The Mauldin High boys basketball team won two of its first five games, and Mavericks coach Jeff Harrelson said he thinks his squad has plenty of potential.
“It has started well,” Harrelson said. “We are a really young team, not very experienced. Early on you would expect us to make some mistakes. We have worked hard and we are still trying to figure out our identity.”
A bright spot on the young team has been freshman Tay Mandle, a 6-foot wing who had 23 points in the Mavs’ 90-55 loss on the road to rival Hillcrest on Friday.
“He has been our most consistent player, actually,” Harrelson said. “He has been a very pleasant surprise. He has a good future. He doesn’t play like a freshman. He is poised. He doesn’t get rattled, which is rare for someone his age.”
Two seniors, point guard Mike Holmes and wing C.J. Thomas, will be expected to provide leadership, Harrelson said.
“C.J. had a really good football season,” Harrelson said. “We are still trying to get him in basketball shape. In basketball, we don’t go to a huddle for that 30 seconds to catch your breath. We are counting on him and Mike when we get in the region.”
Region 2-AAAA play will begin next for Mauldin. The Mavericks are scheduled to play Dorman at home Dec. 17 and at Gaffney Dec. 20. Those are the teams Harrelson said he expects to be the top two in the region.
“We will know quickly how good we will be,” Harrelson said.
Harrelson said this team is more committed than Mauldin teams in the past.
“One of our main goals is to come together as a team,” he said. “I think that is something that has hurt us the past few years. I don’t think we were fully committed to each other. This is a different group this year. So far I have been pleased with their enthusiasm and support of one another.”