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South Paulding wins with new coach
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
December 06, 2012 10:09 AM | 2188 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Paulding High School basketball players, from left, Jamal Williams and James Maxwell.
South Paulding High School basketball players, from left, Jamal Williams and James Maxwell.
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Starting the season with a new head coach, Gil Davis, the South Paulding boys’ basketball team won their season opener, 71-53, against Rome on Nov. 27.

With the win, Davis said he is optimistic about his team and how they will compete this season but realizes there will be more success once his team develops some consistency in their play.

“I feel as if our team is coming together well. Our results have gone well thus far, but we have a lot to improve on as far as consistency goes. Once the day-to-day consistency gets here, things will get that much better,” Davis said.

Davis became head coach this June after serving as assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach last year — so he had prior knowledge of his team and their performance on the court. With that knowledge, Davis said consistency would be among his focal points, along with speed and working together.

The coach said South Paulding has five key returning players this year — 6-foot-3 sophomore forward CJ Baisden, 6-foot-1 senior shooting guard TJ Foster, 6-foot-3 senior center James Maxwell, 6-foot-5 senior power forward Reggie Thomas and 6-foot senior point guard Jamal Williams. All of these players, except Thomas, are starters this season. The other starter is 6-foot-5 sophomore small forward Artavius Love.

Love and Williams are the top scorers thus far as Love averages 10 points per game and Williams averages 12 points.

Williams is the starting point guard and a team captain who transferred from McEachern as a junior. He is playing his first year on the varsity team due to transfer rules which caused him to play JV last year.

Baisden and Maxwell are the top defenders, as Baisden averages eight rebounds and two steals and Maxwell averages seven rebounds and two blocks per game.

With all the starters at 6-foot or taller and only three of the players on the roster under 6-foot, Davis still said his team isn’t very tall compared to others on their schedule. Opposing schools such as East Paulding, Haralson, Paulding County and Woodland all have at least one player above 6-foot-6, and as tall as 6-foot-10.

“We have two pretty big guys and the rest are average,” Davis said.

Even though South Paulding is not the tallest team, Davis said there is an advantage to their height — quickness.

For this season, Davis said the Spartans came up with three goals.

“[Our] goals for this season are to win 15-plus games, compete at a high level in every game and qualify for state,” said Davis.
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