English High Sports: Boys basketball team gelled during tough season

Despite his team finishing below .500 this season, English High School boys basketball coach Barry Robinson was delighted with his squad’s character.

“The team’s strength was unity,” said Robinson. “It was one of the most beautiful teams I’ve had in my 19 years. They were really together.”

The Blue and Blue, who finished with an 8-11 record, were led by seniors Tyrone Williams (power forward) and Wiley Shipman (small forward).

“They were fantastic,” said Robinson. “They grew into the leadership role. They are better individuals for being captains.”

The coach noted that Shipman was a late bloomer who came to English as a freshman with no basketball skills. He’s leaving as the Blue and Blue lead scorer for the season, averaging about 16 points per game, according to Robinson.

Robinson pegged Williams, along with senior Kwame Townsend, as the most improved on the team. He said the pair “grew basketball-wise” after committing themselves to the game.

The Blue and Blue struggled down the stretch, losing their last three games and ending the season with a 64-51 loss to Latin Academy on Feb. 16.

“It’s tough, especially for the seniors,” Robinson said about the team’s finish. “We just didn’t get the job done.”

The news is a mixed bag for next year as the Blue and Blue will lose seven seniors, but retain point guard Stanley Davis, who started as a freshman this season.

“Without Stanley, we probably wouldn’t have won one game,” said Robinson.

The coach, who noted Davis sees the floor and knows how to distribute the ball well, said he is able to sleep at night knowing he can build the program around the young point guard for the next three years.

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