Dickson boys basketball already showing positive signs as season looms

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Johnny Smith and the Comets open the season at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 at Springer.

It’s no secret that team chemistry isn’t built overnight. Every season features different athletes who need time adjust to one another.

Don’t tell that to the Dickson High School boys basketball team though, as the Comets are ahead of the pack and soaring in the right direction.

“They’re already starting to buy into the team stuff, which is encouraging,” said Dickson head coach Norman Tippeconnie. “It means, ‘Playing for each other, making the extra pass, playing defense and helping out on defense.’ Those little things can make us better. It’s a good group, so I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Only time will tell if that happens, but the Comets should learn a lot during their season opener on the road against Springer at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. Dickson fell by four points last season and the Cardinals have a slight advantage with three games under their belts.

“Springer is a pretty good small-school team,” Tippeconnie said. “We have to play well to give ourselves a chance at their place.”

That is just the tip of the iceberg though, as the 2021-22 season features plenty of other difficult matchups.

“Our schedule isn’t any easier. It’s a lot of the same opponents and the conference is really good, so we have to be better,” Tippeconnie said. “We’re working from the understanding that we have get better every day. And it’s what we do in practice that’s going to determine the outcomes of games. Getting kids to understand how hard we work to improve every day is really important.”

Dickson has plenty of depth to help with that, highlighted by returners Jzavionn Bennett, Johnny Smith and Jager Porter.

However, other Comets will also need to step up.

“We have some kids who played a lot of minutes for us last year, so we expect them to improve and be better,” Tippeconnie said.

Everyone will have to play a role, too, as the Lake Country Conference is no cakewalk.

“Just looking around the conference, it’s going to be a battle every night,” Tippeconnie said. “Lone Grove is much improved. Kingston is Kingston. I saw Sulphur this summer and I thought they played really well. It’s going to be tough every night in the conference, so we have to find a way to scratch out some wins.”

And don’t forget about Plainview. The Indians are second on the schedule as Dickson makes the short trek west at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30.

“Plainview will be better. I saw them this summer,” Tippeconnie said. “No one is going to be easy for us, but we understand that, too. We’ll go play them and see what happens.”

That mentality will remain throughout the season as the Comets focus on enjoying the ride.

“I like the kids I have out here, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and hopefully they do, too,” Tippeconnie said. “It’s basketball season, so that’s exciting to me.”