MARION, S.C. — A trio of new high school basketball coaches begin the season with their teams this week.

Leon Johnson takes the helm for the Marion High School boys basketball team.

“It’s going great,” Johnson said. “The guys are learning a new system and things are going as they should and think with a little time things will get better.”

The longtime former Loris High School basketball coach said he likes that his team is getting involved and feels he has an outstanding group led by returning starters A.J. Vaught, Mac Washington and T.J. Sanders.

The Swamp Foxes opened the season Monday at home against Carolina Forest and will have a busy week at Mullins Wednesday and Conway Thursday along with hosting Lumberton Saturday.

Marion girls basketball coach Crasten Davis joins the team after leading the Creek Bridge boys basketball team through four seasons, including a playoff appearance last year.

Davis said he wanted his team to be conditioned during the off season and after tryouts was ready to install his offensive and defensive system.

“We just trying to get them where they needed to be during the preseason,” Davis said. The Lady Swamp Foxes played quality opponents in scrimmages and preseason games before the opener.

“I’m going to lean on the seniors heavily,” Davis said. Keyla Britt Yamsah Buey and Precious Davis lead the group. The team also features a core of veteran juniors and talent sophomores.

Davis said with the high hopes and expectations he will be relying on a collection of talent.

“We all are going to have days where we pick up each other,” Davis said.

Davis said the message to his team getting ready for a tough region play is not looking past any opponents and taking it one game at a time.

“We want to make to are doing what we can to dictate pace,” he said.

Mullins Auctioneers coach Eric Troy gets his first full season as the official head coach after leading the team last year to a region title as an assistant stepping up to guide the squad on sidelines.

“We’re working on conditioning and fundamentals,” Troy said. “We just want to fine tune the small details we weren’t paying attention to last year and trying to get them to understand the game a little better.”

Troy said he wants his squad to use more than athleticism to win games and do more teaching.

The Auctioneers return most of the team with seniors C.J. Gilchrist, Tyler Sainvil, Sammy Pressley, Shaq Gordon and Marquise Roberts leading the group. The team also adds its core group of starters from it’s junior varsity program.

“We expect leadership,” he said. “They’re being positive leaders on the court and the biggest thing is becoming a family.”

Mullins will also include former Creek Bridge basketball players.

“I think that we are providing them with a new way of approaching sports and going at a high level,” Troy said.

Troy said he wants to provide a good situation for his team and wants them to fight for one another in quest make another deep postseason run.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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