South Pointe Basketball Prepares for the Upcoming Season


Cesar Robles, Floor Director

As he observes his players working on their skills, Coach Melvin Watson seems confident that the South Pointe Stallions Basketball Team will build off what they did last season.  

The Stallions ended their season in the first round of the playoffs last year, with a final record of 11-13. One of the aspects that the fifth-year head coach hopes to change is how his team can close out games.

“We lost six or seven games in the last two minutes last season…the inexperience of kids being a full-time varsity player for the first time showed itself down the stretch of games,” Watson said.

Coach Watson is more confident in his team’s ability to close out games after their tough experiences last season; he hopes that his six returning varsity players can help lead the group toward success.

The team is expected to start off strong and maintain that level of success throughout the season.

“Our goal would probably be to make a run at the No. 2 or No. 1 position, and try to get to an upper state championship,” claims Watson.

He believes that once the group can find its identity, that they can become a strong contender. With his primarily new team, he wants to run a positionless style of offense while also having the option to play “big man” depending on the opponent they’re facing. Their style of defense will also revolve around the team they play.

Watson is counting on the returning players from last season to lead the team, especially Thomas Pietila, who Coach Watson holds in high regard.

“His desire to win can be somewhat misleading to others, but his intentions are good. He puts his teammates first and he wants everybody to be successful,” Watson said of Pietila.

The players are most excited about this year’s team chemistry along with their ability to hit long-range shots. They believe that their bond is stronger now than before and that their skill has also improved. The players also believe that they will at least reach the playoffs, no lower than the fifth seed.

Watson also has some words about his faith in how the group will perform.

“I really like this team, from top to bottom. I know at times they may not think it, because how hard I am with them in practice… when you’re having fun coaching kids like this, anything is possible.”

Contrary to what the coach thinks, the players are pleased with how he coaches the team; they believe that he needs to be harsh with them in order for them to succeed.

The varsity stallions are currently preparing for their first game of the season at Fort Mill on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Watson believes that they will be a tough first test for the season. He has not chosen the starters yet, but he is most certain that Seniors Thomas Pietila and Austin Wilson will start. The team believes that they are ready, and are excited to start the season.