Seth Womble got a glimpse of what he wants to build at Western Harnett in the Eagles’ final boys basketball game of the season, a Feb. 21 70-59 loss at West Brunswick, the first playoff appearance for the program since 2007.
The Eagles controlled the game from start to almost-finish. Western led 18-9 after one quarter, 37-23 at halftime and didn’t give up the lead, aside from trailing 1-0, until West Brunswick took it for good with 3 minutes left.
“I’ll coach for that game for all of next year,” Womble said. “The guys were positive, they were coaching one another. They weren’t yelling, they weren’t mad, it was just a dream come true.”
And it was nearly the Eagles’ first playoff win since the early 2000s.
After wrapping up his fourth year at Western, Womble is now the longest-tenured coach the Eagles have had since Mel Hankinson coached the Eagles from 2003-07.
With his first class of seniors that have been in the program all four years, Western (10-14) won the most games since 2010.
“I think having anybody in place is going to help the stability,” Womble said. “We’ve had to change some things but the style of play really hasn’t played a bunch.”
Darnell Carver led the team in points (14.8) and steals (2.1). Jamar Butler (12.4) and Da’un Hamm (11.5) also scored more than 10 points per game and Allan Taylor led the team in rebounds (7.5).
Hamm, Keith Carver (7.1 ppg) and two reserves are graduating, but Western has a solid core back. It’ll come in handy as the Eagles will play in the new Tri-County 6 Conference next year with Lee County, Southern Lee, Triton, Harnett Central and Union Pines.
“I think next year, we’ll build on this,” Womble said.