Wildcats Basketball Coach Clark Cipoletta loves basketball practice. So it was no surprise when he described Wednesday’s (October 28) first official day of practice as like Christmas morning. He added he and the team were biting on the bit ready to get started. The 2020-2021 Wildcats will be a mostly young and inexperienced bunch. Three Wildcats got significant minutes last season: senior point guard Lamodrick Johnson, senior guard Boo Wilkerson and junior post Justin Haire. Two players, who can really shoot three pointers, also return: junior Caleb Alexander and senior Jatavian Hall. Bench player senior Malique Cole is also expected to have a much larger role this season. A couple of last year’s sub-varsity sharpshooters may also provide contributions: Jackson Darrow and Branson Lynn. Tall sophomore Kordrick Turner, listed at 6-foot-7 last year, could provide needed height and scoring inside. Coach Cipoletta says this year’s team will do things in a different way. He hopes they continue to win games. Cipoletta, a lover of defense, says this bunch is a very versatile group on defense. He says Johnson and Cole can guard players at almost any position, 1 through 5. Wilkerson thrived as the Wildcats shut down defensive presence last season. Coach Cipoletta says Haire really runs the court very well. He says he hopes this year’s team can be better than past teams at pushing the ball. Coach Cipoletta says he will miss all of the high profile tournaments his past teams have played in. Due to coronavirus concerns, the UIL is not allowing basketball teams to play in tournaments this season. So Coach Cipoletta has filled his schedule with Class 6A schools as well as some highly ranked smaller schools. Dallas Faith Family is preseason ranked #1 in Class 4A and San Antonio Cole is #1 ranked in Class 3A. Also in Class 4A, Dallas Lincoln is ranked #8 and Paris is ranked #25. District rival Mount Pleasant is ranked #15. The Wildcats open the season unranked. Coach Cipoletta says that surprised him but he reminds his players that it’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you finish. The Wildcats first scrimmage will take place at Irving MacArthur on Saturday, November 7, starting at 10 a.m. against the host school as well as Prosper Rock Hill and Southlake Carroll. The Wildcats will open the regular season at home against Class 6A Tyler Legacy on Saturday, November 14 at 4 p.m.
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