Patriots bolstered by deep roster

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 By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

Depth, depth and more depth.

That may be the best way to describe this year’s West End High boys basketball team.

With eight seniors and four juniors on the varsity, first-year coach Clint Brannon has a lot of athletes to substitute in and out.

“I’ve already seen a couple of teams that were worn down by the fourth quarter,” Brannon said. “We have enough depth that we can plug people in and just keep running the floor.”

Running the floor is the other key to the Patriots, as Brannon has installed a run-and-gun offense that can wear other teams down.

“When one of our guys needs a breather, there’s someone on the bench to take his spot.”

Senior point guard Caleb Mayo is the key. When he’s playing well, the Patriots have every chance to be victorious.

“(Mayo) is quick and can really push the ball,” Brannon said. “He’s one of the better ball handlers I’ve seen. And he has good court vision.”

Raymond Chapman is big in the post and Anthony Moody has started the season well, impressing Brannon.

West End also features a couple of tough guys, including Chase Blanton.

“Those guys will really get after people,” Brannon said. “They are really tough in the paint.”

The Patriots must be playing well after Christmas if they want a shot at a playoff run, as Area 11 of Class 2A may be one of the best in the state this year.

Sand Rock has been to the Final 48 several times lately, while Gaston has made the Northeast Regional Tournament the past two years.

Then there’s Westbrook Christian, which everyone thinks is a legitimate contender this season.

“We’ve got a lot of players who run well,” Brannon said. “We want to press and run the floor. That’s where our depth really helps.”

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