GREAT FALLS -- Great Falls has turned out great basketball players for years. This season, the 25-1 Red Devils are blessed with tremendous depth to go along with a lot of talent.
Coach John Smith has taken advantage of that depth. He can go to his bench and not miss a beat.
Many high schools leave their top players in the game as long as they aren't in foul trouble. They might get 30 minutes on the floor in every game.
Point guard Leroy "Trey" Roseboro and power forward Torrey Craig are starters, but only average about 18 minutes a game. The members of the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association were obviously aware of that when they voted for the Class A all-state team.
Roseboro and Craig were chosen for the team. They will lead Great Falls into the Upper State championship game at 12:45 p.m. Saturday against Landrum at the BI-LO Center in Greenville. Landrum's Alex Wilson was also named all-state.
Both players could have had higher individual stats if they played more. But that has never been the big prize in Great Falls where playing for state championships takes top priority.
Being named all-state is a first-time honor for both.
Early in the season, Roseboro was a scorer. He pumped in 22 points in a game and was named MVP of the Lindberg Moody Tournament at Northwestern, which the Red Devils won.
"His points are down now because defenses have keyed on him," Smith said of the 5-10 senior.
Roseboro says his job on the court is two-fold: "Get everyone involved in the game, and make sure we win."
His focus is solidly on the Landrum game. He said they had a good practice Wednesday.
"I have to push the ball, make my mid-range jumpers and penetrate," Roseboro said.
Craig is a 6-4 junior whose game keeps getting better. Smith said Craig is a great offensive rebounder.
"Lately, he's been knocking down his 3's. He's learning to take those shots when he is open. He's our leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker," Smith said.
Craig had his best game to date in Tuesday's third-round playoff win over Hunter-Kinard-Tyler. He scored 28 points.
"I'm a pretty physical and aggressive player. (Tuesday) a lot of my points came from offensive rebounds," Craig said, perhaps overlooking the three 3-pointers he hit.
That's not surprising though. These guys are team players.
"The depth on this team allows us to sub five at a time. It makes it hard to put up big individual numbers, but we only want to win games," Smith said.
Karl Lyles | 329-4032 | firstname.lastname@example.org