Red Devils to rely on guard play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Maplesville High School Red Devils have a strong guard base this season that should help them improve on a disappointing 2003 campaign.

The one catch, according to coach Eric Bailey, will be improvement on the fundamentals.

Bailey said the Red Devils’ backcourt must be the key if they are to improve on last year’s dismal 3-19 record.

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“Our guard play is going to be strong…hopefully,” Bailey said. “We should be a lot quicker this season. Hopefully we’ll improve a lot from last year.

“Our weakness right now is our fundamentals,” Bailey added. “If we work on them and get them down, we’ll put ourselves in a position to compete.”

The Red Devils will dress 12 players this year, including five returnees. The Maplesville starting five will include three seniors, a sophomore and a freshman.

Five-foot, seven-inch Nick Andrews, one the team’s three freshmen, gets the nod at point guard. He will be alongside his brother, John (5-10), who will start at shooting guard after missing most of the 2003 season with a hip injury.

The Andrews brothers will be joined in the starting five by senior center Josh Wallace (6-2), senior small forward Shaun Nix (5-10) and senior power forward Jeremy White (5-9).

White and John Andrews led the Red Devils in scoring last season, each averaging 10 points per game.

Junior power forward Damon Lee (6-0) also is expected to see time on the hardwood at power forward. Others who will see playing time are sophomore power forward Rodriguez Nix (5-10), freshman center Regis Laister (6-3), junior guard/forward Corey Clark (6-2), freshman guard Marcus Wilson (5-11) and senior guard Tony Talley (5-10).

“Hopefully we’ll gel a little bit better,” Bailey said. “We’re in somewhat of a rebuilding year, but we don’t look at it that way. We see this as a chance to be better than last year in every phase of the game.”

Bailey said the Red Devils would continue to run their motion offense from past seasons in hopes of getting plenty of baskets in transition. On defense, look for Maplesville to run an up-tempo man-to-man base with some trapping. It’s the repetition that Bailey hopes will make his team better as well.

“We have a lot of experience and maturity,” he said. “A lot of that has to do with the fact that we have run the same offense and defense the past three years. Because of that, we should be a more sound team, offensively and defensively.”

Maplesville opens its season Saturday at Catholic.