After watching his players in six summer play date games at Champions Sports Academy in Alexandria on June 7 and 8, Jacksonville High School boys’ basketball coach Cordell Hunt was optimistic about the coming season.
“I think we can be a really good running team even with us being as young as we are,” Hunt said. “We’ve got some people who can actually get it to the rack and score. That was one of our big problems last year – scoring.”
Hunt anticipates having four seniors – Alex Davis, Tahj Kirkland, Jalen Trueblood and Jacob Tucker – when the 2016-17 season opens.
The junior class will be represented by Jay Davis, Alex Gilbert, Jewels Gray, Carter Landers and Deandre McCain. Hunt also expects next season’s varsity team will include sophomores Cade Landers, Donovan McCain and DeMarien Stewart.
The Golden Eagles began their Champions play dates with wins over Sand Rock, Asbury and Weaver on Wednesday. The next day, Jacksonville downed Ranburne, lost to Saks then fell to Collinsville in the game’s final moments.
“You could tell we had some fatigue,” Hunt said, noting that the Collinsville game was the ninth in four days for his sophomores who also participated in play date games on June 5.
Jacksonville played larger schools at Oxford on June 12. Their first opponent was Class 5A power Talladega. After that, Jacksonville played 6A Oxford.
“That first game we played, we came out a little sluggish. It was one of those teaching moments where we talked about, ‘Any team you play, you’ve got to come out to…
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