Wolves’ teams young and growing

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The 2020-2021 basketball season at D’Arbonne Woods Charter is about playing hard as a unit and moving forward.

The boys have gotten off to a 1-5 start but coach Turner Madden feels like this team will be able to take a step in the right direction despite a youth movement.

“We are a young team with no seniors,” Madden said. “It is a building process, but we have been within 12-15 points at the end every game. It is just a matter of turning that corner of winning those games instead of losing them.”

Junior guard Austin Riser has come out hot for the Timberwolves and could be just the all-district caliber player that DWCS needs to compete against the loaded District 1-2A that includes Jonesboro-Hodge and North Caddo as returning state powerhouses.

Riser scored 34 points and made six 3-pointers in a 65-52 loss to Quitman. Riser also had the team’s only triple double of the season in a 72-67 loss to Choudrant when he posted 15 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

“All of our guys are working hard since we came back,” Madden said. “The key is working together.”

The third-year coach says the team chemistry has improved this year and it could go a long way in improving the outcome.

“These guys are working and playing together like we love each other,” Madden said. “These guys enjoy playing together and it is going to help us go from a losing program to winning program.”

On the girls side, coach Lynika Collins comes into her first season as Lady Timberwolves coach looking to also create more team chemistry.

“I think in the past, looking at film, we want to be more balanced across the board,” Collins said. “It allows you to not feel the wrath of missing just one player and this is a team game. When we get all five players out there being successful, we will be dangerous. We just haven’t reached that yet.”

Leading scorers Leah Reed and Karis McIntosh have departed and the team has a lot of girls coming to the team that have played for years together on the softball field but are trying to translate that camaraderie to the court.

Reed moved out of state while McIntosh graduated and is now playing at Covenant College.

Sarah Fine, Claire Hayes and Piper Scoskie, as well as Alexis Felts will be leaned on to help the team get out of the 0-6 start to this season.

“We have a lot of girls back, and these girls have played a lot of softball together, but not a lot of basketball experience,” Collins said. “We recently added (Felts) and she adds quickness and defense to our team.”

Defending district champion North Caddo is expected to again be a force in 1-2A and Collins said the team “looked forward to playing them” later in the season.

On Thursday, the teams will play a double header at Cedar Creek in Ruston with the girls up first at 6 p.m. The boys game will follow.