Local prep hoop teams eye upcoming season

It is the best time of the basketball season. Everyone is undefeated  and optimism abounds for the boys and girls prep basketball teams from Jackson Parish as they prepare for their season openers. For some it will be sooner than others but it won’t be long that JHHS, Quitman and Weston will all be in action taking on the promises of the 2021-22 LHSAA prep season. Just what can you expect from each? The Jackson Parish Journal takes an inside look at our area squads.

Girls Basketball:

Jonesboro-Hodge: The Lady Tigers will be under the leadership of their third new coach in four years as Kiyyah Deloney takes the reins from Britani Fields. This will be Deloney’s first crack at a head coaching position after being an assistant with the Lady Tigers two years ago. Fortunately at her disposal will be 5’6″, senior, Xabrianna Jackson, who was listed as a top 100 player in the state of Louisiana by LA Girls Rankings after averaging better than 20 points per game as a junior to lead JHHS to an 11-7 overall record and second place finish in district 1-2A. Senior, Zymea Hoggro and her sister A’Joriana, who is a junior, expect to provide offensive depth along with Sydney Malone and Jessica Bradford. DaRaiyna Gray, Trinite’ Davis and Kaelin Palmer are also expected to contribute. 

Quitman: Veteran coach Kyle Leach is coming off one of his best season’s in his long tenure where the Lady Wolverines finished with a sterling 23-2 overall record and district 2B championship. Despite Quitman’s youth, where not a single senior resides on the roster, there is a lot of experienced players returningding top performers from a year ago, Bethany Leach, Emma Carter, Ansley Folks, Summer Grillette, Brayli Stewart and 6’1″ post player Cali Deal. Also expected to contribute is A.J. Gray, Jaleigh Burns and Lily Kate Odom along with junior high players Maggie Guyotte, Anna Leach and Emma Walker.  

Weston:  Head coach Stacy Tucker is hoping for a little better luck this year than the injury riddled season of the year before that saw Weston finish with a 13-14 record. The good news is that the misfortune of a year ago provides great depth for this year as virtually all 16 players on the roster has game experience. Senior’s Mary Catherine Hay and Lakerria Austin along with junior’s Emma Kate McBride and Lexi Barmore, all who went down at one time or another last year return to form a solid nucleus of upperclassment. Weston will also see sophomores Jessica Newton, Lainee Trosclair, Jacie Ledford, Faith Beamesderfer and freshmen Briley Peterson and Anslee Aldy provide scoring as well. Additonal contributors will be Tailan Bearden, Daisy Pineda, Lexi Millien, Nadia Siadek, Raelynn Shell and Olivia Marsh. 

Boys basketball:

Jonesboro-Hodge: Eager to move past the depleted schedule and strength resulting from the COVID pandemic that saw the Tigers struggle to an 8-6 overall record and second place finish in district 1-2A the Tigers return one of their more talented and tallest teams in school history. JHHS will feature at least  seven players standing 6’3″ or taller and return a game tested backcourt giving veteran head coach Allen Tew optimism about the upcoming season, especially when several would be starters join the team after football season. Justin Calahan, Ajay Tew, Tre Beard, Cameron “Chase” Leonard and Jarrious Lumkin will man the backcourt with “Tall Tigers” Javeon Andrews, Zion Gray, Cameron Joe, Tydre Malone, Devontae Mozee, Savantez Phillips, Aiden Price and Tommy Walker provided power in the paint. 

Quitman: Five seniors with tons of experience return for second year coach Mike Black who led the Wolverines to a fine 16-7 record and second place finish behind Class B state champion Simsboro. Senior’s John Pabaya, LD Manning, Shane Rowe, Bailey Keys and Ty Simonelli along with junior’s Blake Carter, James Pabaya and sophomore’s Logan Ponder and Riley Duck expect to do most of the scoring. Additonal contributors will be Braden Hobbs, John Reagan Hasley, Tyler Lay, Nicholas Kleibert, Noah Leach, Grant Williams, Gavyn Caskey and Braden Smith.

Weston: Second year coach Jacob Otwell looks to improve on the 9-19 season from a year ago through the return of six seniors, two juniors and a talented cast of underclassmen. Leading the offensive attack should be senior’s Davis Tolar, Eli McBride, Seth Peterson, Ryan Feirn, Landon Roberts and Kaden Shirley along with junior’s Mitchel Mathews and Daniel Moffett. Tyler Pardue, Rylee McBride, Jude Otwell, Bryce Zehr, Sawyer Watkins, Skylar Strickland, Jacob Gill and Cole Tolar will also be pushing for court time. 

Game schedules (November 3-6)

Wednesday JHHS vs Arcadia (Scrimmage) 5:00pm
Thursday QHS vs Summerfield 6:00pm
Thursday-Saturday Weston at Dodson Tourney TBA

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