Wesson hosts basketball tourney Sat.

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 20, 2006

WESSON — The Wesson Cobra basketball teams get an early jump onthe 2006-2007 season Saturday when they host a preseason three-teamtournament. Joining Wesson are boys and girls teams from Enterpriseand North Forrest.

Each game will consist of two 18-minute running clock halves,with the clock stopping the last two minutes of each half. Eightminutes will be given for each team’s pregame warmup. There will bea five-minute halftime for each team.

Rob Kessler coaches the Wesson boys and Hugh Webb coaches theLady Cobras. Webb replaced Jemmye Ann Helms who took an assistantcoaching position at Louisville last spring.

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Last season, the Cobras finished 12-16 and the Lady Cobras were10-18.

The Wesson boys will be 13-members strong this season. Theyinclude Brandt Hood, Cody King, Tyler Lumley, Josh Hart, LonnieReeves, Roy Williams, Jamar Sims, Turner Brown, Josh Hood, ZachFetcko, Jeremy Smith, Ralph Brothern and Matthew Cliburn.

Lost to graduation were Mason Warren, Chance Peets, PhilFortenberry, Jon Michael Cliburn and Adrian King.

Captaining the Cobras is senior point guard Brandt Hood. Lastyear, Hood (5-9) averaged 14 points, shot 33 percent from 3-pointrange, 80 percent from field goal range and 4.5 assists.

“Brandt has worked harder than any other kid I have had since Ihave been here,” said Kessler who enters his fourth year as boyshead coach. “Hood has stepped up. He is a team leader and he is thecaptain on the team.

“He has improved in every facet of the game,” continued Kessler.Hood attended Duke University’s shooter’s basketball camp lastsummer.

“This is the hardest working group I have had since I have beenhere. We only have eight players until football season isthrough.”

Kessler said that Lonnie Reeves, Cody King, Josh Hood and JoshHart will round out his starting lineup which is made up of asenior, two juniors and two sophomores.

“They want to play,” added Kessler.

Lady Cobras Ready

Playing for the Lady Cobras are Alexis Crosby, Perry K. Furr,Hannah Hill, Summer Easterling, Ann Shelby Davis, Macie Case,Danielle Tadlock, Alex McNeil, Kimmie Kolpek, Lychrissa Harris,Natasha Brown, Leah Greer, Caroline Edwards, Ansley Schimmel andChelsea Lucas. Crosby, Easterling and Hill are seniors.

Lost to graduation were Bethany Dykes, Sam Ellison and ChristyWatson.

“Alexis is the leader of our ball club.” stated Webb. “We willuse her depending on who we play.”

Crosby holds the 3-point school record.

“We went to two camps this summer,” said Webb. “We’re developingsome strength. We are not as physical as we need to be. We’reworking on our upper body and leg strength.”

Webb complimented the girls on their support of each other.

“I feel this group of girls gets along better then any group Ihave been around,” said Webb.”They are very supportive of eachother.”

Webb said his team has a lot of young talent, including 6freshmen who could see a lot of action this season.

“We are going to be young,” explained Webb.

Webb said he expected freshmen Davis and Lucas to contributeimmediately on the young team.

“It’s a great group of girls with a great work ethic,” addedWebb. “We can start something special at Wesson. They are going tobe a fun group to watch. I think we will be OK.”

Wesson plays its first regular season varsity games Tuesday,Nov. 7. in the Raleigh Tournament. The Cobras’ first home game isFriday, Nov. 10, hosting Enterprise for four games.