Three starters back for A-J boys' basketball

Anna-Jonesboro Community High School boys’ basketball coach Mike Chamness enjoys the camaraderie shared by the squad this season.

“I like them so far,” Chamness said. “They’re really together and they get along.”

He said that after only three days of practice “it’s been a really fun group to work with. They’re very coachable. I’m excited about the season.”

With that going for them, the Wildcats return three starters from last year’s 9-21 squad.

A 5-10 senior guard Blake Pena is the top returner. He was a Southern Illinois River-to-River Mississippi Division all-conference selection last season and averaged 14 points a game.

Six-foot-6 senior center Noah McFarland, who averaged 10 points a game last year, also returns, along with 6-2 senior guard Zach Overstreet.

“We’re more athletic than we were last year,” Chamness said. “We got experience back and got guys who can fill the spots.”

Other seniors on the squad are 6-0 forward Damareon Faust and 5-10 guard Ethan Klett.

Juniors in the mix are 6-2 forward Nate Belcher, 6-2 forward Takevon Williford, 5-10 guard Juan Valencia and 6-1 guard Maddox Thorpe. 

Sophomores who could help out at the varsity level are 6-0 guard Ethan Carter, 5-11 guard Landon Trammel, 6-0 forward Laighton Mixen, 6-1 forward Joey Sullivan and 5-10 guard Vance Bass.

Chamness sees Nashville and Pinckneyville as being the two strong teams in the Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference  Mississippi Division race again this season.

The Wildcats are scheduled to open their season at Chester Tuesday, Nov. 26, and begin conference play at home against Carterville Monday, Dec. 16.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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