After last night, the Academics Plus boys’ basketball team played three games in a span of a week. Entering last night’s contest, the Falcons were 2-0, and so far Coach John Harrison is pleased with his team.
“I am very pleased with their performances and attitudes,” he said. “We started pre-season in June and went to a team camp in Atkins and beat some teams we probably shouldn’t have. We’ve had positive attitudes from the first day.”
On Oct. 21, the Falcons defeated Jacksonville Lighthouse, 47-37. Paul Sheesley paced Academics Plus with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Chabala Musonda added 14 points and eight rebounds.
“We played well, but it was a low-scoring game for us,” Harrison said. “They are a brand new school, but very talented. They came out in a 1-2-2 half-court trap, and we had trouble breaking it. Give them credit. We never trailed, but for whatever reason couldn’t get going offensively.”
That changed last Friday against Oark. Academics Plus scooted out to a 38-6 first-quarter lead on its way to a 78-42 triumph. Sophomores led the way for the Falcons with Jawon Wright the high-scorer with 17 points. Will Westenburger added 13 points, and Garfield Bloodman also finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
“We have a very talented sophomore class, and they were successful in junior high last year,” Harrison said. “They may not start but will get tremendous amount of time off the bench.”
The key to last Friday’s victory was that the Falcons took advantage of their quick guards and forced turnovers. Additionally, Harrison noticed in the contest against Jacksonville Lighthouse, the guys had a tendency to push the ball after a rebound. He said against a quality team that won’t happen, so the Falcons did a better job of not doing that.
Last night, Academics Plus played Jacksonville Lighthouse again. Harrison said the advantage of playing again is the school is close and also provides the Falcons some good competition.
“It cuts down on travel, and their coach told me they were going to be athletic and competitive,” Harrison said. “At this time of the year with other schools playing football, it is hard to find local schools.”