By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
A new coach always means change. That is the message that Scott Sandlin is trying to convey to his Sardis girls basketball team and its fans.
“We’re starting from scratch,” he said. “I run a fairly complicated system, and the girls are still learning it. But they’re coming along nicely. It’s just going to take awhile for them to be able to run some of it without having to think.
“Right now, everything is fragile, and I don’t want to do anything to let the wheels fall off.”
Many Sardis players are learning new positions this year, but in the long run, that could be a huge factor toward success.
“We play a high-tempo, fast-paced game,” Sandlin said. “I like to have at least two deep at every position. And having players who have played other positions makes us even deeper. I also like a balanced attack. I don’t like relying on just one or two players.”
The team’s depth will also help if someone gets in foul trouble or is injured.
Right now, Sandlin is playing all 12 players on his roster, still “figuring out where they’ll shake out.”
The two centers are the center of attention for the Lions right now.
Kameron Carter is the early scoring leader this season, averaging about 11 points per game. Madison Wood is the other center.
“Madison is the kind of player you want on your team,” Sandlin said. “Even when she’s not scoring, she’s doing the other things that make you successful. Her leadership, on and off the court, is irreplaceable. And she goes above and beyond in everything she does.”
Selena Tarvin is the starting point guard, with Kacee Mashburn at the other guard position.
Krista Hubbard is the defensive star thus far.
“(Hubbard) is a hard-nosed defensive player,” Sandlin said. “She helps us in a lot of ways but she hasn’t found her niche on offense yet. When she does, she’ll be really good.”
Sandlin also coached the volleyball team this year, and five of those athletes are playing basketball.