OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Reid Gatlin

Reid Gatlin

Staff Writer

There was a huge void left at East Webster in many ways from last year to this year as the boys basketball team had to replace their coach Michael Seger as well as several seniors who left their mark on the Wolverines.

Other than the leadership that the players that left had given East Webster over the years, they also lost tremendous 3-point shooting from Art Thompson, Charlie Brand and Jacob Ginn. With those losses emerged an opportunity for sophomore Reid Gatlin to have his moment this season.

The youngster has filled a shoe or two this year to help the Wolverines out to a 7-4 record early in the year and his past week was a testament to his impact. In four games over a week’s time, Gatlin scored in double figures in every game, including a huge night this week on Tuesday in a victory over Vardaman to lead his team to victory.

With his successful week that led East Webster to a 3-1 mark during that span, Gatlin earned the Starkville Daily News/OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week honor.

“I couldn’t have done well without my teammates and the chemistry that we have on the court,” Gatlin said. “I just have to give thanks to them for moving the ball around and feeding the post which sometimes gives me open shots.”

Last week began with a tough loss to one of the state’s top Class 2A teams in Ingomar, but Gatlin got his share of shots in with 10 points scored. He began a steady climb up the scoring ladder as the week progressed leading the Wolverines to a win over Kirk Academy with a 15-point performance on Thursday. Gatlin followed that on Friday as East Webster blew out Puckett and he threw in 19 more points.

Gatlin continued his hot streak on Tuesday at home against Vardaman as the guard scored 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. It came in a game where the Wolverines weren’t playing their best basketball and offense was at a premium. It seemed he always was there to light a spark.

“I feel like I’m shooting it pretty good right now,” Gatlin said. “I feel nice and comfortable. Early in the season I struggled a little bit, but I’m feeling good now. When we’re dry, I just want to hit a big shot and keep things moving and flowing offensively.”

East Webster coach Jon Ginn has had to rely on Gatlin earlier than expected this year after losing so much production offensively, but he’s seen a player that has been eager to answer the call.

That’s been especially true in the last few games and he hopes it continues further.

“Reid has been shooting the ball really well the last few games,” Ginn said. “He’s shooting the ball with a lot of confidence and it was huge for him to give us a little cushion to get back in front. He’s been very reliable over the last week and we’re going to need him.”