Claiborne Bulldogs basketball is still trying to get acclimated to two new coaches. The girls have Nathan Medlin trying to turn the Lady Bulldogs program in the right direction and Brian O’Dell is leading the Bulldogs boys.
There are a few promising signs but the coaches are having to overcome the lack of size which is of course a necessity to the game.
Coach Medlin spoke about the progress his Lady Bulldogs made since the season began, “We are playing team ball now, playing hard but losing close games. We have lost several close games that if we could have pulled them out we could be 7-4, that’s how close we are. Our team defense is better and the entire team is maturing. Cheyenne Tolliver, Jaden Thomson, Kaylee Cox and Kelsey Munsey are playing well for us on the inside. Marilyn Smith and Abby Singleton are shooting well from the outside while Abby Ferguson and Tolliver are being great leaders; well all our seniors are. We are win-less coming into this game against Washburn but we are a better team than the record indicates.”
Coach O’Dell has good things to say about his Bulldogs with only a few negative things to be worked on. His Bulldogs have a 3-11 record but are also losing by only a few points and playing great basketball but have not found a way to close out games.
O’Dell had this to say, “We are losing games by just a few points but I still like that we never give up. If we find a way to finish the games especially by taking care of the ball late in the fourth we will get some of these wins.” When asked about who has been playing better than expected O’Dell said, “Houston Hatfield has been playing well; most games reaching a double-double. Runions is knocking down several threes for us and Hunter Rosenbalm is doing the hustle plays that can make the difference. It seems that all of our players know their roles and have accepted them but we just have to learn to close out games.”
Claiborne went on to win two varsity games January 3 with the Lady Bulldogs getting their first win and the Bulldogs their fourth win. One thing about these two coaches is that their teams fight until the end and show a desire to win. A turnaround begins with a few wins and maybe this season will kickstart both Bulldogs’ teams.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.