MHS Eagles: Herrick, Babe, Smith, Gamble, And Moore Will Lead The Way
Veteran Magnolia High boys’ basketball coach, Dave Tallman, lost a few good players to graduation in Tyler Williamson, Peau Hainghano, Nick Priem and Jake Fruner.
The boys had defeated St. Marys to win the sectional, and the Boggs Pizza and Grill Tournament at Tyler Consolidated.
However, the Blue Eagles do return senior starter Leo Herrick (6-4) to lead the way, while fellow classmates Garrett Babe (6-0), Jarrett Moore (6-1), and Demarco Smith (5-10) – along with sophomore Jacob Gamble (6-1) – are on hand to give the Eagles a nice starting five.
Herrick was one of the Eagles’ top scorers and rebounders from a season ago, while Babe, Moore, Smith and Gamble came off the bench to lead the Blue and Gold to start the season.
Gamble looks to fill in the point guard position, while Smith will hold down the two-guard slot. Babe looks to be comfortable playing the third spot, while Moore looks to give Magnolia some good hustling and defensive pressure with his aggressive style in the four spot.
Besides losing so many starters from last year’s squad, the Eagles will be a work-in-progress to start the season; however, the chemistry looks to be spot-on during the first couple weeks of practices and scrimmages.
Tallman and veteran assistant, Mark Blair, know how to get what they can, from what is in front of them, and be competitive.
Gamble came into his own late last season, after playing the better half of the first half of the season on the freshman and the reserve team, before being bumped up to the varsity team. Gamble looks to be a solid point guard and outside shooter at the point. Gamble is a very good defender and distributor, as well as a player not influenced by the opposition. His ball handling is spot-on as well. His shooting went from being average, to top-notch.
Being a slasher and distributor, Gamble will be able to deliver the ball to Herrick in many ways, as well as his other teammates. Babe has also always been a very good shooter, and he will be able to take away a lot of double-teaming of Herrick with his shooting marksmanship. He has great speed as well as the entire five starters, to run the floor and ditch it off to any one of them and fill comfy.
Moore seen a lot of game action the past several years, and has always been a team-player.
He, like all the rest of the starters, can shoot, run and defend, however if they get stagnant from the floor, they have Smith and Gamble to slow things down a bit and hit the open guy.
When you have a starting group like these no-names players that start, it won’t be very long before teams will know who they are. But having a tight-nit bunch to start, you must find some guys to fill in and keep what unity you have going, and give the starters a breather, or get in foul
Then in comes junior Eli (6-2) and senior William Nice (6-3) into the picture to give Herrick and Moore a breather, as well as senior newcomer Devin Shimp (6-3) off the bench to lend a hand and keep the mojo flowing throughout.
But they will also need some added fire-power off the bench, and that is Jared Kocher (6-0). He can play many roles that will see him on the floor just as much, if not more, than the starters. He can do all the same things a coach would want in a man coming off the bench, and will be a valuable asset.
Another good-looking player that will also see the floor is sophomore Trenton Scheibelhood (6-0). He and fellow classmates, Trey Blain (5-10) and Zach Stewart (6-0) – along with freshman Levi Cecil (5-7) and senior Dalton Pritchard (6-1) – will make up the rest of the varsity team.
“We are very young compared to varsity playing time, but these guys are working hard on all aspects of the game,” said Tallman. “I like what I have, and like what is see. They all get along real fine and I can see daily improvement throughout.”
New to the Blue Eagles schedule is the Valley Lumberjacks (Dec. 15) at home, while the Eagles will play Elkins and Preston County in Morgantown Dec. 8-9.
Magnolia will open the 2017-18 season at home against the Monroe Central Seminoles Dec. 5 with the junior varsity tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m., with the varsity to follow 20 minutes afterwards, before heading to Morgantown Dec. 8-9 to start the season.