SF figures to be included in league race

SF figures to be included in league race
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
It’s been a while since the South Fulton boys were a variable in the District 14A equation.
The sum total of the Red Devil team parts for 2011-12 could put SF back in that mix.
South Fulton begins Year 2 of Wes Miller’s head coaching stint looking to post a winning record for the first time in 10 seasons and the Devils have the parts in place, Miller believes, to get one or multiple victories in the district tournament since last doing so in 2004-05.
“We’re in a much better place than we were last year at this time,” said Miller, who was 10-16 in his first campaign on the SF bench and opens his second season tonight at Obion Central in a Hall of Champions game. “The kids have put in the time in the weight room and have gotten better in their skill development from where we were before starting last season.
“I truly feel like we can compete in and be at the top of the district this year.”
While those strong convictions would put the Redmen among reigning Class 1A state champion Lake County, always-talented Humboldt and tradition-rich Union City, there is indeed promise with a roster that has both talent and experience.
Leading scorer Jordan Davis (12 ppg) returns from last year’s squad along with every other starter except veteran point-guard Montre Lewis, who along with brother Khiry, transferred to Union City just before school began in August.
“Losing Montre was tough, not only because he was an incredible athlete, but because he was a great kid, too,” Miller said. “We’ll miss his experience and his ability to create shots for himself and others, but we have no hard feelings and understand the situation.
“And I still think we’ll be really good.”
Miller said depth at the lead-guard spot would lesson the blow of the elder Lewis siblings, with sophomore Harrison Hawks — a starter a year ago — and senior Hunter Hutchins both capable fill-ins.
Hawks “is still getting into rhythm” for roundball, according to his coach, after playing eight football games. Frontcourt teammate Kendall Greer, a regular as a junior last season, also holds that status, Miller stated.
“Kendall does a lot of the dirty work inside. He’ll get you four or six points and four or five rebounds. He really has a knack for the ball.”
The SF skipper insisted senior Kyle Clouse (6-4) “has made tremendous strides” since last season and will be looked to for big things offensively. “He’s starting to put the ball on the floor some and he’s a threat both there and from the outside.”
Keyshawn McManus, another 6-4 forward who’ll also play center some, will use his length to be a factor and log many minutes, as will Taverius James, a 6-1 junior with good athleticism.
Miller said depth will come from Clint Wells (6-2, Soph.), perhaps the team’s best outside shooting threat, and freshman T.J. Ingram (5-6), a transfer from Fulton City who is still awaiting word on his eligibility.
Junior J.P. Fowler (6-0), likely the best player on the South Fulton football team, has rejoined the program after taking last year off and could see time at either a guard or small forward spot. Ryan Moore (6-1, Soph.) also was key member of the Red Devil gridiron program and is in the hunt for minutes, Miller said.
“I think we’ll be able to shoot (the ball) it better and I certainly believe we’ll be able to play faster,” the coach said in his overview. “Defensively, we’re stronger, so that should make us better.
“Our post game needs to come on and, if it does, it’ll only make our perimeter offense even better.”
SF will play the second of two Hall of Champions games Friday night at home vs. Bruceton to conclude its first week of action.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 11.15.11

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