Improvement, wins expected for Jeannette boys
Jeannette boys basketball is a rather unique program in Class-AA because when they play up, they expect to win.
Jeannette's 201 3⁄14 season began last weekend with two games against teams in higher classifications at the Hempfield Tip-Off Tournament. Jeannette emerged 1-1 beating Keystone Oaks last Friday night and dropping a close one to McKeesport.
Jeannette head coach Adrian Batts' reaction to Jeannette's start is predictably optimistic but guarded.
“I'm somewhat satisfied,” said Batts of Jeannette's start. “We can get a lot better, though.”
Batts got what he expected from his main scorers, junior point guard Julian Batts and senior forward Miles Sunder, and was quick to point out the great efforts of others who helped Jeannette control most of the Keystone Oaks game, a 63-49 Jayhawks win.
“Zach Altieri got us going by hitting a couple of early threes,” said Batts. “I thought Swade Redman played great for a freshman seeing his first varsity action.”
Jeannette led the whole way against Keystone Oaks and pushed the margin to 20 mid-way through the second half. Batts would like to see his team finish better despite the 14-point win.
“We controlled a majority of the game,” said Batts. “I would like to see us close it out a little better.”
With a 20-point lead, closing out Keystone Oaks was less pressing for Jeannette, but the Jayhawks would find out how valuable a skill it is to put an opponent away for good the following night when Jeannette could not hold an eight-point, third-quarter lead in a 60-58 loss to McKeesport.
“I said that the last team to make a play would win that game,” said Batts. “Taking nothing away from McKeesport, but we beat ourselves. We had five turnovers and three missed shots in eight possessions late in the game.”
Batts characterized the errors as, “all fixable,” and is encouraged by the way his team played against a very good Quad-A opponent.
Jeannette begins Section 3-AA play tomorrow night against an improved South Allegheny team. The Jayhawks travel to Greensburg Salem tonight for a non-section game.
WPIAL Class AA,
GCC (0-0) (2-0)
Jeannette (0-0) (1-1)
Riverview (0-0) (1-1)
South Allegheny (0-0) (1-1)
Springdale (0-0) (1-2)
Serra Catholic (0-0) (0-1)
Shady Side (0-0) (0-2)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.