The Thanksgiving break always makes it hard to get back into the swing of things as the North Sunflower Academy Rebels found out on the hardwood. Losses to Lee Academy (Arkansas) on the road this past Monday hopefully shook the rust off the teams. Girls head coach Jimmy McGregor noted the junior high girls lost 43-14 while the high school girls lost 54-9.
“Brianna Love had five, Gracie Barret had three and Elizabeth Head had two, Meredith Scallion had two and Caroline Williams had two,” Coach McGregor said.
For the high school girls, the trio of Barrett, Samantha Barham and Baylee Hewitt each had three points.
“They are pretty good but we just missed some shots and it being the first game after Thanksgiving, it’s rough to play on Monday,” Coach McGregor said.
The Rebels host Winona Academy today (Thursday) in a non-conference matchup.
“They are really a good basketball team,” Coach McGregor said. “Their coach has been over there a long time with them and does a good job.”
The boy’s teams were still feeling their Thanksgiving as well in the rematch with Lee as head coach Essie Thomas got a better junior high effort but saw a lot of inconsistency with her high school boys’ team.
“The junior high boys lost 44-34. We played a lot better the second time because the first time we lost by like 30,” Coach Thomas said. “The boys had a lot more fight. Brandon Daniels was again our leading scorer. Landon Knight and Logan Nicholson were a brick wall on defense. They didn’t allow any second shot attempts. Even Michael Moore dropped 12 points. I’m looking for a lot more out of him.”
Coach Thomas has seen a great defensive effort all season but the offense consistency and cohesiveness has been lacking.
“We can stop them from scoring but our team is depending on Brandon to do everything on offense,” she said. “I’m not happy with the loss.”
Her high school team lost momentum in their matchup with Lee Academy.
“The high school boys did not show up to play at all,” she said. “The first game we played against Lee was a great game but we lost 64-62. But this game was 64-49. The boys couldn’t find their rhythm.”
Parker Beck led the team with 18 points while Jacob Henley added 10. Brandon Daniels added 12.
“One night they’ll come out and play and the next night they take it off. And every time Brandon hits the floor, he feels like he’s got a point to prove,” Coach Thomas said. “If I can get them playing every game like its their last game, we’ll win a majority of our games. Defensively, our guys couldn’t figure them out.”
The players that play on both junior high and high school are limited to playing six quarters a night.
“I try to use Brandon as wisely as I can but I’m expecting more out of Parker Beck, Dakota Dawson and Chandler Hays being my seniors. I shouldn’t have my eighth grader stepping up,” she said.
Coach Thomas is looking forward to the Winona game even though she has found very little scouting material for them.
“The only thing I can do is get my boys prepared and playing the ball we can play. I’ve got to get our boys to play all four quarters. It’s coming along slowly and I’m trying to get it to move forward more quickly,” she said.
Game time is 4:00 p.m. with the junior high girls tipping off first.