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Marion High School

Weathers takes over Marion boys’ basketball

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Marion—After capturing a region championship a year ago, the Marion boys’ basketball team had a coaching change in the offseason. Brian Scott stepped down and the Swamp Foxes hired Andre Weathers, who guided Hemingway to an appearance in the Class A state championship game in 2016.

“He ran a different system than I run. Last year they did a lot of half court sets, but I like to get out and run,” Weathers said. “The experience is there. We got down 11-0 in one game and most teams would have folded, but we have that experience and were able to come back and win the game.”

That style may serve Marion well to remain fresh throughout the season. Everyone on the roster has seen action as they play pressure defense to try to get turnovers and easy baskets. It seems to be successful so far as the Swamp Foxes are 3-1 overall.

“It starts at practice. They’re not allowed to walk. If you walk, then we get on the line and run. We’re trying to speed the game up. The idea is that if you shoot the ball 20 times but we shoot it 40 times, our chances of winning the game increase. We want to go all out with defensive pressure. All 15 guys can play so I can keep rotating to wear the other team down,” Weathers said.

There are four seniors in the starting lineup, but the lone junior in the rotation has made the most impact. Tariq Nowlin can play on the perimeter or down low, and has averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists this winter.

“He’s Division-I material. You’re talking about a 6’4 point guard that can play above the rim. We’re trying to groom him and get him ready. He can do it all – shoot, dribble, penetrate, pass, rebound – so he’s really the catalyst of the team. When he goes, everybody goes,” Weathers said.

Guard Kailik Faulk is also scoring in double figures with 10 points per game.

“He’s been on varsity since the ninth grade. He brings a toughness to the team because he has no fear. He’s a lockdown defender that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Weathers said.

Also in the initial rotation is guard Taj Hall, forward B.J. Blue and center Dyshaan Johnson, who leads the team with nine rebounds a night.

Coming off the bench for the Swamp Foxes at the guard positions include seniors Calvin Mullins and Shemar Grant, junior Tyquan Covington and freshman Mac Washington.

Seniors Keyshawn Rowell and Kayshawn Rowell are the backup centers while senior Damonte Lee and freshman T.J. Sanders see action at forward.

Guards Darius Sanders and Raekuan Dickerson make up the remainder of the roster.

“Our goal is to win the region. Obviously Carvers Bay and Kingstree will be tough, and then you throw Mullins in there. I think we’re better than anybody, one through fifteen. It comes down to who executes the best. It’s going to be a battle but everybody will have to come to play,” Weathers said.

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