Carmi Kiwanians got a sense of what to expect from the high school basketball season at their noon meeting Thursday.
Carmi-White County High School varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball coaches Tracy Steed and Kevin Wolff, respectively, entertained the group at its weekly meeting at the Farm Bureau Building.
After dropping their first four games of the season in a tournament at Harrisburg last week, Steed’s Lady Bulldogs have opened Black Diamond Conference East play with wins over Hamilton County and Eldorado this week, while Wolff’s squad debuted this week with a pair of wins at the Du Quoin tournament.
The Bulldogs are led by seven seniors and a young head coach who is not much more than a decade removed from his playing career. Wolff, a 2004 CWC grad and a member of the Carmi Sports Hall of Fame, said his team’s goals include winning this week’s Du Quoin tournament, winning 20 games, winning the Black Diamond Conference’s East Division and winning a Class 2A regional.
The ‘Dogs will participate in the Eldorado Holiday Tournament later this month and will host their own five-team, round-robin tourney in January. The other four teams in Carmi’s tournament will be Mt. Carmel, Mt. Vernon, Ind., Fairfield and Harrisburg.
Wolff expects Lawrenceville and Benton (both of whom are on the ‘Dogs’ schedule this year) to be among the toughest teams in the area this year, along with Mt. Carmel and Teutopolis.
While Wolff’s roster is heavy on upperclassmen, Steed’s roster is more youthful, with only one senior and three juniors joining six freshmen and four sophomores. The Lady Bulldogs should be a strong contender to win their conference after having tied for second last year and returning six players with varsity experience (four of them with starting experience).
Steed, who played her high school ball at Gibson Southern in Indiana, later played at Rend Lake College and the University of Evansville, and earned a spot in the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame, said of her team’s season, “We’re going to look at it as a journey and take it one step at a time.”
The Lady Bulldogs will be in action tonight at home against Union County, Ky. The Bulldogs will play twice on Saturday at the Du Quoin Tournament.