For Conway White basketball coach Will Johnson, this year’s group will go down as one of the best that he has coached.
Conway White went undefeated in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference North division, with a 12-0 mark. The Kittens fell in the title game of the conference tournament to a talented North Little Rock ballclub. Even though the loss stung and left a bad taste in many of the staff’s and players’ mouths, it didn’t take away from what Conway White was able to accomplish during the season.
"The guys played tough and I thought that our defensive intensity bothered people and that helped us win some games," Johnson said. "Teams struggled all year with our press. I thought offensively, we also had some really good shooters. We didn’t have the size, but we had a mixture of good guards."
Timothy Boyd led the Kittens in scoring this year and he didn’t have a problem with creating his own shot. In many of Conway White’s games, he scored over 20 points.
"We had a few guys who really devoted time to shooting 3-pointers this summer," Johnson said. "We knew that a couple of them had to do their work for football, so all of these guys went in the gym on their own time to shoot 3-pointers."
Johnson said that several players made over 1,000 3-pointers during the summer, led by Boyd’s 1,300 made attempts.
"I told the guys during the season that one of my goals was to get us more possessions," Johnson said. "With us being so small, we have to use our quickness to create turnovers and get some baskets in transition. Turnovers give us more opportunities to score, so that’s why there’s such a huge emphasis on our defensive intensity."
According to other coaches in the conference, Conway White was the toughest team to play defensively. Some of the Kittens’ opposing coaches also state that coach Johnson had a deep bench.
"It took all 15 guys to win those games," Johnson said. "This is one of the better junior high teams that I have coached. The guys were hard workers and they were fun to coach."