Throughout its history, North Augusta rarely has been thought of as a basketball powerhouse.
But under the tutelage of coach Al Young, the Yellow Jackets had their best season in recent memory (21-5, 10-0 Region 4-AAAA) this season, winning the Region 4-AAAA title and three playoff games before falling to Wren, 66-64, in the state quarterfinals.
Young, a former pro football player, is heading into his fifth year as the Yellow Jackets' coach.
It was the second season in a row The Augusta Chronicle South Carolina All-Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year had led the team into the playoffs.
North Augusta will graduate perhaps the best starting front court in school history in May, but that doesn't mean next season will be a so-called rebuilding year.
Young says the 2008-09 squad has potential despite the loss of senior forwards Bryan Narcisse, Ronald Sims and Quinton Harmon.
"We've got a fairly good nucleus of kids returning," Young said. "We've got a very good JV team and our B-Team (ninth grade) did well, so I'm hoping this can be a springboard for us to continue in a good positive direction."
Where this year's team was led by it's front court, next year's team will be led by a deep and experienced back court including seniors Darell Curry and Brandon Curry and Brett Johnson.
Young said the team will have to find replacements for Narcisse, Sims and Harmon and depth from a group including forwards Charles Taylor, Terrance Marion, L.J. Perry, Devon Davis and Ricardo Hodges.
Asked about his expectations for next season, Young said "I think we're going to be quick -- and I like quickness."
"... We're going to play an up-tempo kind of game. We're going to run when we can and play pressure defense as much as we can."
Reach J. Scott Trubey at (706) 823-3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.