With football season in the rearview mirror, it’s basketball season for everyone statewide.
Here’s what we’ve learned early in the season around the Gadsden area so far:
Southside boys lose more than star player
Southside point guard Chris Lengyel saw his senior season come to an unfortunate end last week.
The 2019-20 Times first-teamer tore his left ACL and meniscus, a couple of years after tearing his right ACL.
“Your heart just goes out to him,” Southside coach Chad Holderfield said. “There’s no kid that has worked harder than him. There’s no kid that is more committed than him and loves it more than him. And not from an individual standpoint, but wanting to be part of a group.”
Lengyel averaged 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 38.5% from 3-point range and 45.4% his junior season. But the Panthers are losing more than production.
“Chris is a special kid,” Holderfield said. “The impact that he’s had on our school, our team and our program is obvious. You don’t have to look too far to see the level of impact he’s had on our program the last four years. It’s a big hit.”
This won’t be the last of Lengyel on the basketball court as he holds offers from Coastal Alabama, Covenant, Piedmont and Sewanee.
“There is going to be some school out there that is going to get an absolute steal,” Holderfield said. “Not just from a basketball standpoint, but a character standpoint. Chris has a lot of opportunities to continue to play.”
Coosa’s Davidson, Millirons pouring in points
Coosa Christian girls basketball lost a ton of production in India Brown, a Shelton State signee and The Times’ 2019-20 Girls Player of the Year.
Those are tough shoes to fill, but Bella Millirons and Chloe Davidson have done a fine job so far.
Both Millirons and Davidson are regularly scoring 20-plus points per game as the Conquerors are off to a hot start (6-1 heading into this week).
“Losing someone as dominant as India is tough, but they have both stepped up tremendously,” Coosa coach Jayme Hollingsworth said. “We are playing a little different speed now, which works for them better.”
Millirons picked up where she left off, as she led Etowah County in scoring as a freshman. Davidson, though, has stepped up after being out last year.
“She’s a natural scorer,” Hollingsworth said of Davidson. “She was as a sophomore for us. She’s an extreme competitor. She can do it all – drive and shoot.”
Several teams have started the season well. All of the records below are through last week’s games.
Gadsden City boys were 7-1, and the girls sit at 5-1 riding a five-game win streak.
Westbrook Christian boys have been tough to stop early, led by forward Cade Phillips. Phillips had a dominating performance against Faith Christian last week, scoring 28 points on 13-of-16 shooting to help the Warriors move to 5-0.
Others to watch around the area include Albertville boys (6-0), Albertville girls (4-0) and Fyffe boys (4-1).