Vikings' Cain has more work to do before retiring

alt

Northgate's Adrian Tolbert is one of three seniors who have been with the basketball program the last four years. The Vikings return to Region 4-AAAAA play tonight when they travel to play subregion rival McIntosh in Peachtree City.

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
After 30 years of coaching high school basketball, Northgate’s boys coach Mack Cain has experienced both the high and lows that go along with the job.
However as he gets set to retire at the end of the season, Cain still gets plenty of satisfaction out of teaching young men the game he loves.
The beginning of the end officially begins tonight when Cain’s Vikings resume their season after a short holiday break on the road against Region 4B-AAAAAA foe McIntosh.
Northgate comes into the game against the Chiefs with a 3-7 record and a 2-4 mark in region play.
McIntosh is 8-5 overall and 5-1 in league play.

Northgate played some of its best basketball right before the holiday break, beating Forest Park 40-29 and Our Lady of Mercy 54-45.

Things didn’t go as well for the Vikings in their one game during the holidays as they fell 81-34 to Hillgrove.

“We probably didn’t practice as hard as we should have,” Cain said.” It was the holidays, and I was trying to give them some time off, and that was by fault. Still I think we took some good things out of that loss.”

Cain thinks his team is talented enough to send him out with some big wins down the stretch.

“I have told our kids, I think the region is wide open,” Cain said. “There are some good teams, but I don’t feel like we are that far behind. We are excited about it.”

Cain’s biggest challenge this season has been trying to replace 10 seniors who brought plenty of experience to the court last year. Eight of those upperclassman had been in the program since the ninth grade.

Point guard Tre Stargell a transfer from Newnan has been playing the point for the Vikings.

Adrian Tolbert, who has grown to 6-7, has stepped into the center spot for the Vikings and has turned into a great shot blocker for the Vikings.

“He didn’t get a lot of minutes last year, but he has really turned into one of our best players this year.”

Tolbert went out for football this year and it has helped him with his basketball skills.

[Football] coach [Tommy] Walburn and I convinced him to go out for football and it has done him a world of good, especially with his footwork.

“Playing football made him so much more physical and tougher,” Cain said.

Tolbert along with Peyton Cain and Luke Motzel are the only seniors who have been in the program for four years.

“We are young, and we didn’t have a very good summer, so that hurts you,” Cain said.

It’s going to be a sprint for Cain has he closes out his career. Northgate is scheduled to play 12 games in four weeks.

“Being my last year, I am kind of excited about these last 12 games,” he said. “I have mixed emotions, but I am looking forward to it.”

Tonight’s basketball games also include East Coweta hosting Sandy Creek in a non-region contest to complete a home-and-home series.

Sandy Creek swept East Coweta in the first meeting between teams on Dec. 4 in Tyrone.



More Sports

MOAB grapplers win gold at NAGA state championships

By CHRIS GOLTERMANN cgoltermann@newnan.com Athletes representing MOAB Fighting Concepts in Newnan had a steady hold of more than their opp ... Read More


Local Racing

Johnson in contention heading into final race of season tonight at AMS

By DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com The final week of the Thursday Thunder racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway is expected to generate p ... Read More


Pluskota captures doubles title at Evansville ITF event

Former Tennessee All-American and Northgate High tennis standout Natalie Pluskota and her partner Brooke Austin captured the a doubles champ ... Read More


Swords barely misses cut at USGA Girls Amateur

Newnan golfer Annie Swords was unable to hang around for match play at this year’s USGA Girls Amateur. While making her third trip in ... Read More


Area Golf Digest

Cameron Daniel wins division at Hurricane Junior event

Cameron Daniel kept a title close to home as the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour hosted a two-day tournament last weekend at Canongate-on-White O ... Read More

Area triathlete training to compete in XTERRA World Championships

When Robbie Dunlap is on his mountain bike, running long distances or diving into the water for a swim, he is in a world of his own. The 23- ... Read More