The Allen County-Scottsville Patriots will
enter the 44th campaign in school history with several questions---questions
that time will answer as the season unfolds over the next three months. One
question that will be pondered from game one, how will the Patriots respond to
first year coach Nick Chaykowsky?
The short answer is with a strong work ethic
in the gym and a desire to improve daily.
“The team is working hard in practice,”
Coach Chaykowsky said. “They are getting along and showing signs of improvement
each day. The fans should see kids playing basketball with great effort and
having fun. They will represent our school with class.”
Chaykowsky was tabbed as Lex Lindsey’s
replacement last springs. Lindsey guided the Patriots to 10 wins in 29 games.
The season was labeled as a success, given the fact that Lindsey started the
season without a leftover starter from the 2015-16 team that won six games. The
ten wins, included upset wins over several opponents improved the confidence of
a young team, provided valuable experience to several Patriots that return this
year, and set the stage for hopes of a winning 2017-18 season---an
accomplishment that would mark the first season above the 500 mark since
2009-10. The Paytriots are also seeking a return to the Region 4 tournament for
the first time since 2013.
Like Lindsey last year, Chaykowsky brings a
vault of coaching experience to the table. High school stops in Florida,
Georgia, and Kentucky schools Ballard Memorial and Union County has left the
new coach with a 211-208 worksheet. His more successful stop came at McEachern
High School in Georgia where he compiled a 46-12 record in two
seasons---leading his team to a regional championship and earning Coach of the
Year honors. Add in 12 years of experience as an assistant at the small college
level---helping schools to a record of 305-126---Chaykowsky had been a part of
teams that have gone 574-368 in 30 years of sideline experience at multiple
The new coach inherits a team with rising
stars and gifted athletes. Four seniors---Marcus Carter, Sean Carter, Sam
Clarke, and Phillip Kinslow---are on the roster with each player capable of
bringing something to the table.
“Each of our four seniors have different
qualities that will help the team,” Chaykowsky pointed out.
Carter emerged as one of AC-S’s principal
weapons last year. The 6’4” forward averaged nine points and seven rebounds as
a starter in 28 of the team’s 29 games. Carter led the Patriots in scoring
three times last winter and was the leading rebounder in 17 times. Carter shot
51% from the floor (100/196). Carter scored a career-high 19 points against Glasgow
and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in action against Edmonson County. Additionally,
Carter had four double-doubles, reached double figures in scoring 13 times, and
recorded 10 or more rebounds five times. The senior averaged just over 27
minutes per game.
Sam Clarke is the second most experienced
senior on the floor. Clarke is a 6’2” guard who can run the team’s floor game
or knock down the outside shot. Last year, Clarke played in 29 games and
started five times. He recorded a career-high 11 points verses Warren East,
notched a career-best four rebounds verses Cumberland County, Elizabethtown,
and Monroe County and dished out career-high three assists verses Barren County.
Clarke averaged 16 minutes of court time per game and played a season-high 28
minutes against South Warren in last year’s opening game.
Seniors Sean Carter and Phillip Kinslow are
a pair of varsity unknowns that will be asked to contribute as role players
this year. Sean Carter (6’2”) had very little varsity in-game experience last
season but sharpened his game at the junior varsity level. Kinslow---a starter
for the Patriot football team---also has limited playing experience but will
bring added height and athleticism to the squad. He will be asked to use his
6’4” length to provide support inside in battles against several teams with
The Patriot roster includes six
juniors---Brett Rippy, Cayden Ross, Bryce Carter, Jacob Lightfoot, Chase Ward,
and Camden Carver. Chaykowsky calls the juniors “a solid core group to build on
for the season and the future.”
