The Cairo Pilots have a new head coach as Larry Wood, who is the acting athletic director at the school, takes over the team.

He has three key seniors to replace, including 1,000-point scorer and ABV all-south special mention Dave Taylor.

Two other seniors from last season's club have left the program; Jamon Brown and Trevon Bingham.

The Pilots imploded last February in the regional title game, losing in overtime to Gallatin County at the Hardin County 1A Regional.

Cairo lost that decision 74-64 in overtime, due mainly to not being able to get the job done from the foul line.

The Pilots were just 14-of-32 from the foul line, and a few more made shots from the stripe would have sent Cairo to the sectional.

However this is a new season and the Pilots always seem to have basketball talent.

Three starters return for Coach Woods with Damarius Taylor, a 5-foot-10 senior guard (younger brother to Dave Taylor), Malachi Brown, a 6-foot-2 senior and 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Fairleigh Ward.

Riko Nelson, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, along with Ward, were starters on the Cairo Junior High SIJHSA Class S state championship team.

Coach Woods mentioned a pair of freshman who could start; Isaiah Brown and Alton Harvey.

OUTLOOK – The Pilots will be quick and will want to turn games into track meets. If they find some chemistry and some depth on the bench they could be a dangerous team in the postseason. They have added games with Woodlawn, Herrin and also Charleston (MO.).

N24-25 New Madrid (MO.) "River Bend Classic" J27 Pinckneyville "Showcase"


Du Quoin "Tip-Off Classic" J29 Fulton County (KY.)
D5 @ Herrin J30 @ McCracken County (KY.)
D15 @ Fulton County (KY.) F3 @ Charleston (MO.)
D16 McCracken County (KY.) Shootout F10 @ Dongola
J2 @ Marshall County (KY.) F16 @ Woodlawn
J4 Caruthersville (MO.) F17 Brooklyn Lovejoy
J10 @ Ullin Century F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD
J13-20 West Frankfort "Mid-Winter Classic" F27-M2 IHSA Sectional TBD