Jonathan Deal - The News Courier - 1/18
The following is the first in a series of stories highlighting Limestone County's top boys and girls varsity basketball players in preparation for next week's Limestone County Basketball Tournament.
When it comes to high school basketball, Matt Bozeman has just about seen it all.
The West Limestone senior was a key member of the school's 2015 state championship team and will lead the Wildcats into next week's Limestone County Tournament as one of the favorites.
Bozeman has come a long way since starting the season as a substitute his sophomore season. In fact, it was around this time two years ago that Bozeman was thrust into the starting point guard role when the starter was lost by injury for the season.
“Everything is a lot slower now,” said Bozeman. “At first, everything was fast and all I was concerned about was getting the ball up court to Grant (Baugher) or Hunter (Morgan). Now, I can handle bringing the ball up and setting up our offense.”
Baugher and Morgan, a 2015 first-team All-State selection, graduated. Bozeman and Evan Hill are the only remaining members from that 2015 state championship team. After being a role player on that title-winning team, Bozeman has been a Wildcats leader the last two seasons.
With him running the point and players like Reed Blankenship and Evan Hill able to grab rebounds, the Wildcats started the season 10-1 and were ranked as high as No. 4 in Class 4A. Since then they've gone 4-4, but it's more due to a step up in competition than dip in form.
During a two-week span before Christmas, West Limestone played Austin, the No. 1 team in 6A and Tanner, the top ranked team in Class 2A, twice.
“It makes us a lot better,” Bozeman said. “Coach told us, 'We're going to play teams like this when we get to the playoffs.'”
Before the Wildcats attempt to make another playoff run, they will enter the Limestone County Tournament as the No. 2 seed. They will play the winner of Ardmore and East Limestone in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27.
All county tournament games will be played at East Limestone High School.