Braves looking to return to state prominence in 2011-12

The Socastee High boys basketball program has fallen on hard time since longtime coach Dan D’Antoni’s departure to the NBA.

Following last year’s 10-10 campaign, in which the Braves failed to make the playoffs, successor Tommy Johnson is ready for his team to take the next step back to relevance in the state.

“There is a great quote that says ‘If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.  Until you get tired of what you been getting you won’t change what you been doing,’ “Johnson cited.  “Hopefully we are all tired of what we been getting and will work to change it.”

The 2011-12 edition of the Braves feature seven returning players, including team leaders Travis Frye, Patrick Gardner and swingman Will Caswell. The guard-oriented team also brings back back-court players Jon Morgan Kresken, Matt Scalise and Tyler Mathews.

But the Braves also have high expectations from a pair of newcomers, swingman See Man and wing/post Donovan Cann, who should join Chris Marflake to give Socastee an inside threat to go with the outside shooters it has relied upon in recent years.

“This should be our best offensive team in awhile.  It will have balanced scoring with Travis, Will, Matt and Patrick leading the way,” Johnson said.  “The question will be, `Will they commit to playing on the defensive end of the floor?’ Time will tell.”

And the Braves believe it is time to return to being a force in Class AAA as they once were. Socastee opens the season Tuesday at home against Carvers Bay, which advanced to the Class A finals last year, so the questions should be answered rather quickly.

“I think we have a group that will work hard,” Johnson said. “They were as disappointed in last year as was I. I’m looking forward to their commitment.”

ROSTER

#1-See Man-Sr.  6’0-155lbs-Point/Wing
#2- Erick Mortel- Jr. 5’9-150lbs-Point
#3-Donovan Cann-Sr. 6’1-165lbs-Wing/Post
#4- Chris Marflake-Sr. 6’4-170lbs-Post
#5- Jon Morgan Kresken-Sr. 5’10-150lbs-Point/Wing
#11- Matthew Scalise-Sr. 6’2-165lbs-Wing
#13- Tyler Matthews-Sr. 5’9-150lbs-Wing
#15- Will Caswell-Jr. 6’4-170lbs-Post/Wing
#21- Travis Frye-Sr. 6’2-175lbs-Point/Wing
#22- Anthony Wallace -Jr. 6’3-160lbs-Wing/Post
#33- Koel Cutler-So. 6’3-155lbs-Wing
#40-Dakota Morgan-Jr. 6’6-210lbs-Post
#42- Patrick Gardiner-Sr. 6’2-160lbs-Wing

Photo courtesy of Socstee Athletics

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