By Steve Williams
The old saying in sports about “offense sells tickets and defense wins championships” comes to mind when considering what Carter High School’s boys basketball team has done on the court this season.
The Hornets, under new coach Joby Boydstone, didn’t win the District 3-AA regular season championship, but they averaged 92.3 points per game, which just might make them the highest scoring team in Knoxville prep basketball history.
“Their scoring average is No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in the nation among schools reporting to MaxPreps, which is about all of them,” team statistician Raymond Wynn said Friday.
Carter, which was scheduled to play homestanding Union County in an elimination game this past Saturday night, scored 100 or more points nine times in the regular season.
But sometimes hitting the century mark wasn’t enough. The Hornets actually were 6-3 in games when they scored 100 or more points.
Overall, Carter was 19-7 overall in regular season play and finished 6-4 in the district.
Win or lose, the Hornets have been exciting all season, and an attraction.
“I’ve noticed an increase in the turnout of fans at home and on the road this season,” said Wynn, a longtime Carter supporter. “They’ve come to check it out. We all want to be entertained.”
In their highest scoring output of the season, Carter defeated Gatlinburg-Pittman 114-90 on Feb. 4.
Only three times this season have the Hornets scored under 80 points.
In 26 games, Carter scored 2,400 points and allowed 2,032 points.
Boydstone brought his fast-paced style of play from Georgia. “Disciplined chaos” is what he calls it.
“His offensive style is very energetic,” said Tucker Greene after the Hornets pulled out a 85-74 win over Union County at home on Feb. 7. “ If you don’t run, you don’t play. Every time down the court. You’ve got to keep running and running. If you stop running, he’ll get you out to get your breath and get some new legs in.
“It’s been real effective, because we’re all fast. Many of us played football, so we work on our speed every practice throughout the year. So when you run in basketball and run in football, it just carries over. You’re doing the same thing you did in the last sport.
“The transition wasn’t hard at all, because in football you’re running sprints and in basketball you’re running a new thing called system, which is kind of the same thing.”
Greene is joined by footballers Hank Black, Charles Mitchell and Toy ‘Shawn Winton on the basketball team.
Jordan Bowden and Blake Dutton join Mitchell, Black and Greene in the Hornets’ starting lineup.
“I think we can go far,” said Greene, who helped lead Carter to a 9-1 record in football last fall. “Tonight we didn’t have our best game, but we still came out with a W. When we put things together like we have before, nobody can beat us. Our goal is MTSU.”
That’s the site of the TSSAA state tournament.
District tourney action finishes up this week and then it will be on to the regionals and Sub-State play.
If you’re a prep basketball fan, and the Hornets are still in the running, they would be worth checking out, if you haven’t already.