ND Boys preview

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 7, 2008

ND boys earn preseason rank

By Brad Greer

In recent years, North Delta boys basketball has never been known to garner any pre-season honors. But that has all changed this season.

With three starters returning from a 9-12 record a year ago and a fifth place district finish, pollsters have taken notice that the Green Wave could be a dark horse contender this year. North Delta has been recently picked by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger as the No. 4 ranked team in the Academy 1A poll.

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“It is truly an honor to be ranked in the top five in the state this year. It just goes to show what kind of hard work and determination these young men have put forward over the summer and in practice,” said head coach Brad Wilson.

North Delta will have some familiar company in the rankings as two other teams from District 1-1A are also ranked ahead of the Green Wave. Delta Academy and West Memphis (Ark.) will start the season at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

“I don’t know much about the South 1A but as far as in the North the district we are in has got to be the toughest in the state, there is  no doubt about that. Delta has definitely made a name for themselves. West Memphis is always up there, they won state two years ago and finished in the top four overall last season so those two schools always have great programs and great coaches,” said Wilson.

The roundball season started in earnest back in the summer for the Wave as they participated in the Magnolia Heights and Madison-Ridgeland team camps where they faced off against a who’s who list of Academy powerhouses including Jackson Prep and Jackson Academy. The Green Wave caught some attention by defeating three-time AA state champion Brookhaven at the MRA camp.

Wilson will be looking for senior three-year starters Taylor Herron and Bateman Greenlee to provide leadership for this year’s squad. Herron, who Wilson  called “the best all-around athlete on the team,” will be at guard while the six-foot-two inch Greenlee is at the post position.

“Taylor and Bateman have a lot of experience and have been through our program and I am going to look to them for leadership and I know we will get it from them. They are both tremendous hard workers and are team players more than anything. It has been a pleasure coaching these guys throughout their high school careers,” said Wilson.

Juniors Geri Lamm (5’8”) and Keith Crumpler (5’9”) will see time a the guard spot while Oxford transfer Chris Reeves (Jr., 6’2”) provides some size on the post.

Seven sophomores round out the roster as Matthew Barefoot (5’9”), Bryan Nickle (5’9”), Corbin Baker (5’9”) and Ethan Taylor (6’2”) will be at the guards while Carson Bailey (6’2”), Jim Tom Copeland (6’2”) and Tres Brasell (5’ 11”) are at the post positions.

 Nickle is not expected to see any action until mid-January after breaking his hand during football season.

Wilson will be assisted by Harrison Nickle, a 2004 North Delta graduate. “Harrison will be a big asset to me and to the team this season. He will scout other teams among other responsibilities,” said Wilson.

The Green Wave will open up their season Thursday night at Strayhorn following the varsity girls action at 6 p.m.