by Aaron Garcia
Following their 79-70 loss to Butler on Dec. 15, the Sun Valley High boys basketball team is off until Dec. 27, when it plays in the CMC-Union County Holiday Tournament at Wingate University. The break comes at an ideal time for the Spartans, who have played eight of their nine games in just three weeks.
The Spartans have weathered the early onslaught admirably, notching a 6-3 record. Furthermore, the early slate has featured some strong competition from around the area and given Sun Valley a variety of challenges. Charlotte Myers Park, which the Spartans beat 62-59 on Dec. 13, features a big frontcourt, while Butler’s tallest player stands 6 foot 2. Although the Spartans lost to Butler, 79-70, Sun Valley coach Keith Mason likes the experience his team has gotten.
“I learned we can play against any team and any style, and that’s what we’ve been working on,” Mason said. “We want to push the basketball and score quickly in transition. But if we can’t do that, now we’re better at setting up the half-court offense and getting scores that way.”
Much of that success is atributed to the presence of 6-8 forward Kyle Buffkin and 6-4 fellow forward Kevin Saxton. The duo has provided nice options for a team rich in guards. Backcourt mates Shawn Stewart and Jalen Witherspoon, who moved to point guard this year, are each averaging about 18 points per game.
“I truly believe that this year we’re more well rounded,” said Mason, who noted that his team is still learning how to play with a lead. This year, the Spartans have led every game they’ve played.
“I think that’s why we have three losses – we’re still learning that type of stuff,” said Mason.
Spots open for Wingate basketball camp
There are still spots available for Wingate University’s Holiday Hoops Boys and Girls Basketball Camp, which will be held Tuesday, Dec. 21 to Thursday, Dec. 23, for players ages 5 to 14. Campers will receive personal attention from Wingate coaches and players, a camp basketball and free admission to a selected Wingate basketball game.
Camp will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec 21; 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 22; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 23. The cost is $25 per day or $60 for all three sessions.
For more information, call Wingate head coach Brian Good at 704-233-8171, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.