Panthers boys poised to rebound

Published 8:12 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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With three Coastal Plains 1A/2A Conference victories in the last two seasons combined, the Northside boys have something to prove when the league slate begins in January 2024.

The young group has taken its lumps the past two seasons, but everyone is back from last year’s squad and Northside is deeper, taller and more experienced than they’ve been in a while.

“We’ve never had the depth, height and experience we have this year since I’ve been here,” said coach Jared Adams, who became head coach in 2018. “Last year was a learning experience for our young guys and just about every team in our conference had a senior or two who could really score. We have several scorers this year who are more comfortable on the court and guys who can help off the bench.”

Adams said junior Max Vansant will return as the point guard with sophomore Malachi Moore at the other guard. Seniors Griffin Johnson (6’3), Tate Gibbs (6’4) and Brandon Arthur (5’10) give the Panthers presence in the post with sophomore Zi’Mier Alexander (6’4) and senior Tyler Moore (6’9) coming off the bench.

Senior T.J. Squires and M.J. McBride along with junior Kevin Berrelleza and sophomores Chase Hewitt should also contribute.

“We have 30 guys in our program this year and started a separate freshman team so those guys have a chance to play,” Adams said. “Max has developed into a better floor general and is more comfortable with our offense. His pace is better and he’s better starting our transition. East Carteret will be tough to beat, but the rest of our conference is wide open. We’ve had great practices even though the football guys are still rounding into basketball shape. We are much more versatile and I’m excited to see how different combinations work out on the floor. We’re expecting a much better season than the last two and are ready to get started.”