The Jeannette boys’ basketball team is happy for Demetrious Cox following his football signing with Michigan State. But this winter's Jayhawks are a basketball team and this is a basketball article.
“Everybody’s happy for [Cox],” says head coach Adrian Batts. Batts notes that some normalcy has been restored to Cox’s life since he is finished traveling for recruiting purposes. For Cox, the pressure is off and he can enjoy his senior year and the basketball season. “As far as the team goes, I don’t think [Cox’s signing] has affected the guys.”
But something else has affected the guys. The Jeannette team had a meeting about overcoming adversity last Monday (January 30th), and the result was a positive upswing. Positive upswings are typical of the Jeannette boys’ basketball team. This particular upswing actually goes back a couple of weeks.
The clever team from Frazier had gotten the better of the Jayhawks for the second time this season. Jeannette had led 37-17 at halftime in that January 27th game. But, according to a January 28th report in the Daily Courier, point guard Julian Batts fouled out. Frazier head coach Ed Keebler told the Courier that the Commodores employed a full-court man-to-man defense in the second half of the game. These factors contributed greatly to Jeannette losing their lead and the game. Frazier won it, 61-56.
Julian was back and contributing in double digits the next day at the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament at Seton Hill. But the Jayhawks lost 63-37 to Annapolis Christian (MD) that day.
“We learned a very valuable lesson the other day,” says Batts. “We really came together as a unit Monday at practice.” That Monday was January 30th, and the team really used the time to focus on staying positive. The Jayhawks’ lineup benefitted, too. Over the weekend in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, the Jayhawks were missing two starters. Cox had gone for a recruiting trip at Wisconsin, and another player had been temporarily dismissed from the team. But, Batts has been able to reinstate that player. “He’d been a spark for us,” says Batts.
Then on Tuesday at Brownsville, the future Michigan State Spartan Demetrious Cox scored 18 points, took hold of 12 rebounds, and provided 10 assists. The rest of the Jayhawks gave their all, too. Duke Brown scored 16 points and Julian Batts added 13. Jeannette won 66-52; they got back on the proverbial horse after their two tough losses.
On Friday at Charleroi, The Jayhawks beat Charleroi 75-42. Jeannette also had a non-conference contest with Section 1-AAAA Latrobe on Saturday. The Jayhawks played to a 69-64 win.
Tonight, the Jayhawks remain out-of-section as they travel to take on West Mifflin. Tip-off is set for 7:30pm.