Ramping back up: Bulldogs preparing quickly for upcoming season

Published 7:05 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Just days removed from football season, the Pike County basketball team is in full swing preparing for the start of the 2018-2019 basketball season.

With most teams already underway, the Bulldogs had to push the start of the season back due to the success off the football team. They will begin their season on December 4 against Carroll.

“We are transitioning into basketball shape,” said head coach Doug Holland. “We don’t have a lot of time to get ready for our first game. It will be a work in progress, but I’m looking forward to the season.”

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The Bulldogs have only three players that didn’t participate in football. Some of the Bulldogs players have been playing throughout the year with various AAU teams.

“A lot of them, even after football, went to the rec. (gym) to play basketball,” Holland said. “We just hope we can get them in shape soon.”

The Bulldogs return three of their five starters from last year’s team. Kevon Harris will be at point for the Bulldogs. He will be joined by Andres Burney and Jaidyn Wilson.

“We are going to have some guys step in and play a big role,” Holland said. “We’re still looking for about four more players to step in and play a big role on the team.”

Burney was the Bulldogs big man down low and after a productive offseason, Holland hopes Burney could be a difference maker this season.

“Burney played well for us last year as a sophomore,” Holland said. “He has been hitting the weights a lot more this year with coach (Fred) Holland. He was mentioned this summer as one of the big guys of the south. He played well in the AAU tournament and has a lot of people calling about him. Last year what plagued him was I thought he didn’t do a good job staying out of foul trouble. He is going to be one of the guys we are going to lean heavily on this year.”

Wilson has started the last two seasons at Pike County. He improved with each passing game a season ago.

“He played well last year for us and came on strong,” Holland said. “He made the all-tournament team. He will be a three-year starter for us, so we count on him to play huge this year.”

Amaghie Lampley, Rayshawn Reynolds and Zevathan McKinney will also be leaned on this season.

The Bulldogs have recently been a team that gets up and down the court quickly, but Holland admitted he would like to see his team go a little quicker this season.

“We are going to look to push the pace a little more,” Holland said. “I think that is going to be our strength, getting up and down the floor.”

The Bulldogs will be in an area that includes Wicksburg, Providence Christian and Houston Academy. Before area play begins, the Bulldogs will get their feet wet with a difficult early schedule.

“It’s going to be tough,” Holland said. “Going from Carroll to Barbour Country, Bullock County and Charles Henderson and then we are down to the Northview Tournament. Houston Academy and Providence is going to be good again. We are going to have our hands full with our schedule.”