Pilots look to secure District crown one game at a time

by Mark Collier
FULTON COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM – Fulton County High School Pilots Boys 2021-2022 Basketball team members include, front row, left to right, Chade Everett, Mario Turner, Drake Manus, and DK Gossett; second row, Jaylen Esters, JJ Brown, and Terrance Johnson; third row, Damien Hill, JD Smith, J’Shon Jones, and Tristan Kinney; and fourth row, Jayden Smith, Omarion Pierce, Max Gibbs, Christian Smith, and Orion Campbell. Not pictured are Head Coach Brian Hood and Assistant Coach Chuck Murphy. (Photo by Barbara Atwill) FULTON COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM – Fulton County High School Pilots Boys 2021-2022 Basketball team members include, front row, left to right, Chade Everett, Mario Turner, Drake Manus, and DK Gossett; second row, Jaylen Esters, JJ Brown, and Terrance Johnson; third row, Damien Hill, JD Smith, J’Shon Jones, and Tristan Kinney; and fourth row, Jayden Smith, Omarion Pierce, Max Gibbs, Christian Smith, and Orion Campbell. Not pictured are Head Coach Brian Hood and Assistant Coach Chuck Murphy. (Photo by Barbara Atwill)

Fulton County High School Pilots’ basketball Head Coach Brian Hood enters his second season at the helm and looks to improve on last year’s 9-11 record.

The Pilots were able to advance to the First District Championship game last season, as well as secure a spot in the First Region Tournament.

Only one starter will return from last season, in senior DK Gossett, who averaged 11.6 points per game last season, along with seniors Drake Manus and JJ Brown, juniors Omarion Pierce, and freshman Jayden Smith.

Also on this year’s team are seniors Mario Turner, Jaylen Esters, Chade Everett, and Terrance Johnson; juniors Orion Campbell, Max Gibbs, and JShon Jones; sophomores Christian Smith; and freshmen Tristan Kinney, Jadairian Smith, and Damien Hill.

According to Coach Hood, Gossett will be the team’s best three point shooter, who shot 30.3% from the perimeter last season, making 27 of his 89 attempts, and Campbell will be the team’s best free throw shooter.

Coach Hood has labeled Pierce and Brown as his best defensive players, and also will be the first two off the bench.

Taking the leadership roles on this year’s team will be Gossett, Pierce, Manus, and Campbell.

When asked who had improved the most in the returning players, Coach Hood named Gossett and Pierce.

When asked what his goals were for this season, Coach Hood answered with a very simple “win the next game”.

The Pilots will open the season Nov. 30 when they travel to Paducah to take on Community Christian Academy, and their home opener is scheduled for Dec. 3 as they host Christian Fellowship.



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