eagles varsity boys team is led by Head Coach Charles Brown, who is no stranger to the program. Brown spent a number of seasons as the head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach.

Last year the Eagles were 14-6 overall and 7-4 in the region. They also advanced to the Class AA playoffs as a third seed, where they lost in the first round to Southside Christian.

Brown said that he likes what he has seen from his team so far this season.

“We are playing hard and together,” he says. “I also have players buying into the new vision for our program.”

So far this season the Pageland Central boys are 3-1 with wins over Cheraw (a region game), McBee (a county rival), and Marlboro County. The lone loss was against McBee to open the season.

While his Eagles are playing well so far, Brown sees areas in which he wants his team to improve.

“It is the little things that count in anything,” he says. “We need better communication, boxing out, and playing under control.”

Upperclassmen are playing a big role in the Eagles’ successes early on and will have to continue to lead the team throughout the season. Individuals who are playing especially well for the Eagles right now include Senior guard Kevon Wall, Junior guard Caleb Cofield, Senior guard Quan Chambers, and Junior center Devin Rushing. All bring a good deal of athleticism and experience to the court for the Eagles.

Brown also added that his impressions of his team so this this early in the season has been quite favorable.

“My impressions are that we can be what we allow ourselves to be,” he explains. “It just depends on if the players are willing to dig within themselves to bring it out.

“Our personality is still developing but I feel like we as a team have something to prove.”

And the Eagles will need to continue to develop if they hope to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves for this season.

“Goals are something we keep close because at the end of the day everyone has the same goal to play in March (in the playoffs),” says Brown. “Last Year we finished third in our region and we want to jump a spot or two. We want to move beyond the first round of the playoffs.”

The Lady Eagles, under the leadership of Head Coach Eddie Rivers, played well last season but faltered a bit down the stretch in the region, finishing last in the region and with a 7-13 overall record. The Lady Eagles are hoping to some great improvement this season and move into a place in the region to earn a playoff berth.

Rivers says that he’s liked his team’s approach to work outside of the games so far this season.

“They have a good attitude toward practice and are working extremely hard to get better as a team,” he says.

Rivers also points out that there is, of course, areas of his Lady Eagles’ play that he would like to see improvement as the year progresses.

“I would Like to see us cut down on fouls, be better at the free throw line, and dictate how the game is played,” he explains.

The Lady Eagles opened the season with a 1-3 record, with a win over county rival McBee but also a lost to the Lady Panthers, and a loss to region foe Cheraw and to Class AAA Marlboro County.

To see that record improve as the season progresses, the Lady Eagles will have to rely upon several players among the young roster, including Sophomore guard Jamie Bracey, Sophomore guard Yvonne Vanderpool, Senior forward Desta’Nee Chambers, Eighth grade center Madison Hamilton, and Junior forward Shiyana Threatt.

Rivers says that hard work is becoming the cornerstone of this Lady Eagles’ team.

“The team is working hard each day to get better,” he says. “The girls like to be an up-tempo group.  They like to get up and down the court.  If we can finish at the basket, then we will be a ‘run and gun’ personality.  If not, we will slow things down and play a set offense and try to limit the possessions of the opponent.”

For a team that struggled at times last season, the goals and objectives for the rest of the 2017-18 campaign is clear, according to Rivers.

“We want to be competitive in every game, raise our standing from our last place finish in the region last year, and work hard to qualify for the playoffs,” he explains.

 Both the boys teams and the girls teams will have a big region match up with Andrew Jackson on Dec. 15 before taking a break during the holidays. Region play will start back up on Jan. 2, when the Eagles and Lady Eagles will face county and region rival Chesterfield in what could be a key early match up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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