Shelbyville Daily Union

Sports

November 26, 2013

A&M boys open at home

With the Central A&M High School girls’ basketball team season already in progress, it is about that time for the boys to start their run towards their third straight winning season.

Last season, the Raiders went 20-8, which included 9-2 in the Okaw Valley Conference, and tied for the Okaw Valley Conference Championship under Rob Smith at head coach.

Under Smith, the Raiders have finished the season above .500 more years than not. Smith has an overall record of 58-54 over the last four seasons at CAM.

Smith’s overall coaching record sits at 113-108.

You might think this season comes with pressure to repeat as conference champions, but Smith said there is no pressure since the core of the team last year has graduated.

Last year’s squad included five players who averaged double-digit points, in which three of those players were 3-year starters at the varsity level.

The only remaining player from last year’s team is junior Trenton Chepan. Last season, as a bench player for the varsity squad, Chepan averaged 3.1 points per-game and 2.8 rebounds per-game.

Smith said that his captains this year are seniors Branden Richardson and Ty Dooley. Richardson is a 6-4 center and Dooley is a 6-0 forward.

With the size of their captains, figure to see Smith use these guys as their go-to guys early in the season, due to the lack of experience the Raiders have already.

“We have to find a way to consistently score the basketball. We have several guys who have scored at junior varsity and freshman levels. We will need them to adjust quickly to the varsity level,” Smith said.

Smith said there is open competition right now for the team, but going into their first game tomorrow night we’ll see who worked the hardest in training camp to earn a starting position.

The Raiders go up against Arcola at home in Moweaqua at 7 p.m.

According to MaxPreps, CAM defeated Arcola in a rout by 20 points with a score of 67-47 last season. CAM goes for their second straight win tomorrow.

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