Two years ago, the Caverna High Schools Colonels struggled their way through a 5-25 season and it was obvious to head coach Blake Button there was a lot of work to do to turn things around. However, the work was diligent and last year, Button guided the Colonels to a very respectable 17-14 slate and into a position with a legitimate chance to win the district title.
And as the 2013-14 basketball campaign is only a couple of days away, Button believes this year’s team could keep the turnaround at Caverna going. The Colonels are shooting for 20 wins.
“After last season, the first thing we did was look at the lineup. We had four seniors, two of which started but all four played big roles on the team,” said Button. “We know this year’s team is capable of winning and we have probably 80 percent of our scoring back this year. I don’t think I’ve ever had that.
“By the end of the year last year, I think the kids started believing we could have a good year this season. We’re still learning how to win. Last year was the first winning season for us in a long time. When we have two or three of those, I will feel a lot better. If we come out with another winning season this year, I will be happy with that.”
But coming up with 20 wins might be a difficult task this year for the Colonels. They play in the always-tough 18th District and the Fifth Region.
“I think LaRue has been favored every year to win the district, at least since I’ve been here. But I think it is our time to be on top this year,” said Button. “We’ve got probably two of the best guards in the district. However, LaRue County has two of the best big guys. Our district is pretty balanced and it will be a tough test for us every night.”
Button said he purposely gave the Colonels one of the toughest schedules he could put together. Caverna will play all the area teams and then also head to Bowling Green for games against the likes of Bowling Green, Warren Central and Warren East.
“I think we’re getting better as a team so I think we needed to play a tough schedule. If we’re going to get where we want to go, we’ve got to play the best,” Button relayed. “The best way to describe us this season is organized chaos. We’ won’t be able to play with bigger teams in the half-court, so we’re going to try and run. We want to turn teams over as much as we can and hopefully convert those turnovers into points on the other end.”
That could be very possible for the Colonels as they return their two top scorers in sophomore Mason Faulkner and junior Trevor Stephens.
“Mason Faulkner is a sophomore and he returns from last season. He averaged 18 or 19 points a game last year and he’s got to get every bit of that for us this year,” said Button. “He worked hard on his game over the summer and we would like to see him scoring 20-25 points per game this year. Trevor Stephens is a junior and he averaged 17 or 18 points per game. We need another good season from him.”
Also expected to see time on the court will include seniors Matt Dice, and DeAngelo Paul, sophomore Devon Perry and freshman Devon Paul.
“We hope we can play nine or 10 each game. Our bench is pretty strong, especially on defense,” Button said. “Mark Dice is our big guy, if we have one. He had eight or nine points and eight or nine rebounds a game last year. Devon Paul, a freshman, saw time last year as an eighth-grader and he shoots the ball really well. DeAngelo Paul, a senior, has to play, but when he plays he has to perform. And Devon Perry, a sophomore, is really, really quick.”
“This is probably our best lineup for both offense and defense. We need to be the best rebounding team we’ve ever been this year, with our size we have to be good at that. And our defense has to be strong. We have to get teams to play our tempo and get some turnovers. Like I said, it needs to be a chaotic game.”
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