2012-13 Prep Basketball: East Rowan boys preview
By Ronnie Gallagher
GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s boys basketball team had won 10 games in three seasons before finishing 13-12 last year in Trey Ledbetter’s second year as the head coach. It was a remarkable turnaround for a team that was 1-4 at one time. Behind a group of savvy seniors, East ripped off eight wins in its next nine games, finishing third in the tough North Piedmont Conference with a 7-5 record.
But alas, Ledbetter lost six of his top eight in the rotation, so fans should be shedding a tear for the Mustangs, right?
“This is the most athletic team I’ve ever been a part of,” Ledbetter beamed. “We just have a lot of unproven talent. I’m hoping our younger guys saw how buying into a program affects the outcomes of games.”
Two seniors Ledbetter will lean on are 6-foot-3 Josh Gobble and 6-1 Tyler L’Hommedieu. Gobble has been with the team for three years.
“I’m looking for a lot of leadership and for him to come out of his shell,” Ledbetter said of Gobble, who averaged just 2.8 points. “He can stretch the defense and cause matchup problems.
“Tyler is an all-around good athlete who does all the little things. The kids look up to him. If he says jump, they say how high? He’s a streaky shooter. When he gets it going, he can knock it down.”
Also returning is 5-7 junior sparkplug Donte Means, who was one of the best sixth men in the county.
“I’m looking for very big things out of the little man,” Ledbetter said. “He hit some big shots last year and asserts himself offensively. I’m looking for him to hit big shots consistently this year.”
Ledbetter hopes 6-3 sophomore Josh Moses fills the void of departed all-county player Hakeem Gittens. He moved in from Alaska and has never played organized basketball.
“But he’s an exceptional athlete who can jump out of the gym,” Ledbetter said. “He’s a (former West Rowan star) Jarvis Morgan type.”
Calvin Edwards is a 5-10 guard who has impressed Ledbetter, who says, “He’ll really step up this year. He’s an exceptional athlete.”
There are sophomore twin guards Sam and Seth Wyrick. Sam was the starting quarterback on the football team that came one game from the Western final and Seth was a receiver.
Now, they could carry the winning attitude over to the court with Sam still passing to Seth for points.
“Sam’s more of a ballhandler where Seth’s more of a perimeter shooter,” Ledbetter said.
The athletes are plentiful. Sophomore Conor Honeycutt is a cross country star. Juniors Dock Corpening and Chase Brown are coming up from jayvee, Six-foot junior Austin Hill and senior Madison Hedrick are stars in football. Their versatility can help East.
“Conor’s a slasher,” Ledbetter said of the smooth 6-1 Honeycutt. “He’s a defensive-minded player. Defense produces his offense. Dock is long, tall and athletic. He’s got a lot of jumping ability. I look for him to be a bruiser inside. Chase has a pretty good jumper and hes a scrappy player. Madison has never played, but he’s a fiery guy who can get down with it physically. Austin is a defensive stopper.”
Harrison Bell is a 6-1 sophomore who plays inside.
“We’re really working on him,” Ledbetter said. “He can help us for the next three years.”
Ledbetter said he is excited about this group.
“Last year, we went seven deep, but this team has the potential to go 10 deep,” he said. “I give a lot of credit to (assistant football coaches) Bryan Aycoth and Jason Barnes for weightlifting.”
With a laugh, he added, “When East Rowan has five guys who can dunk, that’s unheard of.”
Ledbetter thinks bringing in former East scorer Kurt Misenheimer to coach his jayvee team and join assistant Rick Roseman and himself has done nothing but help. Misenheimer played for Matt Ridge’s high-scoring teams at Davidson County Community College.
“Kurt has brought a lot of knowledge and energy,” Ledbetter said. “We’re implementing a lot of Ridge’s philosophies.”
What does that mean?
”Last year, we were slow-slow-slow,” Ledbetter grinned. “This year, it will be go-go-go.”
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