L-R: #12 JACK BELL SENIOR- GUARD, #10 CAROLINE JORDAN JUNIOR- FORWARD/CENTER, #3 EMMA HUNT JUNIOR- POINT GUARD, #4 JACK WOMACK SENIOR- GUARD, #14 MIA CURLEE JUNIOR- GUARD
Boys: Nathan West
Girls: Samantha Rush
It was good to be a Darlington Tigers basketball fan in 2022-23. Both boys and girls posted over 20 wins, the boys hoisted the coveted gold ball at the Christmas Tournament, both were crowned region champs, and both made it to the second round of the state playoffs.
That last part might not sit well after all the success that led them to that point, but it has only driven both teams to push harder in order to advance further in the playoffs this season.
The boys are led by a trio of senior guards in Jack Bell, Joe Womack, and D’marion Floyd, who look to push an up-tempo attack that pushes the ball on offense and pressures it on the defensive end.
“The culture here has really allowed us to have sustained success,” says Head Coach Nathan West. “As a coach, I’ve been fortunate to have players that step up and lead, and you know they’ve done a good job in those roles when the kids below them step in and fill their shoes. These kids like to work, and I love working with them.”
To continue their winning ways the Tigers will lean on their experience, with sharpshooters behind the arc and players like Floyd who can beat defenders off the dribble and get to the rim.
“We want to win championships,” says Joe Womack. “We have worked hard on our games in the off-season and now we get a chance to go out and show what we can do. We have played a lot of basketball together so the sky is the limit.”
As for the girls, head coach Samantha Rush has a trio of juniors looking to step into the limelight for the Lady Tigers. Emma Hunt, Caroline Jordan, and Mia Curlee have been identified as leaders and that role isn’t one they take lightly.
“We know we have to play together as a team to succeed,” says Point Guard Emma Hunt. “We are a smaller team this year, so playing together as one unit is something we have focused on. If we play as a team we can accomplish our goals this season.”
Region Championships are always a goal for the Tigers, and to be in a position to repeat, they’ve had to put the work in during the off-season.
“Every off-season you have to adjust to the strengths of the players you have on the roster,” says Rush. “We lost some size in the front court, but I’m excited about the work the girls are doing in practice and have high expectations for what we can accomplish this season.”