WILSON — After going 14-10 under first-year head coach Christian Dedmon, the Wilson Eagles hope familiarity helps the team soar next season.

WILSON — After going 14-10 under first-year head coach Christian Dedmon, the Wilson Eagles hope familiarity helps the team soar next season.

The Eagles made it to the district round of the playoffs, but lost a close game on the road to Fox to end their season abruptly.

Veteran leadership will key to the Eagles success this season, as they lost just two seniors from last years team.

“Game experience is big, especially when you get into close games,” Dedmon said. “You really have to have composure and I think  that is really something these guys gained over the course of last year. I think we are going to see some of that build over the summer as well.”

Returning this fall, the Eagles will have seven seniors including Luke Honea, Carson Fulton, Garrett McMahon and Logan Schaaf who were four of the starting five from last year.

Honea was the Eagles leading scorer last season, finishing with 13 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Teaching the younger kids joining the team is one of Dedmon’s priorities this summer, as he tries to adjust his coaching style to help them grow.

“The biggest thing with the younger kids is them understanding what I am wanting offense- and defense-wise,” Dedmon said.

“That shot that you take in junior high you don’t necessarily take in high school. That is a transition there that they are not looking to score.”

In now his second season with the team, Dedmon uses a lot of his free time trying to study the game and trying to implement changes on offense and defense.  

Besides the game of basketball, Dedmon is trying to develop his interpersonal skills with his team.

“What things did I do or say last year that I could do or say better this year,” Dedmon said. “Little coaching points. How can I teach someone better or How can build someones shot better?”

With veteran leadership, game experience and a determination to improve, Dedmon believes his team has the potential to have a better year next season.

The reason why he feels this way is based on off-the-court stuff his team has been doing.

“Their physical condition, I know some of those football guys coach Ridley has got them lifting and that has paid off real well,” Dedmon said.

“I have noticed with a handful guys, especially the younger guys and the older guys too, they are shooting the basketball better. They are also understanding what is a good shot and what is a bad shot.”