Since taking on the task of rebuilding the Chattahoochee Valley Community College men’s basketball program, Richard Mahone has been by most measures successful.
In five seasons, he has a 111-47 record and a pair of trips to the Alabama Community College Conference final four. But Mahone is still seeking that ACCC championship that would qualify the Pirates for the national junior college tournament.
“That is the goal,” Mahone said. “We have been knocking on the door. We just need to get it done.”
Doug Key took the Pirates to the national tournament four times, most recently in 1992. The school shut down the men’s program in 1998 due to budget constraints.
CVCC brought back the men’s program in 2004 with Mahone, a former Carver High coach, at the helm.
The Pirates, who open the 2009-10 season tonight at 7:30 p.m. at home against Shelton State, return four players from last season’s 19-12 team that bowed out of the ACCC tournament with a first-round loss.
Guards Sidney Harris and Kevin Williams, forward Brian Thornton and post player Antron Dallis are back for their sophomore seasons.
Harris earned All-American honors last season and is headed to Tennessee State next season.
Williams likely will miss at least three weeks with a hairline fracture of his foot.
CVCC will have a fifth sophomore on the team. Jamarquis Steverson, a point guard from Manchester High, transferred from Atlanta Metro junior college.
Mahone also added several local players, including Joseph Thompson, a Central-Phenix City standout who was named the Ledger-Enquirer All-Bi-City Player of the Year last season.
“We brought in a great bunch,” Mahone said. “This is the best crop we’ve had. Now, they have to learn how to play at this level.”
CVCC, which split a pair of games in a recent jamboree has potential to be good this season, Mahone said.
“I see some potential, if we can master the intensity of the last four or five minutes of a game,” Mahone said. “Our kids have to be able to answer that rise in intensity.”
5, Shelton State, 7:30 p.m.; 9, at Middle Georgia, 7:30 p.m.; 12, Gordon, 7:30 p.m.; 14, Gadsden, 4 p.m.; 17, Atlanta Metro, 7:30 p.m.; 21, Middle Georgia, 1 p.m.; 23, at Marion Military, 7 p.m.; 27-28, at Atlanta Classic, TBA; 30, Marion Military, 7:30 p.m.
3, at Gadsden, 7:30 p.m.; 5, at Atlanta Metro, 6:30 p.m.; 7, at Jeff Davis, 8 p.m.; 10, at Gordon, 7:30 p.m.; 12, at Shelton State, 3 p.m.; 14, at Wallace-Selma, 7:30 p.m.
7, at L.B. Wallace, 7:30 p.m.; 11, Southern Union, 7:30 p.m.; 16, at Alabama Southern, 4 p.m.; 19, at Bishop, 7:30 p.m.; 21, at Enterprise, 7:30 p.m.; 25, Faulkner, 7:30 p.m.; 28, Alabama Southern, 7:30 p.m.
1, Wallace-Selma, 7:30 p.m.; 8, L.B. Wallace, 7:30 p.m.; 11, at Southern Union, 7:30 p.m.; 15, Bishop, 7:30 p.m.; 18, Jeff Davis, 7:30 p.m.; 22, Enterprise, 7:30 p.m.; 25, at Faulkner, 7:30 p.m.