Jan

09

Panthers use tempo to control opponents

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 9, 2013

Monitor Photo/Sam Epps The 2012-13 Mabank Panthers boys basketball team is (from left) Zach Dillon, Jeremy Owens, Cody Thompson, Landon Marshall, Austin Miller, Dalton Burleson, David Marler, Rance Thorne, Garrett Graham, Taylor Willeford and Parker Johannesen.

Monitor Photo/Sam Epps
The 2012-13 Mabank Panthers boys basketball team is (from left) Zach Dillon, Jeremy Owens, Cody Thompson, Landon Marshall, Austin Miller, Dalton Burleson, David Marler, Rance Thorne, Garrett Graham, Taylor Willeford and Parker Johannesen.

By Sam Epps
Sports Editor

MABANK–The Mabank Panthers are playing as slower tempo, patient approach to basketball under new head coach Tracy Carter.
Carter came to Mabank after coaching basketball five years at Athens. Before that, he took a struggling Kemp Yellowjacket team to district domination and the playoffs.
“We are a tempo team, we need to control the tempo of the game,” Carter said. “We run a very patient offense, and a man-to-man defense.”
That patient offense means the Panthers will look to make quality shots, not a quantity of shots.
Carter’s success in Kemp and Athens shows how his approach can work, and work well, when properly played out.
“My approach to coaching this team is being firm, fair and consistent when evaluating gameplay and overall skill level,” Carter said.
Since this is his first year in Mabank, he knows his players have had a big transition in style and scheme to go through.
The Panthers have two returning starters from last year’s team – Landon Marshall and David Marler.
Carter will rely on them for leadership and inspiration.
He is also looking at returning lettermen Taylor Willeford and Garrett Graham for the youthful excitement and “spark” on the court.
In all, the Panthers boast seven seniors, two juniors and two sophomores on the team.
“We’re an older team, but still inexperienced with two juniors and two sophomores,” Carter said. “We have a good mix of youth, age and wisdom.”
With that wisdom comes an easily-coached team with the knowledge to pick up new things quickly.
“These guys work hard, are very coachable and have a strong desire to win,” Carter said.
“We have good size on the court, we shoot the ball well and this is team plays a very strong team defense.”
Turnovers are still hurting the Panthers, and that is a concern for Carter.
“We are still improving on taking care of the ball,” he said.
Opposing teams will have problems with Mabank’s size.
David Marler is a tall, strong player and is Mabank’s “go-to guy.”
At 6-7, sophomore Dalton Burleson stepped up his gameplay and is a huge threat off the bench.
“Taylor Willeford really works hard and contributes in a variety of ways,” Carter explained.
With the newly district alignments, Mabank finds itself in District 15-3A alongside teams such as Athens, Brownsboro, Canton, Mineola and Van.
“This district is pretty open-ended and I feel it is anybody’s to take,” Carter said.
“Athens is a solid team, and so is Brownsboro,” he added.
In all, Carter likes his team’s playoffs chance, and feels the Panthers have the skill and talent to achieve big things.
“I’m fortunate to coach such a good group of guys. They work together to achieve their goals,” Carter commented.

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