Atholton hopes it's on the rebound

December 07, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

With a strong returning nucleus and outstanding quickness, Atholton hopes to take a major step forward from last season's 10-12 record.

Several coaches, in fact, have touted the Raiders as the team to beat this season.

Atholton looks to 6-2 senior swing man Tony Stewart to lead the team. He averaged nine points last season.

"He's very athletic, shoots well, runs well and has the ability to take over a game," coach Jim Albert said. "He's our best rebounder and might just bust out this season."

Stewart was hampered during the early part of last season by a football injury -- a broken wrist.

Returning point guard Brian Benden averaged 12 points last season, and the 5-9 junior should make another significant contribution this season.

"He's very good and creates problems on defense," Albert said.

But Benden will be pressed for his starting point guard job by sophomore Tyrone Allmond, who is up from junior varsity, which he led to a 19-1 record.

"Allmond is very good and will play a lot," Albert said. "He's a legitimate point guard whose biggest assets are that he sees the court well and passes well. He's also quick defensively."

A third returning starter for Atholton is 6-3 junior forward D. J. Chiles, who averaged nine points and led in rebounding.

Three reserve players returning are 6-4 senior center John Miller, senior guard Matt Treese and senior guard Jason Albert, the coach's son.

"Miller is much improved from last season and could really be a player for us," Albert said.

Treese uses his quickness to produce good results defensively. And Albert is a strong shooter.

Junior guard Ryan Rees is a good shooter. Junior forward Damian Kapcala is a scrapper on the boards. Junior forward Varian Harvey is a banger on the boards. Senior guard Tony Lawson offers defensive quickness. And 6-3 sophomore Nat Watkins, offers a nice shot and rebounding.

Albert thinks depth will be a big plus for this team, which will run and press a lot.

"We can go and go and sub a lot," Albert said. "And we have a good mix of youth and experience."

Atholton's last county title was in 1985 when the team went 14-0 in league play.

In 1992-93, it failed to make the playoffs for the third time in 13 years.

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