Jayhawks' goal is to go undefeated rest of season
The goal is simply stated: 10 wins, no losses.
A section title, a first-round playoff bye and a WPIAL Class-AA title are the rewards for reaching the goal.
Jeannette's boys basketball program is focused on that singular goal — 10 and 0, and head coach Adrian Batts knows how it can be accomplished.
“We know to go 10-0 we are going to have to play great defense,” said Batts. “We have to finish games defensively.”
Jeannette entered the week with just one Section 3-AA loss on their record, and only two on the season, but struggled against South Allegheny, their first section game in the second half of the section schedule.
The Jayhawks were sloppy and did not shoot well, but did play sound defense in a 51-40 win — a game Batts characterized as a, “letdown game.”
Jeannette came back to form last Tuesday against Riverview in a more Jayhawk-like 66-31 romp over Riverview. Duke Brown led the team with 21 points and several bench players got quality minutes.
Last Thursday's game against Springdale was postponed due to weather. No make-up date has been announced, but Batts said the game must be made up by Feb. 11 — the last day of the WPIAL regular season schedule.
Batts plans to run more focused practices as the regular season winds down for one big reason — the fatigue factor.
“We are running hour-long practices,” said Batts. “Most of our guys are football players and I don't want their legs to tire out.”
Batts' sessions will emphasize the parts of the game that he believes will separate Jeannette from their opponents, namely, rebounding, defense and taking care of the ball.
“Rebounding is such a big part of winning basketball,” said Batts. “If we can limit teams to one opportunity a trip, we have a good chance to win that game.”
The goal is simply stated: 10 wins, no losses. Two down, eight to go.
GCC (8-0) (16-1)
Jeannette (7-1) (14-2)
Serra Catholic (5-2) (12-3)
Shady Side (3-5) (5-12)
Riverview (2-6) (5-11)
South Allegheny (2-7) (6-12)
Springdale (0-6) (2-11)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.