Editor’s note – This is the second in a 16-part series of high school basketball previews counting down to the scheduled opening night of the regular season on Jan. 4.
The Butler County and Edmonson County boys’ basketball teams always expect a tough, balanced field in District 12, but the uncertainty of the pandemic has made things even more unpredictable this year.
While the Bears come in off a 21-10 season and the district title, Butler County coach Calvin Dockery said that uncertainty could lead to a season unlike any other.
“I definitely think there is pretty good balance across all four teams, but I think all four of the coaches will tell you that when it is all said and done who knows who is going to rise to the top,” Dockery said. “There is just so much uncertainty (this season). Really, all you can do is prepare for you. It’s just going to be so much different this year.”
Butler County will have to replace leading scorer Parker Rice, who averaged more than 20 points a night, but brings back experience and plenty of depth that Dockery hopes can fill the void left by Rice.
Junior Solomon Flener is Butler County’s leading returning scorer, while seniors Hayden Hodge and Levi McMillian also return after starting last season.
Dockery said Jagger Henderson and Brody Hunt will help tremendously at guard, while Isaac Dockery should give the Bears depth.
“I think we definitely have some guys that can take a step forward,” Dockery said. “It’s really hard to replace a kid like Parker, who could do pretty much anything you need him to on the court. At the same time, we had good balance last year and we had several guys that contributed in a lot of different ways – whether it is rebounding or assists or just standing in and taking a charge.”
Edmonson County loses its top three scorers from last year’s team that finished 12-15, but returns seven seniors.
Chaz Wilson led the team in scoring two years ago and is back to 100 percent after playing through an injury last season.
Daniel Woosley played a lot last year, with Gavin Rose, Isaiah Johnson, Lane Lindsey and Dylan Lindsey also among the players expected to contribute.
“I feel like we have more depth than what we had in the past and I am really looking forward to that,” Wildcats coach Michael McClintic said. “As many games as we are playing, there are some weeks where we have four games, we are going to have to be ready. We are playing 28 games, so we will have to have kids ready to play. Hopefully we stay injury free, stay sick free, and can be at full strength the whole time.”