By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
French Camp Academy head boys basketball coach Tommy Ward is hoping a mixture one returning starter with a pair of key reserves off last year’s team and two newcomers will result in another outstanding basketball season for the Panthers.
Last year FCA went 18-4 and fell just short of reaching the MHSAA Class 1A State Basketball Tournament when the Panthers lost a close one to Hinds AHS.
“I try to concentrate a lot on defense,” Ward said of his basketball philosophy. “Everything starts for us with defense. We hope to get some transition baskets but we will run a lot of set plays as well.”
While Ward has five guys he is looking to get most of his playing time right now, he hopes to play as many as 13 or 14 as he finds the rotation that works best for his team.
“When you play 16 football games it cuts down on your practice,” Ward said. “We are still learning how to play on the court with each other.”
But he says having a successful football team can certainly bleed over into other sports team on campus. “I know last year it really helped us,” he said. “They have a lot of pride and want to be successful in what they do.”
Michael Erving will handle the point guard duties, while Tevin Harris and Nyang Wek are the wings and Cortez Johnson and Tyler Peters are on the inside. Johnson is the lone returning starter, while Wek and Johnson got extensive playing time last season.
The Panthers opened the season at 2-0 with wins over East Webster (52-39) and Nanih Waiya (48-37).
After taking time off for the Christmas Holidays the Panthers will return to action Jan. 9-11 in the Montgomery County Tournament before opening region play on the road against McAdams on Jan. 14. The first home game for the Panthers is set for Jan. 17 when Sebastopol plays a visit.