Weatherford boys’ basketball coach Kevin Pope wants his players to keep their eyes on the big picture as they battle through the program’s rebuild.

“We’re a very young team, one of the youngest in the state in 6A play,” Pope told Texas Scorecard of his Kangaroos team composed of five sophomores, four juniors and just one senior. “I try to keep the guys focused on working hard in practice every day and doing the things that will help us to compete now as we prepare for the future.”

Pope said the team’s 0-9 start doesn’t tell the whole story of how well the plan is working.

“Three of our losses have come in overtime and we’ve played some really good competition,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working to find ways to get over the hump.”

Thus far, the Kangaroos’ attack has featured steady contributions from all 10 players, with all of them playing quality minutes and finding their moments to shine.

“Different guys have sparked us at different times,” Pope added. “It’ll be nice to get to a point where we have everyone going well at about the same time.”

At 6-foot-6, 175 pounds, junior forward Jarron Quarles (13 points, 8 rebounds) leads Weatherford in scoring and rebounding and gives Pope some of his greatest reasons for optimism. Guard Jorden Wheeler, a starter from last year, has also been a steadying influence for the Kangaroos.

“We’ve got a good group of kids here and we’ve just got to weather the storm,” said Pope, who after 30 years of coaching came out of retirement to take the Weatherford job.

“I just didn’t feel like I was done,” Pope added. “With such a young team, it’s challenging, but all the jobs I’ve had in the past have had issues that needed to be fixed. We feel like our day is coming. You can see a marked improvement in what we’re doing now versus the first game of the season.”

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