Cobras eyeing playoff spot

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rob Gantt/Gazette Cane Bay senior Jiquan Hammond (15) has over 1,000 career points and was all-region for the third year in a row last season.

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Cane Bay boys basketball coach Calvin Craft and the Cobras are taking aim at the upper echelon in Region 7-AAAA this winter.

That would mean a playoff spot for Cane Bay.

Craft said he’s encouraged by what he saw in the offseason and projects better things for the Cobras this season. Last winter, they went 6-14 overall and 1-7 in the region.

“We are light years better at this point than we were going into last year,” Craft said. “We have a veteran team and I expect us to be as good as we have ever been at Cane Bay. Of course, we play in the hardest region in the Lowcountry without a doubt.

So it will be a great challenge for us to perform well in the region and make a push for the playoffs. I expect us to contend for a top three position in the region this year. But it will be a dogfight every night.”

The Cobras bring back three starters from last year’s team, including accomplished off guard Jiquan Hammond, a senior.

Hammond is a three-time all-region player and averaged 18.3 points per game in 2012-2013. He went over the 1,000-point career scoring mark as a junior.

Senior wing player Raekwon Rivers was also an all-region selection last winter after averaging 9.8 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Devin Kilgore is the other returning starter.

Fast-improving combo guard Najee Walker and point guard Louis Rivers, who came on strong down the stretch last season, are two other projected starters.

Of Rivers, Craft said, “he is a very dangerous offensive player who can score in a variety of ways as well as create for others.”

Kavon Young-Reeves is a potential starter in the post who is a very athletic player and very willing to do a lot of the dirty work.

A collection of other players is capable to make things happen off the bench. Devin Dingle is a returner and can play any one of Cane Bay’s three guard spots.

New post players Gerald Baker, Alandis Murray and Rashaun Scott each bring something different to the table, Craft said.

“Murray is a powerful player,” Craft said. “Scott has length and athleticism, and Baker is a little bit of both of those things.”

The Cobras begin the season in a tournament on Friday night at Battery Creek against defending Class A Lower State champion Whale Branch.

They also play Groves, Ga. in the tournament on Saturday before traveling to Berkeley on Monday, Dec. 2.

The home opener will be against Ashley Ridge on Dec. 6.

Cane Bay begins region play Jan. 14 at West Ashley.

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