Dragons Hope To Continue Success
By CODY TOMER
CAMERON — Times are good at Cameron after the Dragons football team just completed their first unbeaten regular season since 1999. First-year boys’ basketball coach Tom Hart looks to pick up where football coach Scott Holt left off, by using a talented and athletic roster and helping it get better.
Hart was an assistant coach for the Dragons a season ago but after last year’s coach Chad Clutter took over the reigns at John Marshall during the offseason, Hart stepped up and took over the position and is ready for his team to take the court.
“We are really excited to get the season started,” Hart said. “We are coming off a successful football season and the majority of our team is on the football team as well. They are good kids and now that they have a taste of success, we are hoping that momentum carries into basketball.
“We have a lot of returning players who are very athletic. They have some size and experience and I am looking forward to how it all comes together.”
The Dragons will have to fill several holes left by graduating seniors from last year’s team if they look to keep the school’s athletics at the top of its game.
Tre’ LeMasters, Ryan Clutter and Cole Clutter all received diplomas and they were all components of a team that finished with a 13-10 record.
Ryan Clutter is the all-time 3-point leader in school history and the second-leading scorer with nearly 1,500 points, while Cole Clutter’s defense and energy will be hard to replace.
“Ryan had the record for 3s in a season and in a career, while Cole is one of the most intense players I have ever seen and one of the best defenders we had on our team,” Hart said. “Both of them are great losses on offense and defense.”
Hart and the Dragons will look to senior forward and returning starter Trey Routt, who scored 13 points and collected nine rebounds per game a season ago. He is also the younger brother of Logan Routt, who is on the roster for Bob Huggins’ West Virginia Mountaineers this year.
Trey Routt was a big part of the success of the Cameron football team this season but is coming off of an injury, which shouldn’t affect him during basketball season.
“Trey is recovering,” Hart said. “He is an aggressive skill player who is good around the hoop. He also has the ability to knock down the outside jump shot.”
Senior guard Ben Hart is a three-year letterman who turned in 10 points per game and should be a major factor in the success this year.
“Ben has a nice shooting touch,” Hart said. “He is a great ball-handler and he see’s the floor really well.”
Junior forward Colby Brown is a returning starter who just turned in a spectacular season on the gridiron as the team’s quarterback and is now lacing up the sneakers for basketball.
“Brown is a tremendous athlete who showed great poise leading the football team to the playoffs,” Hart said. “I hope that leadership is able to carry over to the court. He has improved his game and will help on the inside and he can step out to hit the jump shot.”
All together, there are eight players from the football team who will take the court for the Dragons this winter. That includes juniors Robert Milliken (forward) and returning letterman Trey Scott (guard), sophomores Travis Mickey (forward) and Aidan Lucey (guard) and freshmen Garrett Scott and Noah Neely.
Another senior who will be suiting up for Hart and the Dragons is Hunter Aston, who played his freshman and sophomore seasons but did not play in his junior year.
“Aston has quickness, a good shooting touch and he is a good ball-handler,” Hart said. “We hope to get the rust off of him in the preseason and we are happy to see him back.”
Sophomore guard Dillon Meintel should see some action on the varsity level this year along with freshman Zane Clutter.
“I really like the makeup of our team,” Hart said. “We have a lot of athleticism and they are all good in the classroom as well.”
Hart’s assistant coaches are Matt Burge and Devin Overholt.
“Our motto is taking one game at a time because we play a tough schedule against some good teams with good coaches,” Hart said. “We cannot afford to look down the road and we just need to focus on getting better with every game and every practice.”