A Comeback?

A Comeback?
January 01
00:00 2015

Carver ballers showing promise

(pictured above: Coach Wil Perry talks to players. )

Carver’s varsity basketball team just might be on track to experience its first winning season since President Barack Obama’s first year in the White House. The Yellowjackets, who won seven of their first 10 games, have the look of a legitimate contender in the chase for the Western Piedmont 2-A Conference title.

Positive signs abound for a Carver program that went 1-19 in the not-too-distant past (2012-13 season). The overall talent level is higher than it’s been in recent years. Coach Wil Perry took command last year as head coach and while the overall record was below .500 (12-15), the Yellowjackets more than held their own against conference competition.

Carver (7-3 in conference a year ago) was the WPC runner-up for the regular season and the conference tournament. The Yellowjackets exited the

Class 2-A state playoffs early, but gave a strong indication of better things to come in a 58-53 first-round loss to Central Academy.

Jachia Powell  provides interior defense and rebounding for the Yellowjackets.

Jachia Powell provides interior defense and rebounding for the Yellowjackets.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’re making,” said Perry. “They’re growing, working hard and trusting each other more and more. Our communication on the court is so much better than it had been. What helps even more is that we have a group of guys who enjoy being around each other.”

In Perry’s system, playing tenacious, man-to-man defense is the prime focus. His squad has enough quickness at multiple positions, which allows Carver to apply defensive pressure in a variety of ways. At times, the Yellowjackets will set up in a zone, but not very often.

“We’re in a good place defensively,” he said. “We’re at the point where we can switch things up and be very effective. In the losses we’ve had, it’s come down to us having costly lapses on defense. When we play strong defense, we’re at our absolute best.”

Carver has one of the most explosive guards in the county in Tamir Glenn, who averages 17 points a game. Glenn has the ability to take defenders off the dribble and create his own shot. He’s also adept with the pull-up jumper and he’s equally lethal from 3-point distance.

Glenn, however, has ample support, which keeps opponents from keying strictly on stopping him. William Dean, Maurice Gaddy, Kyndel Dean, Charles Mack and Marlow Rousseau are capable scorers who provide offensive balance. “With this team,” Perry said, “we have several people who can score 15 to 20 points on any given night.”

Carver is slated to open conference play on the road vs. Surry Central on next Tuesday (Jan. 6). Perry is eager to see how his team will respond. During the first six weeks of the season, Carver, which is in Class 2-A, has purposely competed against schools in higher competitive levels.

“Playing up is the means for this team to get battle-tested,” said Perry. “We’re fortunate to be in an area with so many schools that play in a higher-level classification. It’s an advantage for us to face tough competition during the early part of the season.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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