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Experience is key as Wolverines get out to hot start

By TIM LEIBLE
tim@theitem.com
Posted 12/14/19

This is the year that Seneca Barron has been looking forward to since taking over as the boys basketball head coach at East Clarendon High School four years ago. His first class of players has reached its senior season and that experience is …

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Experience is key as Wolverines get out to hot start

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This is the year that Seneca Barron has been looking forward to since taking over as the boys basketball head coach at East Clarendon High School four years ago. His first class of players has reached its senior season and that experience is starting to pay off as the Wolverines are out to a hot 4-0 start.

"It always helps when you can return a lot of guys that kind of know your system and what to look for," said Barron. "This is the group that's been with me since I took the job, so some of these guys have been with me for four to five years now, so it makes it a whole lot easier."

Their success so far is built around a massive senior class as over half of the roster is in that class. Their biggest producers coming into the season were guards Jalen Bryant and Tyjhai Calvin, who have continued to lead the way, but now they're getting a little more help. Marquise Pearson has been one of the Wolverine's most consistent scorers to bring some balance to the offense. Barron has also seen a big jump from junior Keyon Wilson on both sides of the ball.

"Keyon Wilson took his game to another level. He's the spark plug of the bunch," said the EC head coach. "He's the energy guy that I rely on for the defense, getting in the right defense and being a natural leader."

Improvement on the defensive end has been the biggest key so far. East Clarendon is yet to allow a team to reach 50 points this season and has used its defense to feed an improving offense.

"Defensively, we're getting after people," said Barron on the difference he's seeing in this year's team. "We're kind of relying on our defense to be our offense and just trusting each other on the defensive end."

This 4-0 start has also given the Wolverines an important confidence boost. East Clarendon has floated around .500 for the last few years, but is finally starting to feel like it can break free of having OK seasons.

"Everybody in the locker room now is motivated. They believe in themselves, they believe in what we're trying to do as a team," said Barron. "Starting early was big for us, because we knew we had the guys coming back, but we weren't sure how good we could be. We know we can be a good team and actually believe we can win the region."

A Region VII-2A championship is East Clarendon's biggest goal for the season after finishing 7-7 in the region last season.

"Definitely competing for that region championship, that's the goal," said Barron. "Mullens and Carvers Bay have been at the top forever, but I think this group can compete with those guys and give us a chance to win the region."