Cougars hoping for a better finish during 2011-12

-A A +A
By Dwane Wilder

  If Campbell County’s boys can ever finish what they start, the Cougars might be a force to be reckoned with in District 3-AAA high school basketball.

The Cougars are coming off an 11-16 season during which they lost several winnable games. With only one senior on the roster, Campbell County has a chance to redeem itself next year.

“It was a disappointing season the way it finished up,” said Cougars coach Barry Jones.

“That’s two years in a row, when we had to be playing our best, we were playing our worst.

“We were in a ton of close games. Out of 26 games, 19 or 20 came down to just a few points. We need to find a way to finish a quarter, finish a half, finish a game and finish a season. We haven’t done it in two years.”

Jones points to the fact that Campbell County was playing at or above .500 the past two seasons before losing seven or eight of their last nine games.

“We really struggled to hit shots,” said Jones.

“We were pretty good in the first quarter, but we just couldn’t seem to find a way to finish games.

Junior forward Nick Litton had a breakout season in 2010-11 after playing in the shadows of twin towers Sean Chapman and Cody Malicoat the previous year. Litton averaged a team-leading 17.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He also blocked 33 shots, made 48 steals and dished out 65 assists.

With another summer to mature, Litton could be primed for a banner senior year. Corey Poteet, the Cougars third-leading scorer (11.7 ppg) and top free throw (77 percent) and 3-point shooter (38 percent), leads a group of sophomores who will be going into their third season with some significant experience under their belts. Ethan Simpson dished out 5.1 assists per game as a sophomore.

Gunner St. John, Brandon Lee, Jordan Kindred, Dylan Stanfield, Tyler Chapman and Matt Bolton also made significant contributions in 2010-11.

“We competed. I have to give credit to our players. They could’ve tanked it,” said Jones.

“When you have young kids, confidence, or the lack of it, is always an issue.”