Prep Insider Blog

Boys Basketball Team Capsules: Burke County

Freedom High’s boys basketball team
Freedom High’s boys basketball team

Here are previews for boys basketball programs in the Observer’s coverage area in Burke County. The profiles were put together by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards.

To see more county previews, visit this link

DRAUGHN

Head Coach: Yates Jensen (1st year as Draughn basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 14-12 (9-7 in the South Mountain Athletic 2A/3A Conference).

2017-18 Conference: Northwest Foothills’ 2A Conference.

Returning Starters (5): Bryson Price, Sr., C/F (6-8); Jeremiah Daye, Jr., F (6-5); Eli Poteet, Jr., PG (5-11); Davantae Reid, Jr., F (6-1); Jaylen Abee, Jr., G/F (6-0). Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: Draughn returns all five starters this year, a group that has now played together for the last three seasons. That experience should allow them to contend right away in the new, Northwest Foothills’ 2A conference. The Wildcats will also be a tough playoff matchup with size and talent on the frontline, led by 6-foot-8, Price (15 ppg) and 6-foot-5, Daye (14 ppg).

--JAY EDWARDS

EAST BURKE

Head Coach: Jerome Ramsey (4th year as East Burke basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 56-46.

2016-17 Record: 8-16 (6-10 in the South Mountain 2A/3A Athletic Conference).

2017-18 Conference: Northwest Foothills’ 2A Conference.

Returning Starters (1): Tanner Melton, Sr., F (6-1).

Other Key Returnees: Aaron Morrison, Jr. G (5-10) Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: After winning 20 games in the 2015-16 season, East Burke dipped to 8-16 last year. Things might get worse before they get better for the Cavaliers with only one starter back, Melton (2 ppg), in a competitive, new Northwest Foothills’ 2A conference. East Burke is likely to finish at or near the bottom of the league standings and miss the playoffs for a 2nd straight season.

--JAY EDWARDS

FREEDOM

Head Coach: Casey Rogers (12th season as Freedom football coach).

Coaching Career Record: 232-79.

2016-17 Record: 28-3 (13-1 in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference (NW3A/4A).

2017-18 Conference: Northwestern 3A/4A Conference.

Returning Starters (4): Fletcher Abee, Jr., G (6-2); Jakari Dula, Jr., G (6-3); Tobias Kanipe, Sr., F (6-3); Aidan Pearson, So., F (6-5).

Other Key Returnees: Michael Logan, Jr., G (6-2); Burke Pollard, Sr., F (6-2). Key Newcomers: Ben Tolbert, So., G (5-8); Bradley Davis, So., G (5-10).

Outlook: Freedom has the experience and firepower, with four starters back in Abee (18 ppg) and Dula (17 ppg) in the backcourt, and Kanipe (9 ppg) and Pearson (8 ppg) up front, to be even better than their 28-3 record a year ago. The Patriots, who also have a strong bench, will be the favorite to win the NW3A/4A conference title in the process of trying to win a 3A state championship. Freedom has plenty of motivation after coming up just win short of 3A state title game last year.

--JAY EDWARDS

Note: Patton did not respond to our request for boys’ basketball preseason information.

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