Boys Basketball Preview: Gideon looks to make noise with youthful squad
The Gideon Bulldogs enter the 2017-18 basketball season with a surplus of sophomores on its varsity squad.
Gideon, which graduated six players off of last season’s varsity squad that finished 13-11, has a varsity roster composed of two seniors, four juniors and five sophomores.
“We are going to be primarily sophomores at the varsity level this year,” Gideon second-year boys basketball coach Jordan McGowan said. “We have two seniors and a couple juniors, but we gain a great deal of sophomores, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
The Bulldogs’ only returning starter is senior point guard Gavin Sprouse.
“He was mainly a distributor last year,” McGowan said of Sprouse. “Last season he played with four seniors who did most of the scoring. Hopefully, he will become more of a scoring threat this year for us.”
McGowan said the only other senior on the squad, Austin Simmons, will be the starting center.
“He’s going to play our big for us this year,” McGowan said. “He’s about six-three or six-four so we are looking for him to help us out in the paint.”
Gideon has the luxury of having an incoming sophomore class that has enjoyed success at the junior varsity level.
“Our junior varsity won the Tri-County Conference Tournament last season,” McGowan said. “They had a real strong junior varsity season last year as far as conference play. A couple of them got some varsity experience last year, but not a lot. So this will be their first real shot at it.”
McGowan expects to play a controlled, half-court style of basketball with a varsity squad he feels will go about seven deep.
“We are going to have to play slow basketball,” McGowan said. “We are going to have to play some defense and really grind it out to keep it close.”
Gideon will compete in Class 1, District 1 with host Clarkton, Cooter, Delta C-7, North Pemiscot, defending Tri-County Conference champion Risco, defending district champion Scott County Central and Southland at the end of the season.
“I know Scott Central had some kids move, but they always have something,” McGowan said. “Most of our conference teams are in that district as well. We are hoping to be in the middle of the pack in that district.”
Gideon has few cupcakes on its schedule the first month of the season.
Gideon opens its season at the Van Buren Shootout. GIdeon is slated to take on Valley of Caledonia Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Gideon begins play at its own eight-team tournament the following Monday. No. 5 seeded Gideon plays No. 4 seeded Doniphan in a quarterfinal No. 28 at 8 p.m. Other quarterfinals include: No. 1 seeded Hayti vs. No. 8 seeded Delta C-7 Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m., No. 2 seeded Caruthersville vs. No. 7 Senath-Hornersville No. 27 at 6 p.m. and No. 3 seeded Gosnell, Ark., vs. No. 6 seeded Clarkton No. 27 at 7:30 p.m. A bracket for the tournament is available here Bulldog Classic Bracket
The Bulldogs play non-conference games against traditional talents Bloomfield, Bernie and Portageville before Christmas. Gideon also competes in the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament before January.
“We have a tough early-season schedule,” McGowan said. “We have Bernie and Portageville early along with those two tournaments. We are going to play a lot of games against good teams before Christmas. It is going to be tough at the beginning of the year.”