Guards power Bobcats to victory
By Scott Loftis
The Berryville Bobcats opened their 2020-21 basketball season with a victory on the road last Thursday, beating Clarksville 70-61.
“Well, we won,” Berryville coach Brent Compton said. “It was a long bus trip down there. We’ve only had six or seven kids in preseason, so with limited practice, we’ll take the win.”
Berryville played four sophomores, including two starters, and was at less than full strength because of an early start to the season just six days after the Bobcats’ final football game.
“We’re a little bit banged-up, we’re a little bit young, but we found a way to get it done,” Compton said.
Two players who were at full strength were junior point guard Kade Davidson and senior shooting guard Landon Chester. Davidson recorded a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Chester scored 25 points.
Davidson scored 13 points in the first quarter, while Chester had 19 in the second half as the Bobcats erased a 30-26 halftime deficit.
“Those two guys carried us for sure,” Compton said. “We’ve got to get more out of the rest of our guys.”
Berryville made eight three-pointers, including five by Chester and two by Davidson.
Compton said the 5-9 Davidson’s 10 rebounds reflected his tenacious effort.
“He has a nose for the ball and he was playing hard,” Compton said. “Rebounds are effort plays and he was going to get them.”
With Davidson and Chester in the backcourt and 6-8 junior Weston Teague at center, Berryville seems to be primed to build on last season’s 19 victories, which included a run to the district tournament final and a regional tournament appearance.
The Bobcats lost five seniors from last season, including two regular starters, but they gain a talented sophomore class coming off a district championship in junior high.
“We’re very excited about them,” Compton said.
Compton said the early start to the season, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions that prevented any significant team practices in the summer, could mean it takes a while for the Bobcats to reach their potential.
“Five-on-five practices, we haven’t had but two or three,” he said. “We’re going to slowly but surely, hopefully, get ourselves into shape and hopefully get to where we expect to be, but it may be a slow start.”
Berryville played at Alpena on Monday night. The Bobcats will host Rogers Heritage on Friday night at Bobcat Arena.