by Elijah Johns | staff writer

As fall sports come to a close, basketball season getting into full swing. After coming off a great season with a winning record last year, the Jaguars hope to have another successful year.

“We have a really young team with five lettermen back from last year. So I think it will take a little time for us to gel and to come together. But really after one weekend we have done that. I think by the time district gets here, we will be ready to compete within our district. Our district is pretty tough,” basketball coach James Keller said.

Last year, Reagan defeated Johnson 73-68. As our biggest rival, this game will be a very important one. However, all district games are essential.

“Obviously Reagan is one of our rivals, but to be honest we are going to say that every district opponent is our rival. That’s the way we go at it. We play tonight, and tonight is the biggest game we have this year. Then after tonight, the next game will be the biggest. Obviously Reagan and Churchill are huge games, but we’re trying to beat every team in district,” Keller said.

 Last season, the Jags ended up with a 7-6 district record.

“Churchill and Madison right now, just early on [in the season]. But you know that our district is going to kinda be wide open. Those two teams are not that far ahead of the rest of the pack at this point. By the time district gets here, you’ll have to be ready to play every night. Lee, Macarthur, Roosevelt; they are all tough teams. we are going to try and approach every game the exact same. But I would  say that right now, Churchill and Madison are the leaders,” Keller said.

Unlike many other sports, basketball games could take place in many different gyms around and outside the city.

“We just played in Kerrville, and obviously that’s so far and we played games over Thanksgiving break. We have Brandeis and Warren right around the corner, and those are big non-district games. Our tournaments are a lot of times during the school days, so we won’t get many students there,” Keller said.

It is important for students to come out when they can in order to support the team, according to Keller.

“But I would say by the time that playoffs come around we could get a good group out there, that would be great. it’s not like football, where there is one game a week and we play 6 games a week. And as a coach I don’t expect a huge crowd for every game. But once district rolls around, then it is one or two a week. those  would be the real big ones,” Keller said.

Although the team has lost many talented seniors, Keller believes that new players on the team work really well together.

“We are very team oriented. I would say that is the biggest difference. I wouldn’t say we have superstars, we just have a bunch of guys that like to work and play together. And that’s really made it very enjoyable to coach and to be around. We feel like all of our guys are really coming together and a lot of different parts coming together to make us pretty good,” Keller said. 

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About The Author

Elijah Johns is a senior at Johnson and a staff writer for MyJagNews. He enjoys listening to music and playing sports. His favorite sports are basketball and football.

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