Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


November 12, 2012

CHS Boys Basketball Preview: Tigers turning corner

In third season, Newton feeling optimistic

Corsicana — Don Newton could easily downplay a Tigers basketball team that missed the playoffs last season and lost 80 percent of its scoring.

The coach won’t go there. After a summer of hard work and more this fall, Newton is confident that this will be the season where the Tigers end a three-year playoff drought.

“We are young and unproven,” Newton said. “I’m not hesitant to tell you we’re looking for the breakthrough year.”

Newton’s reasoning is two-fold — he’s optimistic because the commitment level is higher across the board in the program and because the percentages for making the playoffs are better in 16-4A.

Corsicana has a 66 percent chance of getting into the postseason -- four out of six teams make it — which is a lot better than his first two years when four out of nine made it.

But it’s more because the Tigers as a whole have improved their skill set playing summer basketball.

The Tigers lost top scorers Jack Saipongi, Tevin McDonald and Christian Hines to graduation. So there’s not a lot of experience on the current roster.

There are players who received varsity experience and others who played on solid junior varsity and freshman teams.

Center Ernest McGhee played the most out of the returnees, averaging eight points and three rebounds. He will be asked to score more. So will senior guard Tedrick Wilson.

Senior Dzifa Mallet, a 6-2 guard, had a tremendous offseason after playing some last year on varsity.

“Mallet has improved more than any kid I’ve ever had,” Newton said. “He’s been a good leader.”

Mallet is the poster boy for where Corsicana basketball can go. Last year’s team was reliant on football and baseball players. Remember the Tigers went to the state semifinals last year in football which hurt Corsicana in a nine-team district that started in late November.

In this day and age when athletes decide on a single sport when they get into high school — some times earlier — Newton’s program may hinge on players dedicated to basketball.

Three sophomores — 5-9 guard Tim Lang, 6-1 forward Jamaal Evans and 6-5 forward Lathan Carter — all will be counted on to contribute.

Juniors such as Mike Lewis, Anthony Jones and Clinton Wright will help provide depth and may emerge as top producers.

There could be a few football players come out including Daudren Martin and Raphael Watts.

The Tigers will have better size, and the commitment level is higher.

Combine that with Newton’s knowledge and feel for the game, and there is hope that the Tigers will be back in the playoffs this season.

“We’ve got a little bit stronger desire to participate in the program,” Newton said. “In the past they haven’t wanted to put the time in. These guys do.”

Text Only
  • 7-27 Shimonek all-star.jpg Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech

    Former Mildred quarterback and Golden Circle Del Thrash Player of the Year Nic Shimonek is leaving the University of Iowa after one red-shirt year and transferring to Texas Tech because of Iowa's pro-style offense.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan; Remembering House and a better era

    The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
    In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • weights.jpg GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win

    His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
    “I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Reese mug.jpg Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking

    With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
    Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team

    Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 Kayana.jpg Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne

    Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
    Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
    More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced

    The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.


    July 22, 2014

  • UIL Football: State championships to be held at AT&T Stadium

    The 2014 University Interscholastic League Football State Championship games will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the League announced Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • All-State Baseball: Sunnyvale's Wilcox tops TSWA/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A team

    Sunnyvale's Jake Wilcox is player of the year on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A All-State Baseball Team

    July 22, 2014

  • GC Baseball: Kerens' Anderson makes TSWA/Collin Street Bakery all-state team at four positions

    Call it the rarest of rares, at least as far as all-state teams go. Brett Anderson of Kerens shows up on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery all-state team not one, not two, not three, but four times. Dawson's Lane Dotson was a second-team outfielder, and the Bulldogs' Trent Underwood made the third-team as a pitcher, and also garnered an honorable mention nod at first base. Kerens outfielder Brent Warren was also an honorable mention pick.

    July 21, 2014