Seth Massey and the Station Camp Bison were unsure what their team would look like when the season tipped off.
Despite graduating seven seniors one year ago and losing over 40 points per game offensively, the Bison found an identity and a way to come out with a victory in their season-opening game against Kenwood. Massey and company bested the Knights by a final score of 60-52.
Without the departed Kavon Blankenship, Cameron Gerlach and Eli Thurston, Station Camp had to look to other outlets for offensive success. The Bison seemingly found a winning combination against Kenwood with Tyler Moore and Eli Rice. Rice, a transfer from Goodpasture, was unavailable last season due to injury. Moore saw action in 30 games last year, but only averaged 3.2 points per contest. The duo showed up against Kenwood, however, combining for 35 points.
“We didn’t always know exactly what we were doing and we were out of place and some things like that, but (we) always have those guys guarding and defending hard,” Massey said. “Nothing was easy. (They) were under a lot of pressure, too, to help us handle the ball, score some and finish it…We’ve got a lot to do, but we’re looking forward to doing it with that bunch.”
Although Station Camp never trailed in the game, the contest was tight throughout. Every time the Bison would seemingly pull away with a scoring run, guards Kemari McIntosh and Jaylen Washington would respond. The two teams were within four points of one another in the final minute, but costly turnovers down the stretch doomed the Knights.
After the game, Kenwood head coach Jason James explained that five of his players were missing from the contest due to coronavirus contact tracing.
“We knew they would be really good, we knew we would have to play really well to be in the game,” James said. “We were happy we were in the game but, obviously, you have to get better to get over the hump.
“I thought our guys played really good. We were in position to win the basketball game and we just weren’t able to do it.”
The Knights were replacing offensive firepower of their own, as James “Scooter” Williams graduated from the program last spring after averaging 18 points per game with Kenwood in 2020. According to James, the forward left a sizable impact for how the Knights would operate on both ends of the floor this year.
“With Scooter, we were definitely a different team,” he said. “Tonight, we kind of saw what we need to be, what we can do, what we need to do to be successful. We’ll keep building on that. We’ll keep getting better and, as good as Scooter was and is, those guys are pretty good too… Who knows what to expect moving forward, but we’ve got some work to do and saw some good things.”
With minimal practice over the course of the summer and fall, Massey thought the Bison were uncomfortable on the court. The coach is hopeful that the grind of a regular season will whip his team into shape.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “It’s really strange, not having camp to have an idea of who can do what, (and) not having any scrimmage games. This is night one against another opponent. It felt really weird and awkward, hopefully it will start feeling more normal.”
Station Camp will look to continue to ride the hot hands of Rice and Moore when hosting the Hawks of Rossview on Nov. 20. The Knights will travel to play Clarksville Academy next on Nov. 28.
Station Camp (60): Tyler Moore 18, Eli Rice 17, Kheller Die’ 9, Isaiah Davis 8, Donovan Smith 4, Ben Ogan 2, Grady Parsons 2
Kenwood (52): Kemari McIntosh 16, Jaylen Washington 14, Quentavious Barnes 12, Caleb Grady 4, Johnqurin Johns 4, Keyshawn Daniels 2