Basketball season overview: Tharptown
First year varsity basketball coach Kamri Fleming has something in common with the majority of her team – they are learning together. Four out of five Wildcat starters graduated last year, and most of the five had been playing for several years at the varsity level.
“We have to be fundamentally sound,” said Fleming, who is currently the head volleyball coach and former head softball coach. “I want my team to thrive off of being fundamentally sound when it comes to all aspects of basketball, especially the small things.”
For what her young Wildcats lack in experience, she says they make up for it with hard work.
“They play hard and they never give up,” Fleming explained. “They have a lot of fight in them.”
Fleming said she needs her team to be balanced offensively to build the identity she wants them to have.
“Through three games, our entire team has scored,” Fleming said. “I told the girls, if every player on the team can contribute six points or more, we will be successful.”
Senior Harleigh Borden is the team’s only returning starter.
“Harleigh is a hustler. She plays hard, and she’s a leader,” said Fleming. “She rebounds the ball very well for her size, and she makes a lot of defensive hustle plays for us.”
Ashley Vela 3
Angeleah Smith 10
Abby Wilson 11
Aalivia Wilson 12
Yohana Bentancourt 13
Harleigh Borden 14
Alyssa Abbott 22
Carly Cason 23
Ashton Tharp 24
Alyssa Fischer 32
Lizzy Duncan 35
The Tharptown Wildcats begin the season with a familiar but new head coach in Chuck Simmons. Simmons has been a longtime assistant at Tharptown and Belgreen. This year, he will get to captain his own team.
“I am looking forward to getting the season started,” said Simmons. “We have a great group of guys who love the game of basketball and want to win.”
Simmons said he has the luxury of a team that is familiar with him as a coach and long on experience. The Wildcats return all nine players from last year.
“We have a lot of experience on the court,” said Simmons. “We are excited to compete and look forward to making progress on a daily basis.”
Tharptown returns starters Dylan Valdez, Malachi Minor, Edwin Vela and Jackson Clement. There is also Dalton Maldonado, Israel Sanchez and Dawson Higgins.
“We have some guys who can score, but I would like to see better shot selection from them,” said Simmons. “We also need to improve defensively.”
Malachi Minor 1
Dylan Dolley 4
Cesar Rueda 5
Dawson Higgins 10
Jackson Clement 11
Dalton Maldonada 12
Edwin Vela 14
Dylan Valdez 23
Bryson Borden 24
Israel Del LA Rosa 33