LEWISBURG – It’s been a tough stretch for Tri-County North’s boys basketball program.
The school isn’t lacking in athletic ability (see: their football and baseball teams) but just hasn’t been able to translate that athleticism into wins on the basketball court.
Enter first year coach, Dale Spitler, who acknowledged those levels of success in other sporting arenas.
“We realize it’s going to take some time and we have realistic expectations on wins and losses, at least initially, but we have high expectations on teamwork, effort, and leadership,” he said. “We expect the team to trust our philosophy on the game and to do the little things that it takes to be competitive. To show up every day and get a little bit better and to do something that helps the team, not matter what that might be.”
The Panthers only managed one victory last season but do bring back an experienced roster into the forefront of the season, hosting five seniors and five juniors.
All 10 players were involved in the program a season ago and five players – Jacob Louthan, Zach Edgin, Kurt Brinson, Damon Nelson, and Garrett Woodyard – were on the varsity roster.
Seniors Billy Daughtery and Anthony Duncan and juniors Brandon Parsons, Bailey Lairson, and Josh Shepard – while not listed on the varsity roster from a season ago – also bring added high school basketball experience into the program.
Sophomore Gabe Binson was also a member of the junior varsity squad last year while freshman Brian Stinson is the only newcomer on the team.
The experienced roster has boded well early in the season for North.
“We expect for our seniors to set a good example to the rest of our team by working hard and keeping a positive attitude. So far they have showed lots of leadership and have really helped the younger guys out,” said Spitler.
North opens up their season on the road against Madison on Friday, Nov. 27. They don’t play again until taking on Dixie for another road contest on Friday, Dec. 4. Their home opener is on Tuesday, Dec. 8 against Franklin.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.