Bulldogs fall to Tigers while seeking consistency

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 11, 2014

King’s Fork High School’s talented boys’ basketball team has alternated back and forth to start the 2014-15 season, first losing, then winning and, on Thursday, suffering its second loss, 85-72 to visiting Oscar Smith High School.

Earlier in the day before the game against the Tigers, Bulldogs coach Josh Worrell said to be successful this year, his team needs to overcome its inconsistency.

King's Fork High School junior center Chris Roscoe asserts his presence in the paint on Thursday night against visiting Oscar Smith High School. The Bulldogs fell 85-72 in the contest. (Carolina LaMagna photo)

King’s Fork High School junior center Chris Roscoe asserts his presence in the paint on Thursday night against visiting Oscar Smith High School. The Bulldogs fell 85-72 in the contest. (Carolina LaMagna photo)

Last season, the Bulldogs were runners-up in the Ironclad Conference tournament. They qualified for the Region 4A South tournament and were eliminated in the quarterfinals by I.C. Norcom High School.

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King’s Fork has several key returning players from its 2013-14 run, but it also lost quite a few for various reasons.

Ricky Scott and Jonathan Holloway were among those who graduated and senior Cornelius Norman moved away, while Shaun Faulk, Justin Chicot and Terrick Philpot transferred to private schools.

The Bulldogs roster is laden with juniors this season, featuring eight, while there are also five seniors, two sophomores and one freshman.

“I think we have an opportunity to be very successful,” Worrell said, but added that for this to happen “everybody’s got to buy in.”

This does not mean he expects peak performances to start the season.

Currently, “if we’re the best we’re going to be all year, we’re in trouble,” Worrell said. “Defensively, we should be better than where we are right now,” he said.

A return trip to the regional playoffs and a states berth are achievements Worrell sees as possibilities.

“If we all stay healthy and play hard and play as a team, it could happen,” he said.

Worrell hopes to have a different player on the team finishing as its leading scorer every night.

Among those he listed who could be that player is junior forward Keith Stagg, who was a key contributor for the Bulldogs last season and returns improved.

“He’s got a better basketball IQ and plays more fundamentally sound,” Worrell said.

Senior guard Craig Ingram was part of King’s Fork’s basketball program in this eighth, ninth and 10th grade years, but he moved away last year.

He moved back this year, and Worrell praised his basketball IQ, his habits of hustling and working hard, his ability to score and his good defense.

Senior forward Dale Roscoe was an important player for the Bulldogs last year, but is limited right now due to meniscus surgery in August. Worrell said he is just getting back into the rhythm of things on the team.

Junior center Chris Roscoe is the tallest player on the team and has shown growth from last season.

“He’s matured as a player,” Worrell said, noting Roscoe can benefit from being athletic, knowing what to do with the basketball and shooting well from the foul line.

Worrell hopes to get some leadership from senior guard Tyese Pressley, a key returner who he described as long and lanky with defensive ability and a good shooting ability.

Junior football star Deshaun Wethington will have the opportunity to compete for the point guard spot once Worrell is sure he is fully healed from his hamstring injury suffered on the gridiron.

Wethington’s speed, good defense and ball handling skills make the Bulldogs a different team.

“He’s a guy that can change games,” Worrell said.

An up-and-comer on the roster is freshman guard Rontre Pope, who has already served as a starter this season.

“He’s just a good-sized kid, hustles, works hard, good rebounder from the guard situation, can score around the basket,” Worrell said.

King’s Fork (1-2) visits Indian River High School tonight and hosts Hanover High School on Saturday evening in the Bulldog Tip-Off Showcase.