2009-12-11 / Sports

Cavaliers are young but scrappy

By Mark Lawrence

The postseason has become almost a birthright for the Richland Northeast boys’ basketball team. In 13 of the past 15 seasons, the Cavaliers qualified for the Class 4A tournament.

Doing so again this season, however, will be more of a challenge than in the past.

In addition to losing several seniors from last season’s 16–10 team (8–6, 2nd place in Region 5–4A), Richland Northeast lost three more players expected to contribute through two transfers and a dismissal.

“We will be very young and inexperienced,” coach Jason Powell said. “This will be a rebuilding year, however, our young guys are talented and have the potential to be very good players.”

The team has already proved scrappy. Richland Northeast won its first two non–tournament, regular– season games by a combined seven points: a 74–72 victory against Ridge View and a 50–45 win against Blythewood.

Two players not plagued by question marks are senior guard Donald Tention (5–9) and senior post player Jarred Guest (6–7). Guest started last year and averaged 2.2 blocks per game.

“Jarred and Donald will need to supply leadership,” Powell said.

Raygen Pearson is the only other senior on the roster. That means a lot of playing time will be available. Guard Ryan Quarles (5–10) leads the contingent of juniors.

“He’s very strong and can get to the basket to finish plays,” Powell said.

Two sophomores, Travis Hammonds (6–3, forward) and Quinn Martin (5–9, guard) are expected to play key roles.

“Hammonds could be one of the best 3–point shooters I have coached,” Powell said. “Martin has a chance to be a really good point guard down the road.”

Marvin Hinton (6–3, Jr.), Stefan Sims–King (6–2, So.) and Altoney Germany (6–0, Jr.) add height or depth to the frontcourt. Mike Murphy (6–2, So.), Chris Branch (5–0, Jr.) and De’Juan Williams (5–10, Jr.) add depth at guard. The wildcards are two freshmen: Arthur Whaley (6–1, forward) and Devante Anderson (6–2, guard).

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