Fulton hoops on the up and up

By Rob Tetro

Seniors Mark Pollock, Seth Britton, Jeremy Langdon and Austin Haskins left their mark on the Fulton boys’ basketball program.

Despite facing some rough moments throughout their careers, they didn’t quit. Coach Matt Kimpland said it was the efforts of his seniors that set the groundwork for the improvements Fulton showed this season.

As his seniors move to the next phase of their lives, Kimpland hopes they are physically and mentally prepared to give their best efforts regardless of the challenge they face.

As it is every season, the Red Raiders faced some of the best teams Section 3 has to offer. Despite taking its lumps against some of these premier teams, Fulton proved to be far more of a formidable opponent than they were in other seasons.

In a season that saw the Red Raiders score 150 more points than they did a season ago, they also had a 5-13 overall record, which left them one game shy of qualify for Sectional play.

Kimpland said some of his younger guys can move on toward next season feeling confident, having seen what it takes to be competitive with the impressive opponents Fulton plays against year in and year out.

Looking ahead, 2014-15 figures to be an exciting season for Fulton.

After moving up to varsity last year as a freshman, Cody Green will return as junior.

This season, Green met every expectation coaches had for him. Even with teams striving to slow him down, Green scored 311 points this season.

Sophomores and juniors got a lot of playing this season and the Red Raiders hope to benefit from this next season.

A junior who had a memorable season was Chris Jones, with nearly a double-double in every game, including games against perennial powers Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy.

Kimpland considers Jones to be the most improved player in the program. Despite showing progress over the summer, his breakout season was a bit of a surprise to his coaches.

Kimpland credits Green and Jones for how consistent their outside/inside play was this season and he is excited about what the duo can accomplish next season. Fulton also will see the return of third-leading scorer Josh Hudson next season.

Overall, the team appears excited and motivated headed into the off-season having doubled their win total from last season. Determined to build on the momentum the team established this season, seven of eight returning Red Raiders wasted little time beginning their preparation for next season.

The initiative his players have shown hasn’t gone unnoticed by Kimpland. In fact, he said Fulton’s future is even brighter because of the natural drive and enthusiasm his young team has displayed.

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