Claremore Daily Progress

October 27, 2012

Hillcats host Central Baptist in opener

RSU basketball starts Tuesday

Tim Ritter

CLAREMORE — Basketball season returns to the Claremore Expo Center on Tuesday as the No. 5-ranked Rogers State University Hillcats host Central Baptist in a non-conference opener.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The Hillcats come into the season opener looking to improve on last year’s 24-9 record that ended in the Elite Eight of the NAIA Division I National Tournament.

Under the leadership of third-year head coach Justin Barkley, the Hillcats will try to make their third consecutive trip to the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

This year’s Hillcats will be led by six seniors, including returning starters Donald Williams, Justynn Hammond and Kendrell Thompson. Also returning and looking to earn a starting role are seniors Alex Ewings, Oral Roberts transfer Ken Holdman and Brian Gibson. Holdman, a 6-foot, 185-pound product from Tulsa, brings NCAA Division I experience at the point guard position.

The 2012-13 men’s basketball roster consists of the following players: Brian Gibson (6-8, 225), Justynn Hammond (6-5, 215), J.C. Hartzler (6-0, 180), Jonathan Buckley (6-3, 185), C.J. Hyslop (6-6, 215), Trevar Mayon (6-7, 245), Ehron Ponds (6-1, 180), Kendrell Thompson (6-2, 205), Brandon Brantley (6-0, 175), Bo Bond (6-4, 210), Alex Ewings (6-3, 190) and Donald Williams (6-5, 225).