Head coach: Stan Gatlin (eighth season)
Last season: 11-6, lost in region quarterfinals
Key players lost: DeMaryo Gatlin, Kejuan Dyson
Key players returning: Ken Hennings, Andrew Thompson, Darrien Lewis, C.J. Bonner, Nick Moore, Emmanuel Thurman
Brighton nearly won the regular season district title last season, but two narrow losses to Munford, including one in overtime, prevented that from happening.
With the team’s leading scorer and several key seniors returning, the Cardinals figure to be in the hunt for the title again this season in a new district that now includes Covington, Haywood and Ripley.
Lightning-quick senior guard Ken Hennings really came on the second half of last season and ended up leading the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game. Senior Darrien Lewis is a very athletic 6-3 forward who averaged nine points and eight rebounds a season ago.
The rest of the returning players were role players a season ago who figure to have bigger roles this season. Senior guard Andrew Thompson is the team captain and senior guards C.J. Bonner and Emmanuel Thurman each had some big games a season ago. Junior guard Nick Moore is another player with some varsity experience.
Head coach Stan Gatlin said freshmen Aiden Maclin and Tyler Alston, plus junior Jalen Terry, are newcomers who could make an immediate impact.
Several players missed the bulk of the summer schedule with injuries and a couple were busy playing football, so the team’s chemistry is still a work in progress.
“Because of all that I didn’t get a good look at our whole team during the summer,” Gatlin said. “We’re still tweaking some things and figuring stuff out. It’s been difficult because of that.”