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Edgewood Boys rebuff Rebels in season opener

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography

ELMORE – In the second phase of the Darryl Free era, the Edgewood Academy Wildcats tipped off the season with a 69-45 win over Coosa Valley in front of the Elmore faithful Monday night.

“We are looking to build our identity,” said Free. “We do not have a senior on this year’s roster, so we are very young. We must focus on what we can do well and what fits us as a team. Our goal is to be get better each time we step on the floor and develop a bit more continuity as a group each day.”

Monday night, the Wildcats (a Final Four team from a year ago) took a step in the direction of figuring out that identity jumping on Coosa Valley 19-6 after one period and then outscoring them 22-5 in the second to take a 41-11 lead into the intermission.

Free: “We are only returning one starter from last year’s team (Austin Champion). Austin was the leading scorer last year as a sophomore and I expect him to be a leader on this year’s team as well. We have about eight guys fighting for the other four starting spots and some of them are very young. I am excited to watch this team mature and mold together this year.”

He had a courtside view of the process as the Wildcats continued to pounce on the Rebels in the second half on the way to the 24-point win.

Champion and JB Collier led the Wildcats with 12 points each. Brody Whitt added 10 points as 10 Wildcats put points on the board in the win. Whitt, Cooper Hall and Tyler Wynn combined to grab 15 boards.

Brayden Wilson scored 27 for Coosa Valley and Ray Albright finished the night with eight points.

So what’s next for the Wildcats?

Free: “Our schedule is loaded with some of the best AISA basketball teams in the state across each classification. This year we play in the Pepsi Classic at Macon-East in early November and the Shoemaker Classic at Lakeside in mid-late December. Each tournament will give us a gauge on where we stand as a team and how we have progressed to that point.”

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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