The argument could be made that last year’s varsity season went well for the St. Paul’s Basketball Wolves. Coach Phil Williams, Head Varsity Basketball Coach, said, “We had a mediocre first half of the season, but we were able to finish strong in division play. We really made an improvement and progressed as a team.”
The Wolves were able to make a playoff run at the end of the season, only to be defeated by Scotlandville High School.
“They may have had the best 5A team in the last decade,” Williams said regarding the Scotlandville opponents.
This year’s Basketball Wolves will attempt to surpass the success that last year’s team was able to accomplish, but that will definitely be a difficult challenge. Williams notes that the team is missing a “marquee” player like Rico Bedford, who certainly was a clutch performer.
So who will attempt to step into the “marquee” position this year? Immediately, Coach Williams noted that three key players — senior Jordan Jacob and juniors Christophe Robinson and Stephen Hammond — could each contribute to a successful season for the Wolves.
District play looks like it is going to be a challenge for the Wolves this year. According to Williams, the most threatening team this year would definitely have to be the Mandeville Skippers. With several top notch guards on their roster, the Wolves will certainly have to give it their all to defeat the Skippers.
The Skippers are not the only dangerous team in the district this year though. Covington, as always, poses a threat to the Wolves, proving that district play is not something to take lightly this season.
The Wolves tipped off the season with a tough home game against the Christian Life Crusaders on Nov. 19. The Crusaders have a very impressive team this year, with one of the best players in the state, Johnathon Stove, a 6’4” forward. A 205-pound machine, Stove has already committed to play at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is predicted to play his senior season with incredible passion.
The Wolves attempted to shut down Stoves and the Crusaders, but lost the game in a hard-fought battle that resulted in 52-48 at the buzzer. Robertson was named St. Paul’s Player of the Game with 12 points and 3 assists.
The Wolves then defeated Archbishop Hannan 95-35 in their first game in the CYO Tournament on Dec. 4. Sophomore Harrison Prieto was named the St. Paul’s Player of the Game with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
The Wolves will continue playing in the CYO Tournament through this weekend, and will play in tournaments at De La Salle, Chalmette, and Holy Cross before returning home to play Gulfport High School in a non-district game on Jan. 3.