Last season was good, 21 wins, but an early exit in the district semifinals has the Licking Wildcats hungry for more.
“I’d like to see us when another district and go deep in the playoffs,” said senior Nathan Wilson. “Coach (Glasgow) told us that his mom has a bucket list to see him coach in the final four, and we’d love to make that happen.”
The Wildcats are off to a great start. Despite a 58-54 loss to Class 2 top-ranked Hartville Tuesday night, the Class 3 second-ranked Wildcats are 12-1.
A big reason for that success is the senior duo of Brady Smith and Nathan Wilson. The pair have been friends and teammates since early elementary. They’ve always been good basketball players, but a growth spurt to 6’5” elevated both players’ games the last couple years.
“Brady is superior athlete, above the rim, extremely athletic,” said head coach Ben Glasgow. “Nathan is very crafty around the basket, great shooter and has a sense for making big shots.”
Smith has become one of the area’s most notorious dunkers with 25 dunks in 13 games this season.
Wilson, who earned MVP honors at the Cabool Tournament last week, is one of the area’s most lethal outside shooters and is averaging better than 24 ppg.
Combined with a talented roster of returning players, the Wildcats believe the time is now to make a run, and you better believe this proud small-town Ozarks community is excited about it.
“I got my haircut today and that’s all you get when you go to the barbershop is shop talk about basketball and it’s fun when you’re doing well,” said Glasgow. “It’s fun to talk about.”
“Just walking through the crowd I can’t get to the locker room without five, six, seven people stopping and talking to me, wishing me luck and telling me let’s get that this year,” said Smith. “People know we’re good and they want to come out and see us.”
The Wildcats look to get back on track Friday night, hosting Stoutland. Then it’s another major test as they host Class 3 6th ranked Mtn Grove.