For much of his prep career, it was Marcus Hunt and the “others” at North Clayton, and last season Hunt led the Eagles to the Class AAAA Final Four before taking his talents up the highway to Georgia Tech.
But now the “others” who are still wearing an Eagles’ uniform are proving they can be successful as a unit.
“Last year, we depended on Marcus a lot so a lot of people didn’t play their game, but since he left, everybody plays their game,” said senior forward Devin Lewis. “Our strengths come out more and we need each other as a team. It’s not just get him the ball and he is going to go score. We need everybody to win.
“I think we are a better team this year because of that,” Lewis said. “We depend on each other. Everybody does everything together.”
Those who have also contributed this positive start are Stefan Bradley, Justin Varner, a four-year varsity player, Tracy Hector and Mt. Zion transfer D’Anthony Franklin.
“We’re playing hard and we can score,” North Clayton coach Martisse Troup said. “We’re actually scoring more points than we did when we had Hunt because of the fact that last year a lot of teammates kind of looked for him a lot to make plays.
“But now they realize they can play as well and they have to make plays as well,” Troup said.
The Eagles also understand how important this part of the basketball season is.
“This is crunch time right here,” Troup said. “As far as region play, everybody is in full-fledged region play so every game is important leading into the region tournament. So you’ve got to be on your ‘A’ game every single night.”
“We just want to keep winning in the region,” Lewis said. “We want to be first in the region so we can win one game and just get into state instead of having to win two.”
As far as Hunt, he is leading the 10-5 Yellow Jackets in scoring at 10.9 points a game.
“That is what I expected out of him,” Troup said. “He’s playing hard, staying humble and getting it done in the classroom. We are proud of him.”