Rippy burst onto the Region 4 scene as a
sophomore. The playmaking point guard
started 28 times and appeared in every game last season. Rippy led the team in
points, scoring an average of 12.7 points. Rippy averaged 2.6 rebounds, and handed
out 2.5 assists per game. Rippy sank 72 percent of the free throws he attempted
(75-103) and made 58 three-point shots. Rippy reached double-figured in scoring
es 18 times. His career high point night was a 24 point effort against Cumberland
County and Webster County He grabbed career-high
six rebounds against Cumberland County while also dishing out a career-best five
assists. Rippy played just over 28 minutes per game and stayed on the court 28
minutes or more 16 times. During a five-game stretch in late December and early
January, Rippy averaged 20 points per game. His efforts last season is why the
5’10” guard starts this year ranked as the eighth best player in Region 4 in
The Cats Pause magazine.
Ross brought about five points to the floor in his 27 games of action. The 6’0”
junior started 20 times last year and registered just under 19 minutes of
action in each game. Ross scored a career-high 12 points vs. Glasgow and
grabbed a career-best five rebounds vs. Butler County.
Joining Rippy and Ross as junior guards on
the varsity will be guards Bryce Carter, Jacob Lightfoot, and Camden Carver.
Carter (5’10”) and Carver (5’10’) saw limited varsity action as sophomores.
Lightfoot (6’2”) steps on to the court after a very successful football season.
The trio is expected to give AC-S needed depth as the season progresses.
In addition, junior Chase Ward, a 6’2”
junior forward, will be called upon to add depth to the inside line-up night in
and night out. Ward earned valuable experience in junior varsity action and saw
several minutes of court time throughout the 2017 season.
The Patriot opening night roster will also
include a pair of sophomores and freshman. Charlie Calvert, a 6’3” sophomore
guard and Owen Stamper, a 6’3” sophomore forward will add length to the squad.
Both can score and will be asked to play solid defense during their time on the
court. The pair saw limited varsity action last year but enjoyed solid seasons
at both the junior varsity and freshman levels.
Freshman Mason Shirley and Kayden Whitney
have worked their way into varsity roster positions. Shirley stands 5’11 while
Whitney is 6’4.” Both players are expected to polish their skills through a
wealth of playing time on both the freshman and junior varsity schedules.
The Patriots will look to improve upon last
year’s offensive output. Finding scoring to replace the 22 points a game lost
to graduation and to help Rippy and Marcus Carter will be key. Defensively, the
Patriots will look to tighten a defense that allowed opponents to score 59
points a game on average in 2017.
“We will be a team that tries to control
tempo and playing under control,” Chaykowsky explained.
Another question that will be answered as
the season unfolds is how much the experience of last season plays out in what
will be a tough District 15 and Region 4. AC-S will look to maintain or improve
upon their 48.7% shooting offensively last year and coach Chaykowsky will
expect his team to improve in shooting free throws. Last year, AC-S made 64.8%
of their free throws---a percentage that is expected to rise.
Last season, 13 of the Patriots’ 29 games were
decided by eight points or less. In addition, the Patriots lost eight games by
less than 10 points---a stat that generally is reflective of young teams. If
this year’s Patriots can win the close games, a winning record is well within
However, the district will not be easy.
Monroe County (17-13 last year) is the defending champions and will return one
of the region’s best player. Billy Michael Dyer averaged 22.3 points and will
lead an experienced group of players. Barren County (17-16) returns Jared
Coomer, giving veteran coach Warren Cunningham an air of optimism to start the
season. Glasgow (4-24) was plagued by injuries last year. However, third year
coach James Willett is looking for health and a talented younger team to play
their way into contention for a district title.
Region 4 is the home of defending state
champion Bowling Green. The Purples (36-2) are poised to capture their fifth
consecutive regional crown but will have to do so with a new roster of players
and a new coach. Veteran coach D.G. Sherrill has stepped aside with former
South Warren and Purple assistant coach Derrick Clubb taking the reins. Region
4 Runner-up Russellville (22-12) as well as Warren Central (17-14) will be
factors with the Dragons one of the top threats to dethrone Bowling Green.
AC-S will open the season Tuesday on the
road at South Warren.
“They will be a team that plays fast and up-tempo,”
Chaykowsky noted. “We will try and control the tempo and play at our pace,
whether fast or slow.”
The Spartans went 6-24 last year but should
feature a more experienced ball team. Next Friday, AC-S will travel to