Jonesboro-Hodge broke out the brooms this past Friday for one of the few times this year. No, they weren’t to clean the floors of the gymnasium. That task awaited the home team clean-up crew, but instead to symbolize both the boys and girl’s teams winning over arch-rival Winnfield. For the boys the 59-56 overtime win stopped a two-game slide, while for the girls, the 44-38 victory marked a season best third win in a row and third consecutive under new head coach Kris Cash.
Ajay Tew led the way with a season best 19 points that included three treys in the third quarter and another in the overtime period. J-H outscored Winnfield by an 8-5 margin in the extra frame of the battle between two top ten Class AA schools to improve their record to 8-4. Winnfield fell to 15-6 on the year after their third straight loss and second in three days at home.
Devontae Mozee also turned in a season best 14 points and grabbed 8 boards followed by nine from Justin Calahan on the strength of three bombs from arc, who also added five assists. Tydre Malone added 7 and 10 rebounds.
The victory, which improved J-H’s ranking to #3 in the latest Geauxpreps.com poll while Winnfield dropped to #9, had an unusual side caveat to it as well with the teams finishing each of the four quarters tied.
|#3 JHHS (8-4)||12||8||18||13||8||59|
|#9 Winnfield (15-6)||12||8||18||13||5||56|
Lady Tigers sudden surge continues
Who remembers the 1977 iconic, smash recording hit by Jimmy Buffet called Changes in Latitudes bring Changes in Atitudes. One of the lyrics states…
Oh, yesterdays are over my shoulder
So, I can’t look back for too long
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just can’t go wrong
While not a single player or coach for Jonesboro-Hodge was even alive when the song was written it is still timely when thinking about the remainder of the 2022 basketball season which can only be described as two polar opposite seasons in one.
Oh, yesterdays are over my shoulder. Thank goodness!
There was total disfunction to the team that led to a 2-10 start. Then came the embarrassing situation of parents squabbling with the coach that led to the school principal relieving the coach of her duties. Through the holidays the job was offered to several people. No one would touch it with a ten-foot pole with the common statement among many being it was the worst possible coaching job in the state.
While it seems an outrageous statement, a close look into the program lends credence to the claim. No one might want to say it out loud but there is a reason that JHHS is on now their fifth coach in four years. Each left after successful seasons, including one who was a JHHS graduate and led the Lady Tigers to the state tournament. Why did they move on?
To a person the response was the same. The families and fans of the JHHS girls made it a most unbearable situation. It wasn’t enough to win. Everyone wanted special considerations for their family member and griped loud and long about it. Each of the coaches also stated after they left, that they also never received any backing from the leadership of the school to help relieve the situation.
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me! After some serious soul searching a young man felt he was right for the job and decided that he would take over the program. Kris Cash, who is the head football coach at the Junior High School, was already well versed in handling the situation that ran the other coaches off. Nothing like coaching 30-40 junior high kids for several years can prepare one better.
What has been the result? It has been only three games, so the jury could be said to be still out but so far Cash has been money in the bank. JHHS has won all three games since he took over the team. It isn’t just that they are winning, as they traditionally have, but look like a well-organized and disciplined team. It is obvious that he has assigned his players their roles and the team has bought in.
I know that I just can’t go wrong. The victory over Winnfield on Friday puts it all into perspective. Knowing that every possession counted, Cash put the ball into the hands of his best and really, only scorer. The result was a 37-point effort by Xabrianna Jackson, her third straight game of scoring 30 or more points. Bolstered by (7) three pointers, including five in the first half, Jackson scored all but three of the first half points, two of the third quarter points and all but seven the Lady Tigers scored in the game.
The remainder of the team did their part too, buckling down in their new roles as defense stoppers. Instead of being discontent for not getting the ball as they would have prior, they didn’t allow a single Winnfield player to score in double digits.
The “new look” Lady Tigers now enter district play as a favorite to win the 1-2A title.
Truly, the Changes in Latitudes have brought Changes in Attitudes!
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