In the first week of the basketball season, the St. John’s Christian boys squad opened with a loss but rebounded with a victory.
The Cavaliers (1-1) have three games this week after splitting with the Charleston Storm and Faith Christian.
“I’m going to learn a lot more about my team,” SJCA coach Drew Crowell said. “We’ve got a lot of games that will prepare us for late in the season.”
The Cavs travel to Jefferson Davis on Dec. 4 and Cathedral on Dec. 6 before hosting league favorite Clarendon Hall on Dec. 7.
“It will be a tough stretch as far as play styles,” Crowell said. “Jefferson Davis had a couple of good players last year and Cathedral is always a good team in this area. Clarendon Hall is picked to win our region by a landslide.”
The Cavaliers bring back one starter from a squad that won the conference tournament last winter. Senior Dylan Parsons is a forward.
“He’s definitely going to have a much greater role on the team in terms of scoring and defending and leadership.” Crowell said. “I was senior dominant last year. We had some natural leaders. This year everybody is so young. Everybody is figuring out how to play, what to do. We have tons of gaps from where we are to where I want us to be. I need a second coach on the floor. I’m just challenging kids to take on roles, not just say we’re lacing up our shoes and playing tonight.”
Returning letterman Bryce Butler is another forward. Crowell likes the energy and enthusiasm Butler brings to the floor.
The other three starters are transfers. Fletcher Law is in at center, Corey Moraux at point guard and Nai’Ryan Bookert at shooting guard.
In the 52-35 victory over Faith on Nov. 27, the top two scorers came off the bench. Forward Matt Atchley and shooting guard Evan Mizzell led the way with 13 and 12 points. Bookert chipped in nine points while Parsons and Moraux added six points each. Law scored four points.
More Cavaliers are center Collin Robertson, forward Rochard Tingue and small forward Elijah Irish.
Crowell is assisted by Rick Smith.
“We’re capable of competing with anybody on our schedule if everything aligns right,” Crowell said. “We’ve got to buy in on the defensive end. If we abide by the game plans, we’re going to be fine.”
The Cavs host the Charleston Storm on Dec. 10 and Holly Hill on Dec. 11.