Area schools compete in Enterprise Team Camp

Published 1:27 pm Monday, June 26, 2023

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The Charles Henderson, Pike Liberal Arts and Zion Chapel boys’ basketball teams all traveled to Enterprise on June 23 to compete in the Enterprise Basketball Team Camp.

CHHS, PLAS and ZCHS were just three of the numerous schools from around the area that took part in the camp, which also included New Brockton, Enterprise, Ariton, Eufaula, Houston Academy, Samson, GW Long, Andalusia, Elba and more.

The Charles Henderson Trojans varsity squad went 1-2 during the day despite not having leaders Zion Grady and Jywon Boyd, who were on a football recruiting visit.

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“I thought we played about as well as we could with not having Jywon and Zion with us,” Charles Henderson Coach Tim Fayson said. “Not having those two makes a big difference with Zion’s rebounding, and just having that big body, and Jywon with his scoring and leadership.”

Replacing production from last season’s state runner-up team has been a focus for the Trojans this summer.

“We’re losing 50 points per game from last year’s team with just Tyler (Carlton), Jayden (Spearman) and Austin (Cross),” Fayson said. “That’s a heavy burden and Jywon has been averaging 20 points or more for us this summer. We didn’t have that production (at Enterprise) and Jywon’s leadership but we still competed well.”

Fayson was most proud of his junior varsity team, who ended up going 3-0 at the camp.

“I was real proud of the JV squad,” he emphasized. “That’s a really, really good group of guys coming from the middle school and our ninth graders from last year. I was really encouraged with how they played. I’ve been really surprised with all of the JV players. They have gotten so much better over the course of the summer.”

Fayson has been encouraged with how a number of his returning players have committed to improving over the summer

“Zion’s footwork has been really improved from last year and really all the football players have gotten better basketball-wise,” he said. “I really see a difference in them and their attitudes of wanting to excel at both sports. Jywon has been our best player but Bradley Prestwood has really stepped it up, too. I think he is going to be a very pleasant surprise for us if he keeps working the way he has.”

Along with competing at the Enterprise Camp, CHHS also previously traveled to Birmingham for a team camp and with the competitive portion of the summer over, the Trojans turn their attention to the weight room.

“Now it’s time to focus on the weight room,” Fayson emphasized. “We learned this summer that one of our biggest weaknesses is our strength and conditioning. We have to do a better job with that. We talked to the coaches at Enterprise and being in Birmingham – and looking at those teams and talking to their coaches – we know we have to do a better job in the weight room to be able to compete at a high level like we want to.”

Pike Lib’s Wilson Cotton knocks down a jumper against Samson.

New Pike Lib Coach Johnny Mitchell guided his Patriots to a 1-2 record during the Enterprise Camp, but he was most excited about the way his team competed overall. After losing to Wicksburg by one point, Pike Lib dominated Samson before closing out the camp with an overtime loss to Elba.

“I didn’t feel too bad about it, especially considering some of those teams were teams that last year were beating us by 30-40 points,” Mitchell said. “I feel a lot better about that, the way we were competing, for sure.”

Pike Lib also previously traveled to Auburn for a team camp and will be competing in a team camp in Florida this week.

“At the Auburn camp, we had only practiced two-three days when we went up there, so we were doing more teaching than playing,” said Mitchell. “At the Florida Camp we’ll get to play some schools that we won’t see during the season, that will give us a good chance to see some different styles and different type of players.”

Zion Chapel ended up going 2-1 at the camp with back-to-back wins over New Brockton and Samson after falling to Elba in the first game.

“We didn’t play as well as I hoped,” ZCHS Coach Josh O’Neal flatly said. “After we lost to Elba we did bounce back after that and played well against Samson and New Brockton. Our point guard, Slade Grantham, was out almost the whole summer, so this was really the first time he got to play since the first day of (summer workouts).

Zion Chapel’s Mason Stuart goes up for a layup against Samson during the Enterprise Team Camp. (Photos by Josh Boutwell)

“We tried to mix him in as we could and were working on rotations and seeing who fits in what places. I think the experience we got out of it was great. We didn’t win all three games like we wanted but we saw growth and that’s an outcome we did want.”

The Enterprise Camp was Zion Chapel’s final competition of the summer after playing at team camps at Enterprise State Community College and Georgiana High School earlier this summer.

“I thought it went pretty good,” O’Neal said of summer workouts. “I think we got done what we needed to get done. For us, it was about trying to develop some more depth.

“We had some success last year but we didn’t get as many kinds in a game as I needed to. We’re trying to get to a point where we have a 9-10 (player) rotation and feel good about it.”