The other coaches in District 6, 3A did not seem to buy the bill of goods, or lack there of ,that Stone Memorial boys basketball coach Neil Capps was selling at the preseason media day in Sparta.
“I wasn’t sure what we were going to have,” Capps said. “I knew we had potential to be good. I wasn’t sure how long our progression was going to take, how we were going to jell, how we were going to mesh offensively and defensively.”
At the start f the season Capps looked to replace four starters, and the Panthers two leading scorers off of a team that compiled 22 regular season victories the year before. The verdict is still out amongst Capps coaching counterparts if Capps has a master poker face, or if he really didn’t know how good of a team he had.
“We have done all of that really nicely,” Capps said. The boys have worked extremely hard and been really coachable. They are finding their new roles. Our offensive identity has taken a little longer but our defensive identity is much better. When you have that much turnover and that many kids in new spots it does take a while to figure out what your identity is.”
The Panthers have lost only two games since December 20th and are currently one game behind White County for the top seed in their district. In the 13 games since December 20th the Panthers allow only 45 points per game.
Stone Memorial has seven games left on their schedule with five of those seven against district opponents.