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Wright optimistic despite inexperience

Lakeland High School boys’ basketball coach Clint Wright is optimistic about his team this season, despite inexperience.

Lakeland gets its season under way on Dec. 1 against Hickory High School but will step on the court with an unknown but exciting group.

Lakeland will not return any varsity starters from its team from last season, so many spectators are unsure of what Lakeland will have to offer. Wright likes the preparation his team has put in up to this point in the season and feels good about his team.

“Talent-wise, I think we will be competitive night in and night out,” Wright said. “Experience will be a good thing for us in the long run. It is going to make these guys even better.”

To help his team become more experienced, Wright creates different game situations during practice so the Cavs can be ready for them once the season starts. In the past, Wright has not had to do that as much due to the experience the team is used to having.

Wright believes that in certain situations, the Cavs could be dangerous with the different type of lineups on the court. However, some nights may be a valuable learning experience for a young Cavs team that may have never faced a certain situation before.

Some production from last season’s team that was expected to be there this season did not materialize, but Wright does not let that those losses distract him from what he wants to accomplish with his current roster.

“It’s basketball at the end of the day,” Wright said. “It is a sport that if you prepare for it, success will come, and that is what I have shared with my guys. You can handle anything you prepare for at any level. I do not feel shaken or disturbed by what we will not have this season, because we will be prepared for what is to come.”

During the summer and fall, Lakeland played in various leagues and team camps. The competition the Cavs have faced since the summer will be beneficial for them. Now that the season is here, Wright believes that the faster the team gains experience, the more productive the season will be for Lakeland.

“Playing the schedule we have will be exciting for these guys,” Wright said. “Playing against teams like King’s Fork and Nansemond River will be good for these guys who have never been in those types of environments. With the talent pool we have, I feel we will be competitive.”

Lakeland will go on the road to face Hickory at 7 p.m. Dec. 1.