A tired look came across Harlem basketball coach Kim Chambers' face as he sat near the bench for a breather before two scrimmage games with Richmond Academy on Tuesday.
"I don't think I've ever been this tired this early in the season," he said.
His exhaustion isn't a surprise. Chambers is once again pulling double duty as the head coach of both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams.
The dual role was supposed to end this season, but former assistant coach Jonathan Holley, who was announced as the girls varsity basketball coach this summer, stepped down three weeks ago because of personal issues.
That left Chambers no choice but to take back the girls varsity coaching job along with his boys varsity coaching duties. While the workload is piling up, Chambers said it's really nothing new.
"I'm trying to approach it the same way I always have," he said. "At this point we're just pressed for time. We've got to put a lot of stuff in quick."
For the Harlem girls, the scrimmage against Richmond Academy came down to the last second. Even though the Lady Bulldogs lost by two points in the end, the team looked stronger than expected.
"I was real pleased. They looked really good considering we lost three starters from last year," Chambers said.
One of those starters, April Woodard, led the Lady Bulldogs in just about every offensive category last season.
Filling her shoes won't be an easy task, but there is talent coming up through the Lady Bulldog program, notably sophomore post player Nicole Wells.
Wells started some games last season as a freshman.
"Nicole replaces (Woodard's) spot, but we're all going to help. She's been improving by the second," Harlem starting point guard Kacee Camp said.
Camp and Wells led the scoring for Harlem in the scrimmage. Camp's pressure defense late in the fourth quarter resulted in three steals and a near comeback win.
The junior point guard said the team hopes to improve on last year's winning record and add one more win against their region rival.
"We expect to win a lot of games this year," she said. "We definitely want to go further than last year. We want to go to state, and one of the biggest parts is we want to beat Hephzibah."
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