Head coach Adrian Batts estimated that Smethport, the Jayhawks’ opposition from last Saturday, had 17 turnovers. Seven of these happened in the first quarter of that 73-43 Jeannette win. The Jeannette team capitalized on these turnovers almost systematically – it became the Jayhawks’ method throughout the game. So, how did Jeannette manage to keep the pressure on so effectively without getting into foul trouble?
“I was actually a referee at practice,” said Batts. “We did a lot of one-on-one stuff and two-on-two games. We really had to focus on not fouling.” Batts added that he had been concerned about playing out-of-district, and he considered a couple of different ways to keep Jeannette fresh during the 14-days off between games.
“We talked about scrimmaging a team,” Batts explained. “It didn’t go through and the kids were kind of panicking. What I did was set up intersquads with our own team. It was really a positive thing. We competed against our own guys, and it’s hard to play against your own guys and to be successful.”
Basically, Batts and the rest of the Jeannette team recognized that the players’ competitiveness was the greatest resource. By playing their best to beat each other, the Jeannette players conditioned themselves to the toughest competition. On Saturday, Demetrious Cox scored 14 points, Duke Brown scored 11, and Orlando Morgan scored 10. But Batts noted that this game was a total team effort. All 11 Jeannette Jayhawks scored on Saturday (according to the March 11th Pittsburgh Tribune Review article) so it’s clear that Batts was right.
Jeannette tips off against Greensburg Central Catholic tomorrow at 6pm at Hempfield Area High School.