A-J boys’ basketball prepares to open play at Goreville tourney

The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School boys’ basketball team lost all of its starters from last year’s 23-9 squad, which captured a regional title.

But the cupboard is not bare for the Wildcats.

“We bring back four guys who played a ton last year,” A-J coach Mark Chamness said. “Our job will be finding guys to go with them. We have new guys and they will have new roles.”

Those four seniors coming back who saw action are 6-3 guard Tyler Smith, 6-0 guard Carson Reynolds, 6-1 guard Kyle McMahan and 5-10 guard Conner Jerolds.

Senior 6-1 guard Cameron Tweedy was injured last season, but has recovered from the injury and is expected to contribute this season. 

Other players who saw varsity action as well last season were a pair of juniors in 5-10 guard Blake Pena and 6-5 forward Noah McFarland.

Other juniors in the mix are 6-2 guard Zach Overstreet, 5-10 guard Ethan Klett, 5-9 guard Avery Goines and 6-0 forward Damareon Faust.

Sophomores who could contribute are 6-2 forward Ta’Kevon Williford, 5-9 guard Juan Valencia, 6-1 forward Jacob Doss, 6-2 forward Nate Belcher, 5-11 guard Maddox Thorp and 5-9 guard Carson Pengress.

Williford is a transfer player from Meridian High School.

“We expect to compete and play hard with this team,” Chamness said. “It’s a new year and we try to get everything we can possibly get out of our guys.”

Chamness looks for improvement as the season progresses.

Chamness looks for a competitive Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division race this season.

“Our conference is as good as ever,” he said. “I’m excited to get going in it.”

The Wildcats, who are the defending champions, will begin their season at the Goreville Tournament Nov. 26-Dec. 1.

A-J opens the tournament with Hamilton County at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26. The Wildcats then begin their regular  season at home against  conference foe Nashville on Friday, Dec. 7. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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