Boys District 14 final: Bowling Green 57-49 over Warren Central

Warren Central’s Dre Boyd (from left) shoots against Bowling Green’s Cobi Huddleston and Jordan Dingle during last season’s District 14 championship at Warren East High School.

It’s been Warren Central and Bowling Green leading the way since 2002 – with the exception of Greenwood’s region crown in 2008.

It looks to be more of the same this season, with the Dragons looking to make it three straight region titles and Bowling Green looking to get back to Rupp Arena after a two-year absence.

Greenwood hopes to player spoiler again, while South Warren and Warren East are also hopeful to challenge in a deep and talented district.

“It’s five of the better teams in our region – and not just this year, but every year,” Bowling Green coach Derrick Clubb said. “I think this year everybody is a little bit better than average. The thing about this district is you have to be ready to get off the mat because you are going to get tested. Once January gets here, once or twice a year you are going to be tested with a district game.”

Here is a look at District 14:

1. Warren Central

22-12 last year

The Dragons should be one of the most experienced teams in the state, with 11 seniors returning this season.

That includes senior guard Kobe Brents, who led the team in scoring last year, and senior Dre Boyd, who averaged nearly 14 points and 9.1 rebounds.

Senior Kamden Lawrence led Warren Central in 3-point shooting percentage last season, while senior Tegra Muleka looks to add an offensive spark after being one of the team’s top defenders last year.

Seniors Geovonni Floyd, Antonio Barbee and Jessie Wright also should play big roles, with Tay Smith healthy after missing time last season with various ailments.

Herman Gaines, Savyon Howard and Tresor Nishimwe round out the senior class.

“Having seniors is a big deal,” Warren Central coach William Unseld said. “They know how to work, so it’s been fun.”

Sophomores Jaiden Lawrence and Amario Wilson and juniors RaSean Carothers and Tyson Garrett could compete for playing time for a team that Unseld thinks is the most athletic group he has had in his tenure.

“It’s an impressive group, but we still have to go out on game day,” Unseld said. “Nothing is guaranteed to them. I told them we can do everything right, but that doesn’t mean we are going to win a bunch of games. Let’s just enjoy this. We have to enjoy it, have fun and work really hard.”

2. Bowling Green

26-6 last year

The Purples begin the season in flux with several players returning to the court after finishing up the football season Friday.

When they get back it will give Bowling Green more depth to add to a roster that Clubb said has looked really good in the preseason.

“I really like the kids we have in the gym,” Clubb said. “We have a very talented group in here right now. We will be adding a lot of talented kids, but the kids we have are working hard.

“We’ve got no problem taking this group and starting our season with them.”

Junior Isaiah Mason led the Purples in scoring last season, while sophomore Turner Buttry had a breakout year – providing BG with a lethal perimeter shooter.

Clubb said Jaxson Banks, Trace Flannery, Shy Boyd and Dorian Morrison should all see bigger roles this season, while sophomore Curtis Lin should see time in the backcourt.

Conner Cooper, Jordan Dingle and Dez Wilson are all expected to join the team this week.

3. Greenwood

16-12 last year

The Gators were one quarter away from eliminating Warren Central in the District 14 Tournament, but were outscored 17-1 in the final period.

It’s something that first-year coach Will McCoy said has stuck with his returning players all offseason.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a mental hurdle because they were so close, but they do know we have the pieces and capability,” McCoy said. “It’s just a matter of putting it all together and working hard toward getting over that hurdle.”

Greenwood will lean heavily on senior Ben Carroll, who led the Gators in scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) last season.

Carroll will get plenty of support with a roster full of key contributors from last season.

Parker Williams and Noah Stansbury both appeared in all 28 games last season, while Lance Upright is expected to have a bigger role after appearing in 11 games last season.

Dakota Ware and Peyton Loggins should provide depth in the paint, with junior transfer Mark Grant expected to fill the void left by the loss of Jack Roberts.

McCoy said he will also look to a very talented junior class that includes Will Gaddis, Cade Stinnett, Brakton Stinnett, Hunter Raymer and Jax Buchanon to contribute.

“History and stats show the region runs through this district,” McCoy said. “We are not looking to change that. We are looking to change who is representing us at Rupp Arena.

“That’s our goal. These guys aren’t talking about winning a district title. They are talking about winning a region.”

4. South Warren

14-15 last year

The Spartans lose leading scorer Tyler Martin, but bring back several pieces that look to build off solid campaigns last season.

Junior guard Jace Carver averaged 12.3 points last season and was a threat on the perimeter, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range.

Seniors Parker Stobaugh and Jonathan Hill saw significant time last season, with Stobaugh appearing in 23 games and Hill playing in 28 games.

Sophomore forward Caden Veltkamp will look to build off a solid freshman season where he averaged 8.6 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Junior Tayshaun Jones also returns for South Warren

5. Warren East

11-18 last year

The Raiders haven’t advanced to the region tournament since 1997.

If the streak is going to end this season, it will be because of a young but talented cast for head coach Brandon Combs.

“This bunch has worked extremely hard in the offseason,” Combs said. “This crew loves to be in the gym. I joke around and tell people some of that may be for the simple fact that we are young. They love the gym. They are a fun group to be around. We are literally a work in progress.”

Combs added he has kids who have had success at lower levels and hopes it can translate to varsity.

Senior Jordan Jones has been playing the best basketball of his career, according to Combs, while Ryan Carter has grown and gotten stronger.

Caleb Matlock should have a bigger role, while Brayden Warlow has given the Raiders leadership and stability, Combs said.

Freshman Isaiah Andrews, sophomore Devaughn Williams and eighth grader Ty Price will all see time, while Brytton Walker, a 6-7 transfer from Madisonville-North Hopkins, will add depth in the paint.{&end}

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.