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Defense to replace Rock Hill’s offense

Pedro – It wouldn’t be surprising if Rock Hill Redmen basketball coach Rick Scarberry put an ad in the newspaper that read: Offense needed.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

Pedro – It wouldn’t be surprising if Rock Hill Redmen basketball coach Rick Scarberry put an ad in the newspaper that read: Offense needed.

Shooters should present proof of ability.

Gone is Jeff Fraley and his 22 points a game. Also gone is T. J. Dillow and his 17 points a game. That’s nearly 40 points of offense a game. And that doesn’t even count B. J. McDonie and Bob Porter.

"When you add McDonie and Porter, it’s more than 40 points. It’s more like 60," said Scarberry.

"But we knew it was going to be like this, so we’ve been doing it with defense. We have to take care of the ball and take out time getting the ball to the right guys. We’ll have a different guy doing the job each night. We’ve never had to do this, so this will be a different situation."

Rock Hill will need to find some offense if it wants to duplicate or improve on last season’s 14-9 record and a runner-up finish in the Division II district tournament.

The offense could come from the only returning players, senior starters Brian Tennant and Brent McCoy.

Tennant was third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding last season. McCoy was steady at the guard position but didn’t look to score. Scarberry said that has to change but he doesn’t want them to think they have to do most of the scoring.

"Tennant and McCoy are better, but I think they’re trying to take too much of the load. They played well the first game but we didn’t shoot well. We played well against St. Joe. I’m not worried about how they perform," said Scarberry.

Joining the starting lineup are 6-foot senior Tanner Heaberlin, 5-4 guard David Large, and 6-1 freshman David Schug.

"Heaberlin works really hard and should help on the boards, but he’s had an ankle injury," said Scarberry. "Large isn’t real big, but he’s a smart player and handles the ball well. And Schug is just a freshman, but he’s playing pretty well right now. He’s deserved a chance to start."

Helping inside will be 6-2 senior Nate Lambert, although Scarberry said a bad back has limited his playing as well as practice time.

"By all rights, Lambert shouldn’t even be playing," said Scarberry. "But he’s showing a lot of senior leadership and courage. He should be sitting at home and he’s coming in and trying to play and get it done. He’s showing a lot of pride and loyalty."

The Redmen need the size of Lambert to go along with Tennant and Schug.

"Size is killing us. Other than Tennant, we’re 6-foot and under. Our kids will have to bust it defensively and play smart offensively," said Scarberry.

The plan for the Redmen is to play a lot of players as the situation determines. Scarberry is looking for backup help from 5-11 senior Brent Clagg, 6-foot senior Billy Mullins, 6-2 junior Ryan Music, and 5-7 sophomore Ryan Townsend.

"Townsend is playing well. He does a great job defensive. He gives 110 percent and he’s learning to play the offensive end, too," said Scarberry. "Mullins has been on the jayvees, but he’s a senior and he has to step it up and be there. Music will have to play some. It’s going to take everyone chipping in."

Having to rebuild the team won’t be easy, especially against a schedule that includes Portsmouth, Ironton, Beaver Eastern, and Oak Hill to go along with the Ohio Valley Conference.

"Our schedule is as good as it’s ever been. But we’ve been competitive. We don’t have any nights off. We can’t get any of them if we don’t play well," said Scarberry. "Our kids play hard. They’ll contest everything. They don’t quit."

In the OVC, Scarberry said Chesapeake "is the hands-down favorite, but I think South Point has some good athletes. Coal Grove is physical and has some good athletes, and Fairland has (Aaron) Swanton and (Jay) Capper."