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December 8, 2008

Gate City Hoops Preview

Gate City, Va. -- Gate City boys basketball coach Scott Vermillion could face one of his most challenging seasons in 2008-2009.

Gate City has been to the Final Four three of the last four years and has finished runner-up in the State the last two years.

Gate City lost four starters from last year's team (about 45 ppg in scoring) that went 23-6. Also promising 6-9 post-player Josh Johnson is out for the year with a torn ACL.

"Losing Johnson creates a big wrinkle for us both ways," said Vermillion. "We are gonna miss him.''

A bright spot for Gate City is the return of all-state point guard Tihlee Anderson (18 ppg avg last season) for his final year.

Anderson's strengths on offense are his ability to take the ball to the basket with a kiss off the glass for a bucket and/or free throws, or a dish to a teammate for an easy basket.

"Tihlee's not real big (5-9, 165 lbs), but he plays big," said Vermillion.

Also back from last year's team for the Devils are 6-1 junior forward Trevor Smith, 5-10 senior guard Tanner Herron, 6-2 junior forward Austin Arwood, and 6-0 sophomore guard Jordan Potts.

"We are young and don't have a whole lot of size," said Vermillion. "We are gonna try to play a fast-paced game on offense; on defense we'll press and trap--try to make the other team uncomfortable."

The Clinch Mountain District, in only its second year of existence, should have an exciting and competitive basketball season.

Gate City, who has won eight straight district championships, is the Clinch Mountain District Coaches' choice to take their second straight title. Gate City could face stiff competition from Lebanon, which returns its entire team. The Pioneers were picked to finish second, and vie with Gate City, Virginia High and Lee for the conference championship this season.

Gate City will host John Battle Jan. 9 for its first district game.

Gate City will begin the season, Saturday at Cawood, Ky. The Blue Devils will also participate in the Arby's Classic, facing Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka Fla.) Friday Dec. 26 at 8:30 p.m. University of Louisville signee Rakeem Buckles (6-8) is Pace's top player.

Gate City's 2008-09 Boys Basketball roster: and Schedule:

1 Jordan Potts 6-0, So Guard
4 Cody Kaylor 5-9, Jr Guard
11 Trevor Smith 6-1, Jr Forward
10 Dustin Jones 5-10 Sr Guard
12 Tihlee Anderson 5-9 Sr Guard
14 Austin Arwood 6-2 Jr Forward
20 Tyler Bird 5-9 Fr Guard
22 Tanner Herron 5-10 Jr Guard
24 Evan Deboard 6-4 Jr Guard
30 Wes Hughes 6-0 So Forward
34 Austin Glass 6-0 Jr Forward

The Schedule
Dec. 6 Cawood, Ky............Away
Dec. 13 Honaker...............Home
Dec. 16 JI Burton.............Away
Dec. 19 Powell Valley.........Away
Dec. 23 Pulaski...............Home
Dec. 26-31 Arby's Classic, Viking Hall
Jan. 2 JI Burton..............Home
Jan. 3 Pulaski................Away
Jan. 9 John Battle............Home
Jan. 10 Abingdon..............Home
Jan. 16 Va. High..............Home
Jan. 17 Letcher Central, Ky...Away
Jan. 20 Lebanon...............Home
Jan. 23 Lee...................Away
Jan. 27 John Battle...........Away
Jan. 31 Powell Valley.........Home
Feb. 3 Lebanon................Away
Feb. 6 Va. High...............Away
Feb. 7 Cawood, Ky.............Home
Feb. 13 Lee...................Home
 

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