Experience will lead Pineville to a promising season

Published 3:38 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

PAUL LUNSFORD

Contributing writer

The Pineville Mountain Lions could have the right pieces it takes to win in the 2022-23 season.

Pineville coach Brad Levy (33-46) returns for his fourth season and believes his team is ready to compete now.

“We have a good balance of veteran returners and young players with experience. Our kids have played a lot of basketball together throughout the years so they know what to expect from each other,” said Levy.

“We are excited to take the floor and start competing.”

Pineville finished the 2022 season with a 13-18 mark, but lost five of its last six games to close the year. Starting guard for the Mountain Lions will be sophomore Sawyer Thompson, who averaged 21.6 points per game. He should break the 1,000-point mark later this season.

“Sawyer is a high-level scorer, but has worked hard this offseason to develop more of his all-around game as a defender, facilitator and leader,” said Levy.

“Sawyer works harder than any player I have ever been around as a coach.”

Ashton Moser, a 6-foot-3 forward, returns for his sophomore season. Moser averaged 9.2 points per game last season.

“Ashton is a player who we expect to make a big jump this season in production. His length and athleticism make him a versatile scorer and defender,” said Levy.

Levy expects 5-6 sophomore guard Kaiden Robbins to be ready for the season to begin.

“Kaiden is a high-motor guard who is more than willing to do the dirty work needed to help our team be successful. His offensive skill-set is starting to come along with his ability to defend and make hustle plays,” added the coach.

Dylan Abner is a 6-3 sophomore forward for the Lions.

“Dylan is a big strong forward who we are excited to have healthy. Dylan’s strengths are as a defender and rebounder who is willing to stick his nose in there and mix it up,” said Levy. “We are excited to work with him and watch him grow.”

Isaac Brock is a 6-foot senior guard for Pineville.

“Isaac is a transfer from Northern Kentucky, who we are excited to add to our program,” said Levy. “Isaac is a capable 3-point shooter who also likes to do the dirty work on the defensive end needed to be successful.”

Guard Wyatt Caldwell will provide Pineville with another scoring threat from the perimeter.

“He has worked extremely hard to get in basketball shape, and we will call on him in spots to handle the load as a lead guard,” added Levy.

Senior forward Evan Biliter (6-2) averaged 13.2 ppg and 4.7 rpg last season for the Lions. Brady Phipps, a 6-5 junior center, was injured most of 2022 and is back this season.

“Brady has worked hard to come back from injury and we are excited to have him healthy,” said Levy. “We expect him to help us out down low with his unique mix of size and athleticism. His strength and quickness will be an asset for our team with his rebounding and scoring around the basket.”

Levy also is counting on 6-6 junior center Sam Caldwell.

“Sam has made the biggest jump over the offseason of anyone in our program,” Levy said. “Sam has good hands, good feet and a soft touch that go well with his size to allow him to score in a variety of ways.”

Levy said the priority this season is to advance to the 13th Region tournament.

“Every team at the start of the season wants to represent their region at Rupp Arena,” he said. “And we want to put ourselves in position to compete for that opportunity.”

 

PINEVILLE ROSTER

Coach: Brad Levy (Fourth season)

Assistant Coaches: Robert Daniels, Allen Harris, Scott Jeffery, Wayne Gentry, Mark Moser

2021-2022 Record: 13-18

24 Ashton Burns G Sr.

33 Evan Biliter F Sr.

45 Rickie Jeffries F Sr.

10 Isaac Brown G Sr.

11 Logunn Littles F Jr.

44 Brady Phipps C Jr.

45 Sam Caldwell C Jr.

0 Sawyer Thompson G So.

1 Ashton Moser F So.

4 Kaiden Robbins G So.

5 Charles Abner F So.

20 Wyatt Caldwell G So.

11 Dylan Rutherford G. Fr.

22 Ethan Jackson F Fr.

 

PINEVILLE SCHEDULE

Nov. 29 – at Clay County

Dec. 3 – Jersey Mike’s Classic

(vs. Franklin County, at Georgetown)

Dec. 6 – at Owsley County

Dec. 9 – Berea

Dec. 12 – at Thomas Walker (Va.)

Dec. 13 – Oneida Baptist

Dec. 15 – Red Bird

Dec. 20-22 – Berea Holiday Classic

Dec. 20 – vs. East Ridge, at Berea)

Dec. 28-30 – Chain Rock Classic (H)

(Dec. 28 – Cumberland Gap, Tn.)

Jan. 7-10 – 13th Region All “A” Classic

(Jan, 7 – vs. Middlesboro, at Barbourville)

Jan. 12 – at Knox Central

Jan. 13 – Burgin

Jan. 17 – Middlesboro

Jan. 19 – Whitley County

Jan. 21 – Dan Cummins Classic

(vs. Paris, at Scott County)

Jan. 24 – at Barbourville

Jan. 28 – Lynn Camp

Jan. 31 – Harlan County

Feb. 7 – at Middlesboro

Feb. 9 – Williamsburg

Feb. 10 – Somerset

Feb. 13 – at Red Bird

Feb. 16 – at Jackson County

Feb. 18 – at Burgin