Local prep basketball teams get early tuneup at UAM camp

<span><strong>By Harold Coggins</strong></span>

<span>sports@monticellonews.net</span>

<span>It’s only June and high school basketball is the farthest thing from most fans’ minds. After all, the 2013 football season is closer.</span>

<span>But both Drew Central and Monticello high schools took part in a 12-team high school basketball team camp, sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Monticello, on Thursday that left both C.J. Watson and Wayne Sherrer impressed in some areas and knowing some areas need more work.</span>

<span>“The UAM team camp basically validated the projected strengths and weaknesses of the 2013-14 Billies,” said Sherrer, who will enter his 36th season at Monticello. </span>

<span>“This will be a very young team and the faster the maturation process the quicker we will become a high quality team. And make no mistake about it, I expect this to be a highly competitive team.”</span>

<span>The Billies were 3-1 during the one-day camp, losing to Bastrop, La., on a last-season shot before beating Monroe (La.) Wossman, Dermott and Kilbourne, La., in 40-minute scrimmages with running clocks. Three-minute halves separated two 20-minute periods.</span>

<span>Drew Central was 2-2 during the day, winning over Dermott and White Hall but falling to Watson Chapel and Junction City. Pirate coach C.J. Watson said the day was as mixed as the results.</span>

<span>“We did okay,” the Drew Central coach said. “It was a good opportunity for some of my younger players to play. I liked a lot of what I saw but also disliked a lot of what I saw. It is just June and the goal for the camp was for everyone to get some playing time and grow as a team, and I think we did just that. We have a lot of work to do but have a lot of hard workers. We will get where we need to be by the start of the season.”</span>

<span>As far as individuals, both coaches said they saw some good things. One negative for Monticello is that Christian Robertson, the lone starter back from last year’s Class 4A, District 8 champions, broke his wrist in the early minutes of the Billies’ first scrimmage with Bastrop. Sherrer said Robertson will be in a cast for a month but should be ready by the time school starts this August. </span>

<span>The bad news for Drew Central is Tremaine Newton, who will be counted on as one of the Pirates’ mainstays in 2013-2014, didn’t even play because of an injury. Newton should be fine by the time school starts, though, Watson said. </span>

<span>“Dilly (Binns), Edmond (Hunter) and Tremaine know they are going to have to step up and be leaders on the floor,” Watson said, “and I was very pleased with the leadership that Dilly and Edmund showed during the camp.”</span>

<span>The person Sherrer singled out was junior Sadaeys Miller. “I was happy with the competitiveness of Sadaeys,” the Monticello coach said. “Moving forward, I think he can provide the energy for others to feed off of. Overall, I expect our team to be better offensively than last year.”</span>

<span>So while thoughts may be more toward football now, both coaches are chomping at the bit for the 2013-2014 basketball season.</span>

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