Prep Hoops Preview: Ledford boys look to deep threat
It will likely be raining 3-pointers in Wallburg this season for the Ledford boys basketball team. The way a few of their players can light it up from downtown, it might not be such a bad thing.
With little inside presence, the Panthers will rely on solid screens, outside shots and drives to the basket to generate offense.
“When we are hitting shots we can be really good,” said head coach Jonathan Leonard. “We have some guys that can really shoot it.”
LHS will likely go as junior tandem Brandon Rothrock and Skylar McGee go. An assassin from deep, Rothrock will pull the trigger from anywhere once crossing the timeline. He is most comfortable taking outside shots, but has developed a driving game to keep the defense honest. McGee is just an all-around solid player. He can play with his back to the basket and is fairly accurate from behind the arc. He has a lot of strength and can play through contact.
“Brandon and Skylar are going to be big for us,” said Leonard.
Hunter Jones is another player Leonard expects good things from. A junior, he will see time at point guard and is another excellent outside threat. When junior John Sullivan returns from injury to take over the point, Jones will see some time at shooting guard.
Senior Dillon Pierce gives LHS another inside post player to go with McGee. But like many others on the team, he will venture out to the 3-point line.
Three big contributors off the bench are Tyler Scott, Conner Smith and Jonathan Turner. A sophomore, Scott is a solid defender as well as classmate Turner. Smith, a senior, is capable of getting hot on the perimeter.
Rounding out the team are Brock Braddy, Carrington Hunt and Ian O'Toole.
So far the biggest concern for the Panthers has been finishing games. Stellar first halves have often been overshadowed by lethargic second halves.
“We still have a young team, but we just have to learn how to win,” said Leonard. “Early in the season we have not done that much. We have got to put whole games together. I know this team wants to win.”
Ledford won just a single conference game last year. Leonard expects his club to far surpass what they did a season ago and challenge top teams like North Forsyth, Western Guilford and Asheboro. They have already knocked off the Vikings in their Mid-Piedmont Conference opener.
“I think we can be a top-three team in the league,” Leonard said. “We just have to get our shots and play defense.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.