Sequatchie County has won basketball games the past couple of seasons only because of Daniel Cartwright's contributions. Now, they're winning games as a team with Cartwright as a leader and not just a scoring threat.
Cartwright did his usual scoring in wins over Marion County and Grundy County, averaging 20 points per contest. His distribution efforts went off the charts as well, averaging 10 assists per game and chipping in seven rebounds and 3.5 steals. His overall efforts made him the Times Free Press Player of the Week.
"Daniel's just a heads-up kid," Sequatchie coach Jason Smith said. "In the end, he's just a competitor that wants to win. We've had to rely on him a lot before for his scoring, but he enjoys passing the ball off and the guys are doing a great job of finishing."
Smith said he and Cartwright, who went over 1,500 points last weekend, sat down after last season and looked over things the senior guard could do to become an even better player.
"We saw a lot of box-and-ones last season," Smith said. "Daniel had to get his shot off quicker coming off of screens, and work on his pull-up jumper and getting shots off the move. He has good vision, and we knew if other guys could get involved, it would help alleviate the amount of attention that he was getting last season.
"We've been fortunate enough to have some other guys step up."
Among those who have been contributing is Cartwright's first cousin, Dakota Hudson, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds in the Indians' 97-76 victory over Marion on Tuesday. He added 18 points and 10 rebounds against Grundy, a 68-34 victory.
Kegan Frederick also had solid contributions, averaging 13.5 points and eight rebounds this past week for the 5-2 Indians. Smith knows everybody's help will be necessary for Sequatchie to compete in a balanced District 7-AA.
"We know that any team is capable of winning on any given night," he said. "You have some good coaches, good teams and good players, and with the closeness of the schools in the [Sequatchie] Valley, it's always going to be competitive with each other.
"We're playing to seed ourselves for the postseason. We want to do the best we can in our district, but it's such a fun district to play in because the crowds are always big and the competition is always tough."