Patriots shoot for more

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

When ability turns into results for the Wallace basketball team, it ought to be a sight to behold.

But that’s a little further down the road.

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Patriots coach Johnnie McAlpine hopes it isn’t too far away, but he knows things will take time with a team this young.

“They didn’t realize how hard they had to play,” McAlpine said of his freshmen. “The problems are fixable. We had some bright spots. A lot of it is probably more mental than physical. I know they’re in good physical shape.”

The Patriots will put a largely inexperienced group on the court this year. Their top returning scorer, Phillip Johnson, averaged about six points per game last season.

The team will have to lean heavily on newcomers Justin Williams, a 6-foot-8 post player, and forward Chris Walker among others.

WCCS probably experienced a little shell shock in its season-opening road loss to Lawson State Monday.

The focus now is on finishing games.

“This is probably my best overall team in terms of potential,” McAlpine said. “They’re not experienced, but they have potential. So naturally I have high expectations.”

There is going to be an adjustment phase for McAlpine, as well. A lot of new faces may mean the team’s identity will change as the players solidify.

“You always build around what your team can do,” McAlpine said. “One thing we’ve talked about is focusing on the things we should be focusing on.”