Bearcats looking to improve in 2018-19 season

GRAFTON—The Grafton High School boys basketball team will be taking the court for the first time next week as they will host the Sam Bord Memorial Tournament at the Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium on the campus of GHS.

Coach Michael Johnson will be entering his fourth season as the head coach for the GHS boys basketball team. Johnson has a career record of 33-34, but for the first time in his tenure he will have most of his scoring back from the previous season. Every other year it seems that he would lose 80 to 90 percent of his scoring to graduation.

So this season Coach Johnson will have a great foundation of players to help build a successful season. He will actually return four of his five starters from last season and may not have to start from the ground up for once.

The Bearcats will have five seniors on the court this season and the class consists of Dylan Massie, Garrett Wellman, Garrett Moats, Blaine Moore and Caleb Bish.

All five of the current seniors saw significant minutes last season for Coach Johnson.

Coach Johnson has been really please with what he has seen for far from his Cats.

“Is been a good start this season,” said Coach Johnson. “The kids have worked really hard so far and have done everything that we have asked them to do,” added Johnson.

The Cats may give opponents a little different look this season than they have in the last couple of years.

“We had to change the way we done things in the past as this season we are a little undersized than in past seasons,” said Johnson. “This season we are going to try to push the basketball a little more, go a little faster and playing baseline to baseline. We want to control the tempo in games as we don’t want to have to play half-court basketball with anyone as we don’t match up well,” Johnson added.

This group of seniors were freshman when Coach Johnson took over as the head coach for GHS.

“This is a good bunch of seniors,” said Johnson. “They were just getting when I took over the program four years ago and they all have continued to get better year after year,” he added.

Senior Dylan Massie will look to get the start at guard this season for GHS.

“Dylan is long and athletic and handles the ball well for us,” said Johnson.

Senior Garrett Wellman will hold down the forward spot this season for GHS while Caleb Bish returns as the “big man” for the Cats.

“Garrett Wellman is a really good defender for us and we know night after night he will work hard around the basket,” said Johnson. “Caleb does a lot of the dirty work for the team and he seems to grab rebounds out of nowhere. He is undersized compared to all other centers in our league, but I sure he will finish the season as one of the top “big men” in the area,” added Johnson

Seeing several minutes a game this season will be seniors Blain Moore and Garrett Moats.
“Moats is a really good shooter and always gives us great minutes when he is in the game,” said Johnson. “Blain works hard around the bucket and he started to come on about mid season last year and I can’t wait to see what he gives us this season,” Johnson added.

The junior class is tied as the largest class for GHS as there are six players on the roster. The junior class includes Joey Charlton, Tavian Taylor, Jack Faulkner, Logan Beltner, Matthew Gallo and Isaiah Stottlemyer.

“Jack came in last season and played in every varsity game for us,” said Johnson. “He has spent a lot of time in the weight room in the off season and is playing off for him as he has come into camp in great shape. Jack is a great defender and shoots the ball well as I would say he is the total package as a basketball player,” added Johnson.

The sophomore class consists of Blake Moore, Andrew Gallo, Mason Kinsey, Luke Wiseman, John Davis and Carson Lambert.

“Blake saw significant minutes for us last season and we are counting on him to give us those minutes again this season,” said Johnson.

The lone representative from the freshman class this season will be Ryan Maier.

The Bearcats will open their season next Wednesday as they will take on Pocohantas County at 6:00 p.m. at the Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium.

© 2019-Mountain Statesman

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