There perhaps was no one happier at Sulphur Springs High School Wednesday than Wildcats Basketball Coach Clark Cipoletta. Per UIL rules, Wednesday (October 30) was the first day for practice for the #5 ranked Class 5A Wildcats Basketball Team. Coach Cipoletta says he actually enjoys practices more than games because he says he loves to teach basketball. He says returning players have been working on their games since last March when the Wildcats were eliminated at the State Basketball Tournament. There were some big sneakers left behind in the Wildcats locker room. Coach Cipoletta has to replace Keaston Willis, the school’s all time leading scorer, Xavier Cork, a 6-9 post player who was the District MVP last year, Jeremiah Roland, the District’s Defensive MVP, and three point marksman Deuce Berry. Coach Cipoletta says the grads can’t be replaced but he says he likes his current group. He says they may be the best team he’s ever had at sharing the basketball. He says the current group may not be as long or big but he says they will find a way to apply pressure. Coach Cipoletta says they might look different than last year’s team but he says he feels good going into the season. Returnees include 6-5 Day Day Hall and 6-7 Cameron Kahn, players that Coach Cip calls two of the best in all of Class 6A and 5A high school basketball. Sharpshooter Grayson McClure returns. Coach Cipoletta says McClure also thrives as a 95% player, one who does all the little things in the 95% of the time when he doesn’t have the ball. Boo Wilkerson, last year’s District Newcomer of the Year, is back and Coach Cipoletta feels he will be a very special player. Lamodrick Johnson also returns and Coach Cipoletta says Johnson may be his first true point guard. Coach Cipoletta can hardly contain his excitement over the potential for sophomore Justin Haire, now listed as 6-7. Coach Cipoletta says Haire has not only gotten taller but he has also been attacking the boards and playing above the rim. Others are expected to make their case to make the varsity during practices and upcoming scrimmage games. The Wildcats first scrimmage will be at McKinney Boyd on November 9. They will also scrimmage Frisco Liberty there. On November 12 the Wildcats will have their second and final scrimmage at Mesquite Poteet. The Wildcats again open the regular season on Saturday, November 16 at North Crowley at the Cowtown Showdown against Decatur, ranked #7 in Class 4A. Decatur lost only one player off of a state semifinal team. The Wildcats have their home opener on November 19 against Pleasant Grove. Buckle up and hope for another wild and wonderful ride by the Wildcats Basketball Team.
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