The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats are becoming a complete team according to head coach Johnny Rice.
A huge 78-58 win at Marion was proof positive of that fact.
"We played 10 guys," Rice said. "We got a total team effort. The bench came through in a big way."
Everyone knows about the likes of Kevaughn Allen and Anton Beard, but Rice said there are several others that are playing roles well and contributing to the Cats’ overall success.
Those names start with K.J. Hill, who is highly regarded as the state’s top football prospect going into next season. Rice believes Hill could be as good on the hardwood as he is on the gridiron.
Rice said Hill puts in the time in both sports and could be compared to South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington, who played receiver for the Gamecocks and is also a guard on the basketball team.
Also Jawan Eldridge who is getting attention from state colleges including UALR, UCA and Henderson State, is providing a consistent spark off the bench along with Kambrion Dickerson.
Add the inside presence of Khalil Gulley, who like Hill, had to learn on the fly after football season, as well as Chibu Ekeh and Sam Dunkum.
Rice said Adrian Moore has settled into his role as well.
"He could be the first option on a lot of teams," Rice said. "For us he is third and sometimes fourth, but he has settled in and accepted his role. He gets five, six shots per night and before you know it, has 10 points."
The Charging Wildcats have gone through the tough stretch of their schedule with two long trips to West Memphis and Marion and a huge home win against Jonesboro.
Round two of the schedule is right around the corner. If the Cats can keep the momentum going, repeating as state champs is a realistic possibility.